Op-Ed: It Was Another "Death to the Jews" Weekend
From Berkeley to Boston and from Paris to Sydney, the season is upon us again. Hipsters twirl Keffiyahs from some Shanghai factory around their necks, don army surplus jackets and Decembrist t-shirts and head to the nearest Israeli embassy to scream about a new Holocaust.
Shiites and Sunnis temporarily put aside their blood feuds and entire families of Syrian Alawites and Turkish Sunnis stand in London or Berlin screaming "Death to the Jews".
Joining them are elderly Trotskyists and aging Stalinists, normally as mutually hostile as Shiites and Sunnis, who put aside their differences to feebly wave cardboard signs about the Zionist war machine.
Fake blood is everywhere. Aspiring art students who can't draw try to figure out new ways of intersecting a Swastika and a Star of David. Latuff cartoons are printed out along with bloody photos of dead people from Syria, Hollywood horror movies and on the rare occasion, Gaza, and shoved in everyone's faces.
The organizers take a break from submitting angry Truth Dig articles about Brazilian cocoa exploitation and dive headfirst into a rally that, unlike all their other rallies, the media will actually cover. They prowl the police barriers like hungry hyenas looking for a reporter.
On the last few struggling Pacifica affiliates, Amy Goodman invites Noam Chomsky to talk about the war. Chris Hedges phones in to promote his new book, which is only 90 percent plagiarized from a Hemingway novel he thought he once read. Max Blumenthal shows up to lead a Students for Justice in Palestine protest while shouting about colonialism. Then he tags himself on Instagram.
They scream themselves hoarse about oppression, duck into a Starbucks, come out with a few cinnamon lattes and then begin screaming again.
At the Israeli embassy, the hipsters imagine that they're guerrilla fighters. They scream themselves hoarse about oppression, duck into a Starbucks, come out with a few cinnamon lattes and then begin screaming again.
Recruiters for the International Socialist Organization, the World Revolutionary Front, the International Workers Fourth Front Uprising and the always popular Brotherhood of Revolutionary Workers and Peasants push smeared pamphlets into their pockets hoping for a bite.
Joseph Massad mounts the stage to explain that Zionism is the real Anti-Semitism. Muslims in the crowd begin chanting that Mohammed's army is coming back. "O Jews, O Jews," they scream. Rage Boy is somewhere among them. They are all Rage Boy now.
An old Trotskyist waves a sign quoting Marx's slur that the god of the Jews is money. But he changed it to Zionists so it's not anti-Semitic anymore.
Finally the puppets are raised up. They might be of Netanyahu or Rabin. Sometimes they do double duty as Harper or Cameron. Now their blood-soaked suits have been decorated with stars of David to avoid confusing anyone unsure of who the generic white male with vampire teeth might be.
An agent for the Iranian regime goes to the microphone to denounce the nuclear Apartheid that is preventing Iran from getting the bomb. Old CNDers who spent their twenties screaming about the madness of plunging the world into atomic death cheer him on. Quakers who are old enough to have stood in the Red Square holding up signs denouncing American militarism nod along.
A Hijabi in dark glasses and heavy makeup positions her mouth a centimeter away from the microphone and shrieks that her family is being murdered in Gaza even though she's from the UAE and a member of one of its more powerful families. The POC students she "organizes" the campus janitors with shake their firsts in the air. "People power! People power!"
A member of Jewish Voices for the Utter Destruction of Israel staggers up next. She's a Sarah Lawrence grad and a top lawyer from a family of top lawyers going back six generations. Her sister is the rabbi of a temple in Beverly Hills. Her son is somewhere in the crowd wearing a Hamas t-shirt.
"Not in my name," she screams.
And she can't think of anything else to scream, so she screams it again.
The cops, from New York to Berlin to London, yawn and scratch their stomachs. They've had it up to here. They don't care anymore.The hipsters try picking fights with them, taking their photos and screaming in their faces. Angry 90 pounds girls, their faces screwed up in hate, spit at their polished shoes.
Eventually a small group of pro-Israel protesters, teenage boys and girls with large flags and a few old men pass by. The crowd gasps in outrage and like a maddened beast surges toward them.
"Khaybar Khaybar Ya Yahood," cry the Muslims. "Down with Zionist Supremacism," scream the Marxists. "Death to the Jews," shouts everyone else.
The cops push back against them like Greek warriors confronting a ragged barbarian band. Crumpled up pamphlets soar up into the air and fall short. Video is taken documenting police brutality and quickly uploaded to Vimeo. Hipsters cuddle up on the floor, smear fake blood over their noses and scream that they're dying. The cops hustle the pro-Israel protesters away to avoid any more problems.
To the side a small group of befuddled men dressed in what most passerby inaccurately think is Hassidic fashion stand holding signs that they can't read. Once a week they are each paid twenty dollars or euros and bussed from their community to hold signs denouncing Israel. The signs and the website are produced by a small group of Marxist activists funded by Iran.
Their leader, the only one of them who can even read the signs, claims to be a rabbi, though he's actually an international con artist who owes money to a dozen banks across Europe.
He shouts something into the microphone, but the crowd is restless. A Palestinian slam poet shoves him aside and chants about hate and suffering, blood and oppression. The poet is replaced by a drum circle. The drum circle is replaced by a live phone call from Alice Walker. Alice Walker is replaced by a sign language activist silently delivering her own speech that no one can understand.
In the back of the crowd, they start burning Israeli flags. Bored Yemeni teenagers peel off to throw stones at a synagogue. The Marxists get into an argument over the Fourth International. Someone begins loudly reading their own self-published poetry through an unauthorized megaphone. ISIS sympathizers fly the black flag of the Jihad over the crowd where it tangles with a Hezbollah flag.
Punches and kicks are thrown. Sunnis and Shiites pull each other's beards. "Comrades, comrades," an elderly leftist cries, but no one pays any attention to him. "Revolution," the hipsters yell.
The cops break it up. The crowd turns on the cops. The reporters go home and report none of it except the condemnations of Israel and the police brutality. The Hijabi appears in almost all of the photos where she is described as a Palestinian refugee. The conservative blogs that dig up her Facebook profile and prove that she's a liar are stubbornly ignored by the New York Times, The Daily Mirror and the Sydney Morning Herald.
It's another fine day in the dying West.