Jewish Journal

L.A.‘s Iranian Jews join Westwood demonstrations supporting Israel

by Karmel Melamed

January 19, 2010 | 12:16 am

With shofars blasting and flags in hand, yesterday nearly 120 Los Angeles area supporters of Israel— including local Iranian Jews and even non-Jews alike weathered the pouring rain by aligning Wilshire Boulevard near the corner of Veteran Street in Westwood to counter-demonstrate against “L.A. Jews for Peace” a local pro-Palestinian group accusing Israel of supposed war crimes.

The counter-demonstration was organized by the L.A.-based StandWithUs.com group that brought together American Jews and non-Jews as well as large contingency of local Iranian Jews to publicly support Israel. The Standwithus demonstrators held hands and sang the Israeli national anthem “Hatikvah” as dozens of cars passing by honked their horns in support of them. The counter-demonstration was indeed unique for me to witness as a journalist as you wouldn’t expect to see so many proud supporters of any political cause—let alone for Israel willing to stand in the pouring rain for a such a long time to make a loud statement on behalf of the State of Israel. The message of the StandWithUs demonstrators was clear; “Israel fully pulled out of Gaza several years ago and in the return they received NO PEACE but rather got daily rocket attacks from the terrorist group Hamas that controls Gaza!”. As a soverign peace loving nation, America, Israel, Mexico—or another nation-state on this planet has a right to protect it’s citizens from attacks and this is exactly what Israel has been doing when it comes to Hamas rocket attacks on Southern Israel. Kudos to StandWithUs for their moral courage in organizing this event and bringing together various individuals of different background to back the Jewish people’s right to live freely in their own homeland of Israel without terrorism and rocket attacks.

I had a chance to chat with a number of L.A. area Iranian Jews who were among the demonstrators and proud supporters of Israel. Here is a brief video interview I had with one Iranian American Jewish activist Mark Haloosim…

Here’s some interesting video footage of the demonstrators blasting their shofars in support of Israel….

Just some photos I captured from the counter-demonstration…

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Karmel Melamed is an internationally-published freelance journalist based in Southern California.

Since 2000, Melamed has specialized in covering the growing influential...

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