(MSCC) John Mudd â Itâs early evening on Wednesday, July 22, 2015. I am on the sidelines watching the Israeli protest in opposition to the Iran Nuclear deal, and am astounded many times over. The first thing that strikes me is seeing the huge crowd that reaches from 39th Street to 42nd Street on 7th Avenue in midtown Manhattan. They tout over 10,000 attendees, but we know itâs common practice to pad the numbers…. We all want our causes to seem bigger than what it is. Joe, a Midtown South Police Precinct Detective I know, suggests itâs closer to 8,000 protestors present (I suspect less): either way, itâs quite the crowd.
Barricaded safety zones along both sides of 7th Avenue are thick with chanting protesters. But making their way through the middle of it all walks a group of about eight passive Orthodox Jews (with an opposing anti-war message)âitâs as if witnessing the parting of the Red Sea. They are assaulted by oppression-spit rants, water bottles, and then by three self-christened defenders of the anti-Iran diplomacy No Nukes deal, who step forward to confront them. The mob mentality or self-awarded bravery prompts these three outraged, self-christened âdefendersâ to physically attack the group of Orthodox Jews (my guess). Yes, the âdefendersâ are not only blocking their path, but thrusting signs in their faces, grabbing at their banners, and are physically pushing them! Iâm shocked by the intense anger and senseless physicality of it.
The professional sound system insisting that we hear the blaring protests for a four-block radius. I hear the protestors and speakers simultaneously orgasm-ing over monstrous talk: vilifying Iran, strengthening a rigid war-like posture, and urging anti-diplomacy. The organized signageâsimilarly crafted with rotating slogansâare probably gifts from the promoter(s) so that the heartfelt voices of protest can be seen. Nothing new, sign sharing happens at most rallies. But whose voice does it really belong to?
The vilification and ranting I am hearing reminds me of Donald Trumpâs Phoenix Arizona convention center rally; where Mr. Trump, with his Mexican-bashing speech (on top of other poisonous nonsense) whipped up animosity from his 15,000-20,000 attendees, which must have been very cramped in a 4,000-person capped room. It was an inordinate amount of fictitious rhetoric that rallied a frustrated and angry mob. He is disingenuously stoking fear, preying upon personal pain, and scapegoating the entire Mexican race to win his biggest business deal yet.
Back on course: The flyer lists 21 speakers with a call to action âRally For Peace Through Strength.â Peace through strength is like when a bully tells you, âGive me your lunch money and I wonât beat you up.â Rallying for peace is not what I am hearing here. The message coming through the mic is all wrong. Surely, these incredulous words will ring false and this demonstration will end promptly. Why canât they hear what I am hearing?
The words flow with increasing, dare I say, criminal intent? A crime against humanity is being perpetrated! Am I to stand by with swelling impudence but no recourse? I canât very well report them to the police for lying; there are no laws to protect us from such barbarism. Well, I could grab their signs and assault them with the facts, but I suppose that wouldnât make me any better than the âdefendersâ who assaulted the peacefully protesting Jews. And would they even consider my words, recognize the truth, and ultimately have a change of heart? I think not. Iâm acquainted with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahuâs hardline toward Palestine, Iran, and other Muslim nations so I know there is no room for intellectual discourse. I would be driven away under a hail of water bottles, or worse. These people are not here on a discovery mission or to be schooled by an opposing point of view.
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The 21 speakers are here in the center of our city on 42nd Street and 7th Avenue rallying support, pushing against a peaceful solution for nuclear disarmament. The sizable crowd in support must be solidifying truths of their own. The theme: âRally for Peace Through Strength.â Peace through strength? Submission, perhaps, but peace? The former governor of New York, George Pataki stands at the podium and emphatically announces:
This is a God-awful deal, this must be rejected. Congress must do its job and stand up for the American people, stand up for our safety and say no to this Iranian deal.Â
Iâm wondering if he has even read the deal; Senator Lindsey Graham hasnât. Iâm thinking the (P5+1) Iran deal that the United States, the United Kingdom, the European Union, France, China, Russia and Germany have come to terms with achieves a peaceful solution for the security and safety of our nation, but what do I know. Clearly the former governor disagrees as he continues with mounting fervor.
…Iran gets a pathway to nuclear weapons. Iran gets a pathway to intercontinental missiles. Iran gets relief from global weapons sanctions. Iran gets hundreds of billions of dollars in economic relief. Iran gets to continue as a number one state sponsor of terror in the world. What does America get? We get more parades and chants of Death to America. What does Israel get? More parades and chants of Death to Israel. What does the world get? More terror at the hands of the number one sponsor of state terrorism. We donât even get our four hostages back. We get a piece of paper from a regime that has never honored its word since it was created. …
He then shifts from belligerence to woeful reflection and back again with a 9/11 tinge of terror.
