Local Jewish community sponsors pro-Israel peaceful demonstration

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) -- With the latest failed cease-fire quickly becoming a distant memory, the two sides in the Israel-Gaza conflict traded rockets and airstrikes Saturday -- as well as blame for not stopping the bloodshed.

Israeli airstrikes killed at least five more people in Gaza on Saturday, the official Palestinian news agency WAFA reported.

The area around central Gaza's Qassam mosque, in particular, was a frenzy of activity as medical workers sifted through rubble there. WAFA claimed that Israeli fighter jets struck that mosque and another, killing at least three people.

Here in the Rocket City, activists held a peaceful demonstration. Pro-Israel signs and flags were abundant this morning on the corner of Whitesburg Drive and Airport Road. The group said they just wanted to show the North Alabama community that there are supporters of Israel in our area.

"We wanted to show the people of Huntsville that there are a large number of people in Huntsville who do support the work of Israel so that's what our goal was," said Max Rosenthal. "We're not anti anybody, we're just pro-Israel and we want to show the world that Israel has a right to live, a right to exist, and it should exist in peace."

The group plans to demonstrate next Saturday, August 16th from 9:00 to 11:00 a.m. at the same intersection.


  • S Ray Elliott

    It is only natural that Jews support Israel, Regardless of their actions.

    However, the Israelis have had a Very Long History of Slaughtering the Inhabitants of Palestine, starting with the Cannanites!

    It now Borders on Pathological Serial Killing, in a Methodical Manner.

    It will not end until Congress Ceases giving Israel Blank Checks & places Israel on a Cash & Carry Resupply Schedule, not unlike Saudi Arabia.

    If we “Cannot Afford” to feed Hungry Americans, we Certainly cannot Afford giving Israel the Munitions to destroy Gaza.

    Especially since Congress is the Insurance Underwriter for Power Stations, that Israel Destroyed, using Munitions supplied by Congress!

    Such behavior, Defies Logic.

  • LeaAnn Loudmouth

    North Alabama Peace Network has a permit to demonstrate on that corner and has done for years. North Alabama Peace Network supports GAZA because we pay attention to the dynamics of war and peace around the world. Israel is the AGGRESSOR, just as they are barging in on Peace Corner reserved sidewalks for their rally (that was covered by WHNT, but regular peace demonstrations every weekend are not?). Well, at least WAFF covered the Pro-Palestinian rally on University last night: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10204696962287659

    • Karen

      Why should you have every single corner on Whites/burg/Airport designated for your rallies through December? That’s what the Support Israel group was initially told. The Support Israel group, from what I understand, challenged that and got a permit for ONE corner. Why should you get every single corner? Is that peace? It seems like you are kind of trying to dominate what people see. Anyhow, I think WHNT should have interviewed you all as well. That would have been fair. But I asked on NAPN’s FB page and I ask you here, why did you not protest the fact that Egypt has also closed a border with Gaza? Why was there no protest for that? You had a sign accusing Israel of making Gaza into a prison, but why did you not say anything about Egypt? That’s why it appears that (to me at least) that one are not about peace but about championing one side over another. Some of your signs were not appropriate (to me at least) and appeared to be directed at a people-group, not to a political cause.

      • LeaAnn Loudmouth

        Maybe because we’ve been demonstrating there for YEARS? What, you couldn’t find another corner in all of Huntsville in which to protest? But, isn’t this just like Israel — just wants to steal already occupied land. From the mountains to the sand, you can’t have peace on stolen land!

      • Karen

        Leann, I’ve lived in Huntsville for a long time and I’ve see NAPN on that corner (and another group on the corner where the Whole Food place is). I’ve never seen NAPN on all 4 corners. What you accused me of on your FB page (I got most of it copied and posted before you blocked me) is that I could not “take any resistance.” It would seem that would be true of you as well. Why should you care if another group comes opposite “your” corner? It will probably be somebody else in a couple of weeks. Everybody has a right to express their opinions in a peaceful way, no?

      • LeaAnn Loudmouth

        Yes there was a group who counter protested against peace before you. One of them assaulted one of the peace protestors and that is why the police keep an eye on things now. It’s your right to be there too but you are not speaking your mind which you could do on any intersection. You are there specifically to be aggressive. You are there because we are there, as we have been for ten years.

