Sunday, March 21, 2004

Going through the Yahoo News Photos of protests today against the beginning of the Iraq war a year ago, it is remarkable how many of these demonstrations around the world feature anti-Israel and pro-Palestinian signs. For example, photo 133, from a London anti-war demonstration, features at least two signs that say "Free Palestine" and "Freedom for Palestine." Photo 135, from an Amman protest, features people holding up pictures of Saddam Hussein (I'm not sure why this should be labeled an "anti-war" march by Yahoo, rather than a "pro-Saddam" demonstration). People are also wearing ties that show all of historic Palestine on them with Arabic lettering across the map. Photo 154, from Rio de Janeiro, features an Israeli flag, equated with the swastika, and red paint or blood across it. Photo 158, from Paris, shows several people holding signs that say "Killers! Troops out of Iraq, Justice in Palestine." Across the top of the sign there are pictures of Bush, Sharon, Blair, and Aznar. A Spanish demonstrator holds a sign with a dove pierced through by a dollar sign and a star of David (photo 170).

Photo 177 shows a neo-Nazi anti-U.S. demonstration in Munich. Photo 206, of a Communist Party of India demonstration in New Delhi, shows two signs: one says, "Try Bush Blair as War criminals" and the other says "Release Saddam and other Iraqi leaders immediately and unconditionally." Photo 208 from London shows, among other signs, "End the Occupation of Iraq, Freedom for Palestine." A "peaceful" sign in the Sydney demonstration (Photo 229) reads "Kill Bush, Blair, Sharon and Coward, the 4 terrorists." Photo 24, from Hollywood, has signs from International ANSWER, including "Bring the troops home now, end colonial occupation -- Iraq, Palestine, Haiti & Everywhere." I wasn't aware that U.S. troops were engaged in a colonial occupation of Palestine.... Photo 40, of the San Francisco demonstration, has a big sign also from ANSWER that reads "U.S. OUT! Free Palestine!" Photo 59, from Chicago, shows a demonstrator being arrested, carrying a sign that says "Palestine will be free."

Frankly, it's a bit baffling to me why these demonstrations are necessarily labeled "anti-Iraq war" by Yahoo, because many of them, according to the signs, appear to be for a hodge-podge of causes that have been piggy-backed onto anti-Iraq war protests. And at least judging from the signs, many of the demonstrations are sponsored by far-left organizations such as ANSWER, the Socialist Workers or International Socialist Organization -- hardly an attractive band of protestors, to my taste.

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