You know I was governor of this great state on September 11th and I learned a lesson on that date that I thought that none of us would ever forget. We learned that morning Islamic terror cannot be ignored because it seems to be an ocean away and across the globe. We learned that morning Islamic terror, wherever it is, it is a threat to us in New York and right here in America. …We must stop…
Terror! Yes, weâve heard, âterrorâ will come in the shape of a mushroom cloud. Using fearâa well-worn tool of oppressionâPataki alludes to Isis attacks festering in America, he pauses only to attack Hillary Clinton in a long breath; then he pirouettes back to beat the poor dead horse…
This administration acknowledged that out of those hundreds of billions in economic relief their [Iran] military will get some of it, we know that itâs more than some. They will have tens of billions more to carry out their terror, and what did their chief spokesperson say, âYes, we know they will continue their bad behavior. Bad behavior… Overthrowing the Yemen government and killing thousands of civilians is not bad behavior, its terror. Being complicit in the death of over a thousand of American soldiers in Iraq is not bad behavior, it is a crime against America. Helping Hezbollah and Hamas launch rockets against Israeli civilians is not bad behavior, it is a war crime. Helping Assad to use chemical weapons to kill his own citizens is not bad behavior, it is a crime against humanity.
Up next is speaker, Alan Dershowitz, a Harvard Law School professor emeritus, who is âopposing the deal as a liberal Democrat.â A Jewish Republican with harsh hardline opposition disguised as a Jewish liberal Democrat?
I miss the introduction of the next inspirational speaker. When I ask my neighbor, she exuberantly tells me itâs âHafeez,â and by her reaction I would have to guess itâs a pop star. My neighbor fawns as if the prodigal son has come home. He is clearly the proof of their righteousness, a glowing confirmation of their cause. âTerroristâ she calls him. âHis name is, âHafeez!â Iâm still not getting it. Who? A what? âHafeez,â a converted terrorist who realized the error of his ways and now speaks to the common good. I read later that Kasim Hafeez, a Pakistani British Muslim, who was radically changed from an anti-Israeli and anti-Semitic after reading The Case for Israel by Alan Dershowitz. His new understanding moved him to reach out to Israeli advocacy groups and visit university campuses around the UK presenting his talk, âThe Day I Stopped Hating Israel â Confessions of an ex-Radical.â If I had been nimble of wit, I could have offered up in opposition (opines linked) Theodore Bikel, actor, activist, writer, humanitarian or Henry Siegman, the former head of the American Jewish Congress and the Synagogue Council of America, to be castigated, or minimally, disregarded by hardline poster-waving protestors.
And in case we have not yet gotten the point: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu boisterously denounces terror while ferociously promoting a firm, no-negotiating policy (with Iran) in a montage of clips that are shown between speakers.
The pro-Israel or Netanyahu-crush-em types, are not without outside support from other radical right-wing politicians (presidential contenders, no less): Senator Lindsey Graham, an outspoken opponent of anything Obama, lambasts the (P5+1) non-nuclear Iranian deal, while never having read it; Mike Huckabee tops Trump in the obnoxious department with, âThis presidentâs foreign policy is the most feckless in American History. Heâs so naive, he would trust the Iranians and he would take the Israelis and basically march them to the door of the oven.â
No need to waste time unnecessarily discussing Israelâs armaments, nuclear capabilities, and threats to attack Iran. We understand Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahuâs vow of permanent occupation and unwillingness to negotiate. His commitment to fraud is clear with calculations and assurances that Iran has been on the verge of nuclear armament for 30-years. Iranâs nuclear capability claims have been debunked by Israelâs own intelligence agency, the Mossad. We need not bother discussing the Israeli government encroaching upon territories, demolishing homes, and periodically mowing the lawn. Nor shall I broach the subject of the open air internment camp and brutal beat-down during the 2014 50-day assault. Shall I dare mention the 2,104 people, most of them civilians? I hate to diminish the pain of losing a loved one down to stats, but it is sometimes necessary. That number included more than 495 children and 253 womenâwho were killed in the Israeli offensive (as reported from the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs) Think mother, father, brother, sister, or even crumpled bodies in the rubble of the Twin Towers. Right back at you Pataki! The thousands of Israelis murdered (as is the Iranian threat) are but shared figments of an imagination: The Israeli death toll stood at 64 soldiers and six civilians. If the reports from If Americans Knew , Washington Post, BBC News, New York Times, United Nations, Amnesty International, donât give you clarity, read Max Blumenthalâs â.â
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Now I canât dismiss the pro-war, I mean, the anti-Iran diplomacy No Nukes deal protestors, Netanyahuâs court, or Trumpâs entourage as lunatics. We are all in a fog. The three speakers (Former Republican governor of New York George Pataki, Alan Dershowitz, and Kasim Hafeez) were too busy throwing out idiotic talking points to add any kind of clarity to the discussion. Our not-so-bright politicians have persisted in adding much confusion and propagating fiction to set people on a path not of their own volition. Their agenda does nothing to serve us, the planet, or its resources. The lunacy lies in distorting reality to protect a failed system and further a harmful, punitive-free course without warrant of its damage. Change is unfathomable to lunatics and will never come from within, or without a fight. Truths are simple, selfless, and free standing; they do not serve one, but all. It is our duty as citizens to ascertain truths and not allow the architects of the system to spoon-feed us their heaping piles of lies. I pray the masses will rise above for a better tomorrow.