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Exclusive Interviews: Anti-Israel ‘Peacenik’ and Assaulted Israeli

The anti-Israel movement in a snapshot: A young woman who was writing a message of peace for Israel was physically and verbally assaulted, and thrown out of a public park, by people who claim to be, and are referred to by the mass media, as "peaceful," "non-violent," "free speech" activists.

Am Yisrael Chai written under Freedom to Speak, led to 3/13/13 assault on an Israeli woman in Oakland

Am Yisrael Chai written under Freedom to Speak, led to 3/13/13 assault on an Israeli woman in Oakland
Photo Credit: YouTube

Frank H. Ogawa Park is a huge public space in Oakland, California.  It is located where San Pablo Avenue converges with Broadway and 14th Street, and is across from the Oakland City Hall.  Ogawa Park was named for a civil rights activist who was the first Japanese member of the Oakland City Council.  But Ogawa Park was “renamed” by Occupy Oakland protesters to “honor” Oscar Grant, a felon who had been imprisoned for drug dealing and weapons offenses, and who was shot by Oakland police 1n 2009, while resisting arrest.

An area in the Park is specifically designated for public expression; it has been the scene of many boisterous protests, including the long-term occupation by Occupy Oakland, last year.

Last week a perfect example of what so much of the anti-Israel movement is built on, was on display in Ogawa Park.  In this “free speech” park taken over by “peaceful” protesters of all kinds of oppression, a young woman who was drawing a message of peace was physically assaulted, cursed out with the foulest possible language, and thrown out of the public park by people who claim to be, and are referred to by the mass media, as “peaceful,” “non-violent,” “free speech” activists.  In truth, they are frequently abusive, intolerant, violent anarchists who believe the highest form of expression is provoking violence with what is usually aggressive resistance, but occasionally spills over into outright violence.

This is what happened.

On Wednesday, March 13, there were several anti-Israel events taking place and banners raised in Ogawa Park: one banner advocated the boycott of  a company that does business in Israel and with which the state of California does business, another was for the International Solidarity Movement, a virulently anti-Israel group.  The third one is the focus of our attention.

This third banner was in honor of Tristan Anderson, a California member of the International Solidarity Movement who was severely and permanently wounded when participating in a riot to protest the security fence in Ni’ilin, Samaria, on March 13, 2009.  The International Solidarity Movement describes itself as a “non-violent,” “direct action” organization committed to “helping the Palestinians resist the occupation of Palestinian lands.”  More on the ISM and Ni’ilin later.

The event associated with Anderson was called “Justice 4 Tristan,” and the banner shows a white dove – the symbol of peace – flying near his name.

“THE JEWISH PEOPLE LIVE” PROVOKES VIOLENCE BY THE “NON-VIOLENT”

Justice 4 Tristan Banner, Oakland Park

Justice 4 Tristan Banner, Oakland Park

In the late afternoon, Channa L., a 22 year-old from a rural part of Washington State, who made Aliyah in 2006 and who completed her IDF service in January, came to Ogawa Park.  Channa told The Jewish Press that she knew there were going to be some anti-Israel events happening there, and she went with a friend, Daniel Wencel, to see what it was about.

Channa met Wencel and his son when she volunteered in Israel on a Sar-El program.  It was then that she fell in love with the country, and after signing on for a second three week session, Channa decided she would make Aliyah.  After completing her military service, during which she served in a combat intelligence unit, Channa came back to the States for a visit with her family and her friends, including the Wencels.

After arriving at the Park on Wednesday afternoon, Channa told The Jewish Press, she went up to several people and asked them about what they were doing, and why they were doing it.

“It was so strange – they didn’t even want to talk about it, they just kept telling me to ‘Google’ it,” Channa said. “It was as if they weren’t interested in educating anyone, maybe even themselves,” she continued, “it was almost as if they knew it was just propaganda and didn’t want to get involved with someone who might have different information.”

“They didn’t have a peaceful message,” she continued.  “When someone told me they wanted to ‘tear down the state,’ and I asked, ‘what state?’ they told me to ‘Google’ that also.”  Channa’s conclusion was that all they were interested in was demonizing Israel and Israeli soldiers.

About the Author: Lori Lowenthal Marcus is the US correspondent for The Jewish Press. She is a recovered lawyer who previously practiced First Amendment law and taught in Philadelphia-area graduate and law schools.


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20 Responses to “Exclusive Interviews: Anti-Israel ‘Peacenik’ and Assaulted Israeli”

  1. Charlie Hall says:

    The Alameda County DA, Nancy O'Malley, should prosecute Silverman to the fullest extent of the law. She has prosecuted protesters in the past when they became violent; hopefully this will be no different.

