Students Rally for Palestinians

Yoshie Furuhashi furuhashi.1 at
Wed Apr 10 08:17:32 MDT 2002

As usual, reporters underestimate the number of protesters in the
article below, but here's news about rallies for Palestinians,
including one at OSU.


April 10, 2002

Students Rally for Palestinians

Filed at 6:34 a.m. ET

Marching and handing out fliers, students who sympathize with
Palestinians under siege from Israel rallied on some of the nation's

Most events during Tuesday's loosely organized protests were modest
and peaceful, though some demonstrators were heckled.

A rally for the Palestinian cause drew about 1,000 supporters and
spectators at the University of California, Berkeley, including
pro-Israel demonstrators who shouted their disapproval while police
kept watch.

After the rally, campus police arrested 79 pro-Palestinian protesters
who stormed into a classroom building. Some students hung a
Palestinian flag from a third-story window, while others marched in
the hallways of the building, which houses classrooms for Middle
Eastern studies.

Students for Justice in Palestine likened the current Mideast
violence to the Holocaust -- only with the Palestinians as the
victims. They also called for the university to divest any
Israel-related investments.

``This really should be Holocaust prevention day,'' said Sarah Weir,
a 23-year-old cognitive science major.

As speakers made their case during the rally, counter-demonstrators
tried to drown them out crying ``Stop the suicide bombings!'' They
also booed, cursed and chanted ``Shame!''

At the same time, a small knot of people in a tent nearby read aloud
the names of people killed by the Nazis, part of a 24-hour vigil for
Yom Hashoah, the Jewish Holocaust remembrance day.

``They are trying to subvert language used in the Holocaust,'' said
Eddan Katz, 26, a third-year law student and Israeli-American. ``I
hear no one in Israel politics today talking about the eradication of
all Palestinians.''

At the University of Michigan, about 50 protesters, some with arms
tied and mouths gagged, paraded mutely through the Ann Arbor campus.

A group called Students Allied for Freedom and Equality said in a
statement their demonstration was ``to draw attention to the brutal
tactics used by the state of Israel in its illegal occupation of
Palestinian lands.''

One young man, clad only in underwear, bore a sign saying he was
representing the ``Palestinians who were asked to strip naked by the
Israeli Army, lie on their stomachs and then taken on to an unknown

At Ohio State University, about 60 protesters lined a campus sidewalk
that faces a busy Columbus thoroughfare and chanted: ``Stop the hate.
Stop the crime. Help save Palestine.'' Some also wore yellow armbands
in memory of those who perished in the Holocaust.

Ora Wise, 21, a junior and rally organizer, was born in Jerusalem and
raised to support Israel by her American parents but decries Israel's
current policies, she said.

``I've always been taught my Jewish heritage is one of fighting for
social justice,'' Wise said. ``It's abhorrent to me, my people would
be enacting such brutality, such atrocities, on the Palestinian

At one point, a van passed and a young man leaned out a window to
shout: ``Go, Israel! Go!''

At Columbia University in New York, several members of Students for
Justice in Palestine manned a card table handing out informational

``The issue is enormously complex. It's not an issue you can
categorically oppose or support,'' said Nadim El Gabanni, a
21-year-old junior who holds dual citizenship in Egypt and Canada.

At the University of Minnesota, about 75 people turned out to
demonstrate. One was Hussan Mahmoud, a 28-year-old graduate
engineering student from Egypt.

``I just hope this makes a difference,'' Mahmoud said, ``but I don't
see how it will. You can have all your Bill of Rights and freedom of
speech and freedom of the press, but it doesn't make a difference if
the leaders don't want to make it happen.''


* Calendar of Events in Columbus:
* Anti-War Activist Resources: <>
* Student International Forum: <>
* Committee for Justice in Palestine: <>

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