Monday, June 04, 2007


Two hours of symbolic stand-off with the sonei-Yisroel, half a day of loud music, some street theatre, a spinach and cheese pirogy, a vegetable boreka. Plus a mediocre caffeinated beverage.

No event is complete without a Russian screaming something unintelligible in English, and no fair is perfect without a new book (another translation of the Kitzur Shulchan Aruch).


We had been told that JVP would not be allowed into the event, nor would they be allowed to use the sidewalk in front, because in previous years attendees had been taunted and threatened by anti-Israel activists at similar events. The SFPD and event-organizers, we were informed, were determined to limit the anti-Israel protests to the other side of the street.

Determined, perhaps.

But too darn wussy to do anything about it.

SFPD and event-staff did squat-all when JVP-protestors lined the entrance and formed an obnoxious gauntlet for attendees. One of their organizers had had a discussion with one of SF’s finest shortly before they arrived, and it was soon evident that the SFPD looked upon the JVP with considerably more kindliness than they regarded SF For Israel. That particular officer even threatened to charge one of our sanest members with assault and arrest her, because her flag was either frightening one of the Jayveepee-folk or had actually touched one of them. Throughout the counter-protest the other side evinced paranoia about the flags. It was a constant - I’m afraid several of our flags actually did touch the Jayveepeeleite, and we may have to have them dry-cleaned.

The police did not bother or interfere with the JVP, but in order to not get arrested SF For Israel had to keep marching back and forth.

[The Unaffiliated Rogue Element (Anarcho-Zionist) did not march, but stood sullenly opposite some harpies. We don't take orders, and we do whatever we darn well please. Glowering was what we pleased.]


Later we discovered that Brit Tzedek ve Shalom was disseminating JVP literature at their booth.
The head-honcho of Brit Tzedek is the former president of JVP and Brit Tzedek jointly organized a program with JVP at least once, with Bay Area Women in Black at least twice. The same individual is the founder of BAWIB and a signatory of the petition for the Palestinian Right of Return. Yet the pretense which everyone is buying into is that Brit Tzedek has nothing to do with JVP, and that BAWIB is equally independent and unaffiliated.

Their assertion of differentiation is beginning to look somewhat like multiple personality disorder. Disingenuous and dysfunctional in any case.

Given that the event-organizers seemed to want to be utterly non-confrontational, and that rigidly timid neutrality seems to be a dominant ideology among the more mainstream and establishment elements, I think there is scope for pushing back much harder in the future – they cave in so easily.

Next time, we should definitely have the bullhorns with us on the line, if for no other reason than to threaten to use them. It will give the anti-Zionists something else to worry about besides catching cooties from Israeli flags.


On a different note: one of the members of the Unaffiliated Rogue Element (Anarcho-Zionist) had a lengthy conversation with an elderly gentleman about the four questions.

[No, not those four questions. These four questions: "Where's my wife? When is she getting here? When do we sit? Where do we sit?" ]

His wife had dropped him off in front of me, then went to park the car. Either he was focusing single-mindedly on the ideal answers to the questions, or he had a short-term memory issue. But he was very pleasant about it, so it did not actually seem like the longest forty-five minutes of my entire life.


Anonymous said...

This is the most perfect anti-Israel piece of inelegant rhetoric I've ever read. Brother. If ever one wanted a reason to demonstrate in support of Palestine or any other seemingly anti-Israel actions, your writing is truly grist for the mill.

Keep on keeping on, and perhaps we will really be caught in an endless war with your idiocy, arrogance and bluster leading the way for those who share your bravado and lack of humanity.

The back of the hill said...

My dear anonymous,

Your apriori bias is utterly evident, and you merely assert, without arguments. Nor do you in any way address any of the issues raised in my posting.

Tell me, at what point in your life did you decide that flunking and dropping out was a valid option?

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