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Coalition Protest Targets Israeli Consulate

CHICAGO, Oct. 29 (IMC) - Seventy people protested in chilly weather in front of the Israeli Consulate, voicing their opposition to support for the State of Israel. Almost all participants were over 30, with four-fifths male and half Middle Eastern.
CHICAGO, Oct. 29 (IMC) - Seventy people protested in chilly weather in front of the Israeli Consulate, voicing their opposition to support for the State of Israel. Almost all participants were over 30, with four-fifths male and half Middle Eastern.

Ringed by 15 police officers the protestors shouted slogans and held signs reading Stop Ethnic Cleansing In Palestine and Israel Stop Escalating Start Negotiating.

Several political organizing and community groups contributed supporters to the protest, including a Jewish group that favors the ending of the Israeli occupation of Palestine.

"We have been called 'self-hating Jews' and 'traitors' by people," said Joel Finkel of Not In My Name. "However, our Judaism is not represented by Israel. They do not speak for us when they kill defenseless people."

As a man wearing a kufi -- a Muslim cap -- held a bullhorn Finkel expressed solidarity with the demonstration.

"Our goal is to help end the occupation of the West Bank, Gaza Strip and Jerusalem. We will continue to be here whenever you call on us."

Hakim Hussein of the Palestinian Aid Society introduced speakers who alleged a lack of resolve on the United States pledge to assist in the creation of a Palestinian state. Two speakers mentioned that 50 people have been killed in the last week in six towns. The US was claimed to have only asked Israel to withdraw "as soon as possible."

Speakers noted that Israel is the largest recipient of US aid, at roughly $3 billion per year, and that Egypt and Jordan receive substantial subsidies for their regimes.

Other speakers pointed to an American climate of racism against perceived Arabs and Muslims in the wake of blame leveled against Afghanis following the September 11 attack.

Participants called for cessation of US aid to Israel, an end to Israeli occupation of Palestine and for no negotiations over Palestinian human rights.
 
 

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