Grassroots Rally: Wake Up, Obama

Watch videos of grassroots pro-Israel rally in NYC which delivered an angry message to Obama: Worry about Iran’s nukes instead of Israeli homes

Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu , | updated: 20:06

Pro-Israel backers march in rain in New York
Pro-Israel backers march in rain in New York
Israel news photo courtesy of WPIX

A grassroots pro-Israel rally in driving rain in New York on Sunday delivered an angry message to U.S. President Barack Obama to worry about Iran’s nuclear program instead of “a Jewish family building a home in Jerusalem.” 

Despite chilly and heavy rains, over 3,000 people came out to protest. Emotions were hot and served as another sign to President Obama that he has misjudged the depth and breadth of opposition to his Middle East policy. Polls and increasingly vocal criticism from Democratic Congressmen have rejected his adoption of Palestinian Authority demands that eliminate any room for negotiations for its terms for becoming an independent country.

Rabbi Yaakov Spivak, a Jewish activist, radio talk show host and a New York Daily News columnist stated, "President Obama, we're here today to tell you something. In Warsaw, they told Jews where we could build, in Lodz they told Jews where we could build, in Paris they told Jews where we could build. You will never tell us where to build in Jerusalem. We are home and Israel is our country.”

Video: Rabbi Yaakov Spivak and Curtis Sliwa

The rally was large enough to attract coverage by CBS News, which noted that the Obama administration is becoming worried over the backlash, was "stunned" by the support for the rally and has been “stung by criticism of its Israeli policy.” President Obama has been particularly upset over Democratic Congressmen who have publicly criticized him.

“Every president goes through this," Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer (pictured at left) told CBS. "Even great friends of Israel – Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton – their first year or two, their view was, 'Let's pressure Israel, and that's how we'll get peace.’ And it proved not to work."

In an effort to convince the media that the Obama administration is not anti-Israeli, White House Spokesman Robert Gibbs on Friday reaffirmed what he called the administration's "unwavering commitment to the security of Israel and the Israeli people."

Proclamations of support for Israel coupled with actions backing the Palestinian Authority prompted approximately 20 organizations, mostly Jewish but also Christian, Sikh and black, to demonstrate for Israel in the pouring rain. Perhaps the most significant characteristic of the demonstration was its being strictly grassroots; political leaders and major Jewish organizations, fearing the door to the White House would be closed to them, did not participate.

Video: Z-Street Founder Lori Lowenthal Marcus

Condemnation was not scarce at the protest rally, organized by the Jewish Action Alliance. "Vast segments of the Jewish community will not tolerate the President's continuing attacks on Israel. Grassroots Jewry will not be silent,” demonstration organizer and head of the JAA, Beth Gilinksy said. "President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton display more anger about a Jewish family building a home in Jerusalem than Iran building a nuclear bomb."

Video: Pamela Geller ("Atlas Shrugs")

Minority groups also participated. Rev. Michael Faulkner, an African American minister declared. "I remind those in the Obama administration that those who bless the Jewish people will be blessed and those who curse the Jewish people will be cursed.”

Video: Rev Faulkner

“Jackie Donney, a Christian supporter, said, “The Palestinian government is an Iranian proxy and such is bent on the destruction of Israel and the Western world."

Several members of the Hindu and Sikh community also sided with Israel and expressed fears of Muslim extremists. "As Hindus, we have been massacred by Muslims for thousands of years, declared Satya Dosapati of the Hindu Human Rights Watch.”We understand all to well that a policy of appeasement towards Islamic radicalism will never bring peace to Israel or the civilized world.”

Video: Rabbi David Algaze (World Committee For the Land of Israel)

Video: Laurie Cardoza Moore, President of "Proclaiming Justice Onto the Nations"

Video: James Lafferty, Head of the "Policy Communications Group"