Thursday, February 01, 2024

Our weekly column from the humor site PreOccupied Territory.

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Berkeley, February 1 - A coalition of groups that sought to demonstrate solidarity with the people of the Gaza Strip and to showcase their vehement opposition to the nation-state of the Jews defending themselves from Gazans, acknowledged today that they felt stymied by circumstances that deprive them of a suitable place in the vicinity for their demonstration, such as a prestigious cancer-treatment and research facility, or a Jewish house of worship.

Members of local chapters of Students for Justice in Palestine, Jewish Voice for Peace, If Not Now, and the Committee on American-Islamic Relations, among others, expressed their frustration Thursday that the area lacks a high-profile medical facility that may or may not have accepted generous donations from people who have also donated to Zionist causes, and that the only synagogue they can locate lies far away from any convenient gathering venue - meaning that the activists have nowhere to convene, disrupt traffic, chant antisemitic slogans, and bully passers-by or those in the facilities, in the name of Palestine.

"We're not New York, I know that," admitted Nerdi Kissassi, the coordinator of the would-be demonstration. "New York has both synagogues in large numbers, unfortunately, and top-flight cancer treatment centers. We don't have anything comparable in northern California. That means our avenues for expression of solidarity with Palestine, and to glorify resistance to the Zionists by any means, are much more limited. We can't hope to make headlines the same way."

She noted that some enterprising activists had targeted Jewish cemeteries and institutions with vandalism and pro-Palestine graffiti, but that failed to garner the desired attention and caused a backlash among locals. "You've got to go big if you're going to play the intimidation game, which is the nature of Palestine activism in the west," she explained. "Playing on people's sympathy will only get you so far, because all the Zionist propagandists have to do is show images of October 7 and all our efforts are wasted. No, we need to scare into silence or inaction those who would otherwise try to speak out for, or protect, Jews, regardless of where their sympathies lie. Unfortunately for us, the Bay Area doesn't have any major Jewish institutions of global, or even national, stature, and we're not going to get air time or news coverage by shouting, 'From the River to the Sea, Palestine will be free!' outside an abortion clinic or random day care center. It's a serious problem for us."

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