Nice Sign. Yesterday, about 200 Palestinian supporters, marched in front of the state capital at noon, urging the United States to take a neutral stand in the Mideast.
The protest was organized by the Council on American-Islamic Relations, OK chapter.
People walked in front of the Capital building in a circle during the noon hour chanting, “Stop the killing, free, free Gaza!” and “Free, free Palestine; occupation is a crime!”
Michael Abdulaziz-Gipson, a board member said the group is calling upon public officials and congressmen to stop the Israeli attacks and potential occupation of the Gaza Strip. “We are asking the American public not to become desensitized,” he said, noting that the general population is being forced to stay in their home.
According to Razi Hashmi, the Council on American-Islamic Relations’ executive director, America should take immediate steps to end Israel’s “illegal and immoral” offensive against the Gaza' Strip’s Hamas rulers. “We as Oklahomans and as Americans should be concerned about this conflict because our taxes are going towards Israel,” Hashmi said. “We should not allow our government to give Israel a blank check to allow the destruction of hopes for peace in the Middle East.” However in a rather confusing statement, Hashmi also said as an American citizen, he agrees with the U.S. description of Hamas.
During the demonstration, one protestor held a sign that showed a swastika inside the Star of David. According to Hashmi, the man carrying the sign, identified only as a college student from OK City, was asked to leave and the sign removed a “couple of minutes” after the demonstration started. Also according to Hashimi, the man has been banned from future protests organized by the organization. According to Hashmi, the organization distributed rules before the demonstration that no offensive signs or banners would be tolerated. “The Star of David is a sacred symbol of faith and Muslims are stressed by Islam to respect all symbols of faith and I apologize,” Hashmi said. “This [sign] does not reflect our personal views.”
However, unless the video below was taken within the first few minutes of the protest, the sign is seen during the demonstration. But then what do you expect from a group who defends Hamas?
Michael Barlow, past president of the Jewish Federation of Greater OK City watched the protest commenting, “War is unfortunate, but the question is: What is Israel to do, with scores of missiles being shot into Israel population centers daily?” “How long do you allow missiles to be shot into your country from another country?” Barlow added that it is difficult for Israel to negotiate with Hamas leaders when they do not recognize Israel’s right to exist.
United Methodist minister Rev. Andres Tevington of the Church of the Servant in OK City said the Israelis and Palestinians should quit “illegitimately calling on the name of God” in this fighting. “We call upon the U.S. to help both sides see there is a different way to do this,” he said.
Rev. Kristen Brown, a United Methodist minister attended the protest saying, “I saw that this isn’t really a religious issue, this is an issue about people who are living under military occupation for 40 years and they’re in a very desperate situation,” she said.
What irritates me more and more, is the use of children in these protests. How can a child, who is aged 2-7 years old, have a mental ability to understand the protest, and understand the purpose of these signs, or the babies swaddled in bloodied cloth they carry? How can these children make a voluntary choice at their age to make a voluntary consent to participate in these protests. Any child who is a minor, should not be allowed to participate in these protests, if they are a credible organization, who is looking out for a child’s best interest. These children do not have the mentality to make an informed consent to voluntarily participate in these protests. This is nothing more than encouraging racism.
And how can you call for the end of an “illegal and immoral” offensive against a terrorist organization and still say you support the U.S. designation of Hamas as a terrorist organization?