Sunday, July 30, 2006

CAIR (Council on American-Islamic Relations) Rally Against Israeli War on Lebanon and Palestine -a report by ciaospirit

At 3:30PM, July 28, 2006, about 75 people gathered in COLUMBUS, OHIO to protest Israel and U.S. support for Israel. There were no counterprotesters. One participant said that there was enough blame to go around on both sides, but 99% of the people there placed 100% of the blame on Israel for the current Israeli/Hizballah war. Dr. Al-Akhras, Vice Chair of CAIR-National, spoke to me and spoke several times at the rally, and twice shoved me and grabbed my camera trying to stop my filming. He also told people not to talk to me. I guess he didn't like my questions. I talked with a lot of the protesters and asked some challenging questions (which many didn’t like). You can get a feel for the anger and tone of the rally by watching the videos. By the end of the day I was called an Israeli spy, an Israeli terrorist, and told to go to hell.

CAIR Anti Israel Rally-Part One. In this segment, a protester wearing militant garb describes his version of the cause of the conflict and Dr. Al-Akhras of CAIR gets angry and shoves me and grabs my camera when I ask him if he has any words of condemnation for Hezbollah for starting the war and for killing Israeli civilians.

CAIR Anti Israel Rally-Part 2. In this segment, Dr. Al-Akhras of CAIR for the second time shoves me and my camera and then some of his protesters block me and my camera so that I can’t tape Dr. Al-Akhras’s speech. And I’m accused of being an Israeli spy.

CAIR Anti Israel Rally-Part2a. In this segment, a CAIR spokesperson (sorry didn’t get his name) appeals for aid for Lebanon and defends what he calls the “humanitarian” side of Hizballah. I asked him if it is okay to murder people as long as you also have a “humanitarian” side.

Anti Israel Rally-Part 2b. In this segment, I asked a protester if he had any condemnation for Hizballah starting the war and hiding amongst civilians. He said those are lies and Israeli propaganda.

CAIR Anti Israel Rally-Part 3. In this segment, the CAIR spokesperson refuses to answer the question “Is Hizballah a terrorist group?” He also maintains that the public fails to see the humanitarian good Hizballah does.

CAIR Anti Israel Rally-Part 4. In this segment, I walked through the crowd asking questions like, “What about Israeli children being killed?” as some protesters tried to block my path. Notice at the very beginning the woman filming me.

CAIR Anti Israel Rally-Part 6. In this segment, I do another crowd walkthrough and ask if there are any words of condemnation against Hizballah for starting this war and hiding amongst civilians, in effect, using them as shields.

CAIR Anti Israel Rally-Part 8. No condemnation of Hizballah here either.

CAIR Anti Israel Rally-Part 9. Did you know that Hizballah attacked Israel merely in response to the Israelis kidnapping of two Palestinians on June 24, 2006? So says CAIR and they cite Noam Chomsky is their source.

Special Note: In video part 2b, CAIR spokesman reads a press release asking for ALL faiths to donate supplies and aid through a group called LIFE. I went to LIFE’s website ( and was amazed at the hypocrisy of their mission statement:"Life For Relief and Development (LIFE) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to alleviating human suffering regardless of race, color, religion or cultural background." Yet not an instance or a mention of giving any aid to Israeli civilians or Israeli children. So churches and synagogues should know that any donations they give will go only to Palestine and Lebanon (according to CAIR’s statement).

Most of the signs for the rally were provided by CAIR. As you’ll notice, many of the protesters didn’t want to be seen so they covered their faces with the signs.

When I left the rally, exhausted from the heat (both kinds), I couldn’t help but reflect on the intense emotions in play, here, thousands of miles from the actual conflict. These people say they are against terror, yet had nothing to say about militant Islamist terrorists. I wondered why they wouldn't speak out against Hizballah or homicide bombers. I imagined what it must be like in the war zone. And I prayed to God to intervene on behalf of humanity. But this hate runs so deep I think it even has God shaking His head.

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