“We Are Martyrs, We Can’t Wait”
Supporters of Palestinian terrorism really showed their true faces in Berkeley yesterday: Violence flares briefly at anti-terrorism event.
Bus 19 was destroyed in Jerusalem last year in a suicide bombing that killed 11 people and injured 45. It is owned by Jerusalem Connection International, which argues that God gave Israel solely to the Jews. Since May, the bus has appeared in Washington, D.C., North Carolina, Dallas and central Florida, among other places, without provoking violence.
More than 200 counter-demonstrators gathered Sunday across the street from the park for what was billed in advance as a silent vigil honoring children slain in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Most were reserved, but some 40 people, mostly men of Middle Eastern descent, yelled and exchanged taunts with pro-Israeli demonstrators across the street.
“Two, four, six, eight, we are martyrs, we can’t wait,” chanted the group, most of whom wore kaffiyehs — the cloth headdress closely associated with Palestinian militants. Some drove around the park, their faces covered, waving Palestinian flags.
“We are here to make sure that these people are ashamed of themselves,” said Essam Mahgoub, a native of Cairo, who lives in Oakland and attended with his wife and four children.
“They (Israelis) stole our land, raped our women, destroyed our olive trees and destroyed our homes,” he said. ..
Shortly after the event started at noon, pro-Palestinian demonstrators got into a heated exchange with pro-Israeli demonstrators on Martin Luther King Jr. Way. Police intervened before fists flew.
Later, flag carrying pro-Palestinians entered the park and were quickly confronted by hundreds of supporters of Israel. Men on both sides taunted each other and threw punches, but police soon stopped them. The rally ended about 2 p.m., and most demonstrators dispersed by 3:30 p.m.
Rally organizers said the provocative actions of some counter- demonstrators illustrated that they support the use of terrorism.
“They attempted to disrupt the rally through the same kinds of intimidation and indiscriminate violence that are the hallmarks of our 21st century scourge, global terrorism,” said David Meir-Levi, an insurance agent from Menlo Park who acted as the master of ceremonies for the anti-terrorism rally.
LGF operative zombie promises some mind-blowing photographs later today.