    • Laura king

      Dear loudmouth

      If you had a permit for all 4 corners then why did the city issue one for the opposite corner? You have one now for all 4 corners after this weekend for the next 6 months. You didn’t before. It’s a shame that you won’t peacefully share with others.

  • Veronica Nowakowski

    Israel, as they are referencing it, is a Zionist state – which is a state founded on the belief that the Jewish people have the right to a pure, Jewish state. That is founded on the racist and nationalist philosophies of the 19th century and predicated on the belief, as well, that if Jewish people are in places other than their pure state, they are weakening those other countries as well.

    In essence, that is a state that should not exist and should not be tolerated by the international community. There has been massive ethnic cleansing, oppression, even bordering on outright genocide in recent years as Israel has swung further and further to the fascist right and the ideals of Menachem Begin, whom Albert Einstein et al wrote fervently to the New York times as being no different than the German Nazis. Israeli politicians are calling for outright genocide and heretical rabbis are suggesting that the Palestinians aren’t even people. There is a hierarchy of Jewish ethnicities with the Ashekenazi ranking over Mishrahim and Sephardim and African migrants are treated like the black plague on their doorstep.

    No, that Israel doesn’t have a right to exist. Jewish people have the right to live as equals in the area, just as anywhere else – but as equals, not superiors. The dehumanizing of the Arab population that was there before the Zionist settlers is unsettling and cannot be allowed to continue to them or any other group.

  • Karen

    Hey Veronica, thank you for not calling me names, as LeAnn has done on her FB page. Yes, there is a belief that Israel should be 1 state and just include everyone who lives there. It would be one solution. Your response is thoughtful. I just wish all Palestinians and Israelis could live in peace. I don’t know if that’s possible if HAMAS stays in Gaza. Just my thoughts. Hoping very much that this ceasefire holds. But what about Egypt blocking the border? Does nobody have an issue with that?

    • Veronica Nowakowski

      Indeed there is a problem with that – though it is at Israel’s request. The blockade is a humanitarian nightmare, blocking food, medicine, building supplies, etc from entering the ghetto. Between that and the giant, winding security wall that Israel built around and THROUGH the West Bank, it’s a policy of slow genocide for the purpose of resettling, and quite illegal under international law.

      As for Hamas, it is a very ultranationalist organization, which sadly Israel spread a campaign to delegitimize the PLO so they could take power and be the enemy they wanted to face – after all, it’s easier to deflect one’s actions with Hamas, both with real things such as calling for Islamic control – though citing how all religions existed peacefully under Ottoman rule, which was true at least for the Abrahamic religions – as well as the imagined, such as using civilians as human shields, which Amnesty International has declared false. However, its support is generated by Israeli mistreatment, and a single state which embraced everyone equally would effectively dismantle Hamas.

      Hatred doesn’t disappear on its own, it takes time, but that requires the two peoples interacting and living side by side. Before the Zionists, the Jews of Palestine lived peacefully side-by-side in that manner, and considered themselves Ottoman subjects without complaint. The early Zionist settlers were warmly welcomed, especially since their money, being fairly well off in Europe prior to coming, brought opportunity. However, that fell apart when the Zionists decided to go the route of separateness, out of nationalistic fervor, around 1910 or 1915. Imagine if the United States allowed in tons of Latino immigrants around the border and then they suddenly decided they would make the area latino-only and declare independence only 10-15 years later when relations had been perfectly fine prior. The Jewish folk who were there prior tended to be very critical of such a move, but they were ignored.

      I think, in the end, the greatest insult to 50% of the victims of the Holocaust, (6 million of 12 million), is for the same policies that they suffered through, being imposed on others in their name. That is why you see so many Jewish anti-Zionist groups around, though they’re not as well funded as the pro-Zionist groups as they are funded by Israel, not a grassroots movement.

      • Laura king

        Dear Veronica

        We received no funding from Israel and we are entirely grass roots.

        Reading your comments reminds me of one of my favorite truisms. The less you know about someone the more you are willing to believe.


