Pro-Israel demonstrators harassed at San Franciscoanti-war rally

Pro-Israel counterprotestors at an International ANSWER-sponsored rally were subjected to anti-Semitic taunts in downtown San Francisco on Saturday, June 5.

“A few fringe members of their group tried to intimidate us by saying things like ‘Hitler didn’t finish the job,’ ‘Fire up the ovens’ and ‘Heil Hitler,'” said Ted Cohen of Lafayette, a member of San Francisco Voice for Israel.

About 400 Israel supporters were out to greet the 8,000 to 10,000 people marching against the United States’ continued presence in Iraq on Saturday.

Anti-Israel signs and rhetoric are often found at the anti-war rallies sponsored by International ANSWER (Act Now to Stop War and End Racism).

San Francisco Voice for Israel was founded to demonstrate a strong show of support for the Jewish state at such rallies, where many marchers carry signs that are anti-Israel as well as anti-war.

According to Michael Harris, who wrote an opinion piece in the May 28 edition of j., San Francisco Voice for Israel consists of both those who support the war in Iraq, and those who don’t. Members do not necessarily support the policies of Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, according to Harris.

“We are united exclusively in support of the right of Israel to exist as a Jewish state, free from attacks and threats of destruction from its neighbors,” he said.

Alix Wall
Alix Wall

Alix Wall is a contributing editor to J. She is also the founder of the Illuminoshi: The Not-So-Secret Society of Bay Area Jewish Food Professionals and is writer/producer of a documentary-in-progress called "The Lonely Child."