  2. H Fragman Abramson says:

    The ISM is violent and criminal. This org was responsible for aiding, abetting and sheltering known terrorists during the second Arab war of terror. They are also the same people who encouraged Rachel Corrie to throw herself in front of a moving bulldozer. They consistently provoke others with the intent of inciting violence. Silverman and her cadre of criminals should be prosecuted for violating the civil rights of Channa, et al.

  3. The People's Republic of Berkeley claims to be the center of the "free speech movement" but since the 60s they have opposed free speech and demanded that only those that agree with their fascist viewpoint be allowed to speak.

  4. The People's Republic of Berkeley claims to be the center of the "free speech movement" but since the 60s they have opposed free speech and demanded that only those that agree with their fascist viewpoint be allowed to speak.

  5. Nanette CohenRayman says:

    Am Y'Israel Chai! if those violent witches don't like it, let them come and get me. AM Y'ISRAEL CHAI! The Jewish People Live!

  6. I WILL BE KEYNOTE SPEAKER AT CONGREGATION SONS OF ISRAEL IN MANALAPAN, MONDAY NIGHT APRIL 8 AT 7:30 and will not participate in the interfaith program. ALL ARE INVITED. I AM SPEAKING FREE OF CHARGE. The Imam said he would join with me declaring that here in America there is no room for Muslims callings Jews apes and for the destruction of the Jewish people as Morsi of Egypt did. This promise to me was never fulfilled. MY AGREEING FOR THE IMAM TO LEAVE BEFORE HATIKVAH WAS BASED ON HIS FULFILLING THIS PROMISE.

    I have resigned from the Metuchen-Edison Area Interfaith Clergy Association due to this. For you who are new, to the association, I served as President and Vice President in the past and chaired many programs. It hurts me greatly that I had to make this decision. I wish you all the best of success. RABBI DR. BERNHARD ROSENBERG

  7. I love the snapshot this article provides of the two sides of this war on the Jews and the Jewish state.

    The only thing that troubles me is that the article says that Silverman's boyfriend was injured as he "stood in solidarity" with various Arabs. I don't know what that means, but it sounds a lot more virtuous than anything I can imagine the guy actually did. I wish the article used more objective language or made clear that it was quoting some ridiculous ISM press release.

  8. I love the snapshot this article provides of the two sides of this war on the Jews and the Jewish state.

    The only thing that troubles me is that the article says that Silverman's boyfriend was injured as he "stood in solidarity" with various Arabs. I don't know what that means, but it sounds a lot more virtuous than anything I can imagine the guy actually did. I wish the article used more objective language or made clear that it was quoting some ridiculous ISM press release.

  9. Linda Feldman says:

    Regardless of his past, Oscar Grant was the victim of careless police action and despite his priors, did not deserve to be shot in the back. The despicable and criminal actions of those who assaulted Channa L. stand on their own disgusting and hypocritical merits and did not need the Ms. Marcus's editorial slant on the Oscar Grant affair to further illustrate the point.

    Ms. Silverman should be prosecuted for her assault on Channa L.

    Am Y'israel Chai!

  10. Ethan Perks says:

    These "non violent" types only expect non violence of others, not themselves.

  11. This video was extremely disturbing. It pains me to learn that a Jewish young woman (Silverman) could be so misguided as to attack another person, let alone another Jew. Her foul language and behavior are symptomatic of what has become "free expression" but only for those who espouse their sick point of view.

  12. Bill Bilek says:

    1) Why have charges not been pressed against these criminals for assault and battery, especially in view of the clear evidence on the video?

    2) This underlines the need for the pro-Israel community in America and Europe to (re)activate some form of self-defense movement that would stand up to bullies and criminals, if the police or other legitimate authorities refuse to provide protection.

  13. 80% of american students cannot read at grade level. in oakland, it's likely 100%.

  14. Since Silverman claims to be against violence, bullying and preventing freedom of assembly yet is a violent bully in preventing freedom of assembly and speech to those she disagrees with? This clearly shows that she IS NOT against.

  15. Since Silverman claim's to be against violence, bullying and supression of freedom of thought and assembly her actions, being violent, bullying and against freedom of assembly and speech for those she disagrees with expose her hypocrisy. She is clearly NOT concerned with justice for the Palestinians but is just anti-Israel.

  16. I am the person that has filmed the attack on Hannah and then an interviewed her. Here is the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gpZYMQVO9aw.
    It is highly symbolic that this girl was attacked just for stating a message of peace wishing long life to the Jewish people.

  17. I am the person that has filmed the attack on Hannah and then an interviewed her. Here is the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gpZYMQVO9aw.
    It is highly symbolic that this girl was attacked just for stating a message of peace wishing long life to the Jewish people.

  18. Great video!
    Thanks Daniel Wencel.

  19. from san francisco – right on, channa. resist this nonsense and provocation wherever it happens. עם ישראל חי.

  20. from san francisco – right on, channa. resist this nonsense and provocation wherever it happens. עם ישראל חי.

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