A rally Saturday in Los Angeles decrying Israel’s military campaign against Hamas included a variety of rallying cries typically associated with the progressive left, some having nothing to do with the Middle East. Additionally, one slogan written on a sign held by a protester appeared to call for the ethnic cleansing of Jews from the Middle Eastern state.
The conservative blog Weasel Zippers posted this photo from the rally:
More photos from the march were posted on Twitter:
In the bottom center of the above photo, one could make out a partially obscured sign which read “From the river to the sea,” a slogan used often by anti-Israel demonstrators which calls for the expulsions of Jews from Israel. “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free” is the full slogan which refers to the Mediterranean Sea to the west of Israel and the Jordan River to the east.
The UCLA student newspaper the Daily Bruin, which covered the rally, reported that more than one thousand marched toward the Israeli consulate, accompanied by a counter-protest of several dozen Israel supporters. The groups exchanged verbal insults and expletives, with police restraining both sides, the Bruin reported.
From the Daily Bruin:
At one point, a pro-Israel supporter walked into a corner of Wilshire Boulevard and Veteran Avenue that pro-Palestine supporters occupied. Both sides quickly got into a verbal scuffle, eventually leading to pro-Palestine supporters shouting down the pro-Israel supporter as police restrained pro-Palestine supporters and urged the pro-Israel supporter to leave the scene.
A few minutes later, the opposite happened with a pro-Palestine supporter walking into pro-Israel supporters and quickly getting into an argument while police urged the pro-Palestine supporter to leave the scene.
One pro-Palestine supporter threw a water bottle at pro-Israel supporters holding the Israeli flag, leading the police to warn pro-Palestine supporters to control themselves.
Throughout the protest, constant honking noises and obscenities from both sides filled the area as cars drove by the corner with passengers holding different flags.
Los Angeles Police Department spokesman Andy Neiman told the Bruin that there were two arrests connected with the event.
The Jewish Journal of Los Angeles reported that Wilshire Boulevard was shut down for a while. Protesters wrote with chalk on the street, “When you take our lives, we take away your streets.”
Other signs read, “Zionists, Get out of Gaza Now!” and “Israel is Mass Murdering Children.”
Pro-Israel demonstrator Kathrin Magen told the Journal, “We have no problems with the Palestinians. It’s the terror organizations,” she said. “The existence of Israel is very important. It is the only democracy in the Middle East and a very strong ally to the U.S.”