As I listened to the racists and Zionists on the other side of this demo I couldn't help thinking how it's like the many scenes I've seen growing in England of anti-semitic mobs in and before the war. The Zionists/religious fanatics sound just like Nazis. And they're Jews.
I was at the demonstration against the latest genocidal attack on the Palestinians of Gaza in San Francisco on Friday and we were two groups, the Zionists on one side of the street outside the embassy and us on the other.
I said to an older retired trade Unionist next to me, a Jewish man, that a number of the Zionists didn't really look Jewish, sort of half joking. "They're probably Christian Zionists" he replied. I forgot about them for a moment. I happened to mentioned as I saw a youth with a mask covering his face that I tend to not talk to people that cover their faces. "I'm proud to be on this side" he said.
I also chatted with an older woman and asked where her accent was from; "I'm German" she replied. She was also Jewish and was born in Danzig but her family fled right before the war. She said that as a child she was a Zionist. "After Hitler, I really felt that we needed our own country or we wouldn't survive", she told me, "But I cannot support what Israel does which is why as a Jew I am here to protest."
These demos to be honest can only go so far. I've been to many of them and Israel still does what it does and US capitalism still arms and endorses this apartheid state. These protests won't stop it.
It's a disgrace in a way that the leaders of organized Labor don't organize a blacklisting and refusal to handle any Israeli goods coming in or US goods going out to the country. But they can't even mobilize their own members to go on the offensive and in fact support US foreign policy.
Still, with all its limitations, it was still good to be on the right side of history and to meet others that were there too.
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