IDF, NYU, & Student Protest

Louis Proyect lnp3 at
Thu Nov 16 12:33:11 MST 2000

(posted originally on Al-Awda at

this afternoon at New York University was like a scene right out of a
movie- allow me to briefly outline what happened this afternoon when we
protested against two soldiers of the 'israeli defense forces' who were
speaking at NYU as part of their tour around the US (their supposed aim is
to draw attention the moral and ethical codes of the israeli army).

we walked into the jewish centre in pairs, inconspicuously we showed ID,
and proceeded upstairs to quite a small room, the israeli soldiers were
sprawled out on a couch in their khaki army uniforms embroidered with the
israeli flags. i think it was meant to be a comfortable space for them and
their zionist comrades, cookies in platters on the coffee table, and an
obnoxious israeli flag draped in the background (that i know none of us
could look at without becoming nauseous).

however, it was not long before their comfort level dropped below freezing
level. the female soldier began to speak, dima who was seated cross-legged
in front of her, drew her 'hatta' out of backpack and placed it around her
neck, i swiftly followed her lead, proudly encircling myself with the
scarf, then suzanne did the same, followed by three other colleagues.

the soldier was flabbergasted, she fidgeted, stuttered, almost fearful of
us, the male soldier was less taken aback. samia immediately began to pose
provocative questions, with her "niece" (lamis) by her side caring for her
:-) we all had our hands up, they didn't know how to handle us.
"palestinians send their kids out, to get CNN's attention, and to get
money..." they said. we were fuming. "israel is the only democracy in the
middle east..." they continued to say...all of us, burst out into
hysterical laughter. at that point, there were two cops in the room, and
they were ordered to 'escort' a few of us out. the exit wasn't graceful.
around four of us stood up proud, chanting, with posters, 'end the
occupation, end the occupation,' their voices were powerful and echoed
through the hall.

some of us remained and continued to ask questions, although our attempts
were, as we expected, in vain. both the soldiers spewed lies, and were
totally unaware of basic political realities. i asked about silencer guns,
the soldier said she didn't know what they were, because only rubber
bullets were used...which are like "tennis balls." andrew soon enlightened
the soldier on the actual make-up and lethal nature of rubber-coated steel
bullets. soon we were all forced to leave, which we were fine with as the
self-appointed moderators were being very disrespectful. again, our exit
was powerful, amira called to the others in the room, to open their eyes
and see the injustice of it all, and as we were shoved out, we chanted. oz
stayed, and i assume that he was asked to leave soon after.

we exited the building only to find a large group of us, voices loud, signs
high, right infront of the building. we demonstrated, gave out flyers, it
got dark, colder, we continued. the naturei karta rabbis joined us. mahmoud
drove by many times in his graffitied car. we were unprecedently loud,
"IDF, what do you say? how many kids have you killed today."

finally, the two soldiers (who were probably in an utter state of shock), they actually ran into their van-we swiftly followed, the
police held most of us back-forcefully-as we yelled "murderers!" myself and
an activist, however, got past the cops, and ran after the car, looking
into their eyes..."murderers"...we screamed (and we seriously were
screaming because we had just counted the 211 palestinians who had been
killed, so we were in pain, we were angry).

i wish more of you could have been with us. we refused to sit back and
allow lies to be spewed from the mouths of an army who just yesterday
killed 8 palestinian civilians. just how the palestinian people in the
occupied territories will never submit to the racist oppression and
brutality of the zionist state.

injustice will not be silenced. in struggle and solidarity, mary.

ps: don't forget about monday's demo.


Mary Y Nazzal (212) 853-4617 (646) 391-7027



"When all the legal roads are closed to the people, the only road open is
that of revolution. Who is the provoker? Are we the provokers or the rulers?"
--Michel Aflak

"Life without liberty is like a body without spirit."
--Kahlil Gibran, "The Vision"

Louis Proyect
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