  • Max Rosenthal

    Since you ate attempting to be historically correct, let me help you with some facts. The Gaza Blockade did not exist when Israel withdrew in 2005. It was enacted when Hamas started crossing into Israel, attacking farms and shooting occasional rockets into Israel and when Hamas clearly announced that its goal was the destruction of Israel and the killing of all Jews. And just so you know, all the while Hamas was firing 3000 rockets at Israel this past month, Israel allowed 1500 trucks with food and medicine into Gaza.
    The West Bank Fence was built when Palestinians were crossing into Israel and setting off bombs in buses and restaurants killing Israeli women and children. In three months over 1,000 Isreelis were killed. The fence has reduced terror attacks by over 90%.
    Hamas is not an “ultranationalist organization” it is a terrorist group, like ISIS, and has been declared a terrorist organization by every Western country.
    Your statement about “human shields” is laughable, any truth seeking person knows that Amnesty International is so anti Israel that if they said the sun was shining in Jerusalem, everyone would know it was raining there. You lose points for quoting them.
    The early Zionist bought land in Palestine from absentee Arab landlords and created farms where only scrub land existed. Jewish doctors greatly decreased Arab infant mortality rates, and Jewish farms and business created jobs for poor Arabs. The result was that large numbers of Arabs from surrounding areas came to Palestine for work. The early Zionists tried to form a government with the Arabs because both groups wanted the British out. The response from the Arabs was riots, attacks on farms and a Hitler supporting leader in the Mufti.
    Finally, my dear, you are not fit to talk about Holocaust victims, you know little of nothing about anti-Zionist groups, but I’ll bet you are an expert on anti-Semitism..

    • Veronica Nowakowski

      The blockade may not have existed then, but Hamas removed their call for the destruction of Israel in 2006, and they never called for killing all Jews – though they definitely quote a quite menacing statement. Calls for genocide of the Palestinians are, however, being made regularly by Israeli politiicians on the right now. Whether or not that is the case, that doesn’t justify the massive violation of internationally-recognized human rights of the entire population of Gaza. Israel is not under any existential threat by ineffective rockets, and the easiest way to stop them is to stop feeding the cycle of hate as they are. There is a reason you have the refuseniks – Israel’s actions are inhuman.

      This scenario the residents of Gaza are in is no different than the Jewish ghettoes of World War II – in fact, after the seige of Ramallah, one Holocaust survivor in the Knesset wept on the chamber floors that what Israel was doing to the Palestinians was exactly what the Germans did to them. The commitment to prevent the same horrors from happening again are not exclusive to the Jewish people, but any people.

      The security wall – not a simple fence – doesn’t simply go along the Israeli border, but extends to surround the illegal settlements which are part of coordinated ethnic cleansing. Palestinians were driven to actions, which are certainly less than ideal, by this attempt to wipe them off the map. We are talking decades of shipping them out of the country, collective punishment where their homes are bulldozed while they sleep inside, all in the name of ultranationalist dreams of recreating the ancient Kingdom of David. Nurit Peled-Elhanan, when her daughter was killed in one of these misguided attacks, appropriately blamed Israel for creating the root cause which led to the death.

      I’m not going to spend too much time defending Hamas, they’re Israel’s creation – see the Wall Street Journal’s “How Israel Helped to Spawn Hamas.”

      Amnesty International is a well respected human rights organization. Sure, they point out one hell of a lot of what Israel does wrong, but that should be expected given what Israel does. If they were around in the 1930’s and 1940’s, Hitler would be complaining about them being anti-German. Their constant criticism should rather be a tip off to how messed up Israel is.

      The Zionist settlers were very great assets to the area at first, I’ll agree with you there, and had previously stated that. However, they also decided, that to prove themselves as a people they had to stop using Arab labor and have only Jewish labor – which started the misgivings. This happened before the Grand Mufti appeared, before the British took control of the area. Arabs did come from other areas of Palestine to live closer to new economic centers, but they didn’t come from all over the Middle East to go there. You are trying to put forward the extremely racist view of a virgin land prior to the Zionist influx which is used to justify ethnic cleansing.

      How you decide I cannot speak of the Holocaust, how I am somehow unfit, is a bit beyond me. Oh, that’s right, you’re utilizing the nasty tactic of trying to claim the suffering that happened to others to shut down criticism. The same reason that – I think it was 2009, possibly 2008 – Roma wanting to march in a Holocaust memorial parade were told no by the organizers, because they weren’t Jewish. It’s the same kind of Holocaust denialism that quotes the death toll at only 6 million. You will not be allowed to manipulate that event to cast a smokescreen over the situation so that it can happen to the Palestinians.

  • Laura king

    Dear Veronica

    After reading your comments I am curious . Have you ever been to Israel or any country in the Middle East?


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