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Valley activists protest Gaza attacks

Published: Sat, November 17, 2012 @ 12:01 a.m.

RELATED: Jerusalem targeted in major escalation

Staff report


A coalition of local Arab-American and peace-activist groups conducted a Friday afternoon vigil in downtown Youngstown in response to the latest violence in the Middle East.

The event in downtown Youngstown was billed as a “vigil in solidarity with the besieged Palestinian people of Gaza.”

A local Arab spokesman disagreed about who started this latest exchange of rockets.

“Three days ago, Israel attacked a densely populated area of Gaza City, killing innocent people and a leader of Hamas. As retaliation, Hamas lobbed some homemade rockets into Israel. Israel claims it has the right to defend itself, but it is the one who started the current cycle of violence,” said Jabar Elwanni, president of the Arab American Community Center in Liberty.

The answer is peace for everybody in the Middle East and justice for Palestinians who have been living under Israeli occupation on the West Bank since 1967, he said. “Palestinians need to be able to determine their own future in their own country.”

But a spokeswoman for a local Jewish organization said Israel has been acting in self-defense.

“Just since the beginning of this year, more than 800 separate rockets have been launched into Israel from Gaza,” said Bonnie Deutsch Burdman, director of community relations and government affairs for the Youngstown Area Jewish Federation.

“Nobody wants war. Israelis don’t want war, and certainly the American Jewish community wants peace for Israel,” she added.

However, she accused Hamas and other terrorist organizations in Gaza of “flagrantly committing double war crimes.”

The terrorists use Gaza’s civilians as “human shields” and imperil them by placing rocket launchers in civilian Gaza neighborhoods and then intentionally fire the rockets at civilian targets in Israel, she explained.

“If there were not rockets fired from Gaza by the terrorists, then this crisis would not be happening at all,” noted Sam Kooperman, the federation’s executive vice president.

Elwanni talked about the United States’ role in the Middle East.

“We ask the United States to be more fair and more consistent in its support of self-determination for Palestinians. Time and time the United States has supported a two-state solution, but it never gets done. Israel is trying to drag the U.S. into a war with Iran as it did with Iraq,” he said.

Al Adi, owner of Downtown Circle and Middle East Deli, thinks this war may signal a shift of power in the Middle East.

Israel has had the upper hand, and the Gaza people had nothing, he said. This is the first time rockets have been fired into Jerusalem, he added.

It has to stop, Adi said, before it spreads and gets out of hand. The Palestinian issue is at the heart of the problem in the Middle East, he added.

“I think it’s crazy,” said a young Palestinian woman, Lyana Mansour, who came to the U.S. four months ago from Ramallah in the West Bank. “It’s like living in a big prison camp. You live in fear of war and political instability. You need permission to go from city to city. You can’t make plans for the future. You can’t have a normal life. That’s why I left.”

Ramallah is about six miles north of Jerusalem and is considered the de facto administrative capital of the Palestinian National Authority.

Carrying a Palestinian flag, Mansour, 25, said that even though Ramallah was not in the war zone, her family was terrorized by the Israeli military.

She said Israeli soldiers surrounded their home, locked the family in one room, and set up guns in the kitchen and fired into another building owned by her father, killing two Hamas members living there.

“They had lived there five years without trouble. They were political, not militant. I still have nightmares about it,” Mansour said.


1IslandMike(764 comments)posted 3 years, 8 months ago

Only 64 shopping days left until the 2nd Presidential Inauguration!!

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2lee(544 comments)posted 3 years, 8 months ago

Did these same people protest the rocket attacks in Israel???

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3Attis(1134 comments)posted 3 years, 8 months ago

If he were truly deserving of the Nobel Peace Prize, Obama would personally visit Gaza on his way to Burma and see our tax dollars at work slaughtering Palestinians. For five years, Zionists have turned Gaza and its densely populated residents into the world's largest open air prison. Now they intend to turn it into a mass cemetery. Viva Palestina!

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4James_S(268 comments)posted 3 years, 8 months ago

Who to believe?-
I'm siding with the Palestinians.
"Israel" was wiped off the map in A.D. 70 when Roman General Titus moved in and attacked Jerusalem. Rome was responding to the Jewish revolt. It was the Jews who started the war with Rome.
So, for 1,878 years the area was known as Palestine until 1948 when "Israel" was reinstated by the U.N.
(The sole purpose of the League of Nations, which was founded in 1913- the same year that the Federal Reserve Act was passed in this country, was to ultimately bring "Israel" back into existence.)
And there has been nothing but trouble in Palestine ever since.
There have been many that have been fooled.
"Don't be fooled..."

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5MLC75(661 comments)posted 3 years, 8 months ago

I side with Israel against any Arab nation !

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6busyman(239 comments)posted 3 years, 8 months ago

How about the money these people send back home to fund terrorism? The should not bit the country that has them to have freedom. I bet they were not allowed to do this in their home county. How many of them are doing business with the Jews in this country. That is ok to take the money here in this country?

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7IslandMike(764 comments)posted 3 years, 8 months ago

They've been fighting over there since Jesus first bought slippers. They're fighting over Gaza, sorta like fighting over Market Street. I hope they all perish on both sides, neither side wants anything to do with peace, so let them all die. I wish we would just quit funding Israel, the Muslim world sees this as a the US having the blood of their fellow Muslims on our hands. Why do you think they're funding terrorism?, we've been doing the same thing by building up the Israeli Air Force. Those planes and weapons are all made here in the US, the defense contractors Lockheed and Boeing don't have a facility in Israel. It's just a matter of time until another 9-11 occurs.

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8Bill1776(20 comments)posted 3 years, 8 months ago

PROMISED LAND: The Promised Land is the lands that, God give to Abraham and His son Isaac Gen.15: 18-21 and grandson Jacob Gen. 28:13 (God chanced Jacob’s name to Israel)(Gen. 32:28) and then to the children of Israel when He brought then out of bondage from the land of Egypt. Deuteronomy 1:8.

Israel became a nation in 1312 B.C.E., two thousand years before the rise of Islam. Arab refugees in Israel began identifying themselves as part of the Palestinian people in 1967, two decades after the establishment of the modern State of Israel. Since the Jewish conquest in 1272 B.C.E., the Jews have had dominion over the land for one thousand years with a continuous presence in the land for the past 3,300 years.

The ONLY Arab dominion since the conquest in 635 C.E. lasted no more than 22 years. For over 3,300 years, Jerusalem has been the Jewish capital. Jerusalem has NEVER been the capital of ANY Arab or Muslim entity. Even when the Jordanians occupied Jerusalem, they never sought to make it their capital, and Arab leaders did not come to visit. Muslims didn't even exist until the 7th century and now they want THEIR land back.

The secular governments in the Muslim countries Obama is helping to destroy with our tax dollars will be replaced with more radical Islam governments that will kill Christians, destroy churches and come up against Israel and force Islam on the world.

Jimmy Carter helped destroy the secular government in Iran and now Iran is a threat to Israel and the world. How many more Muslim countries like Iran’s will Obama create?

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9rickking123(331 comments)posted 3 years, 8 months ago

Great post Bill1776. We can blame Jimmy Carter for Iran and Barack Obama for Egypt and Libya. Just wait and see what happens in those two countries.

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10IslandMike(764 comments)posted 3 years, 8 months ago

This is America, a country that has evolved for the better through protesting (Vietnam, Civil Rights), she can protest all she wants, it doesn't mean we need to agree or disagree with her.

Accorfing to Bill 1776, the US needs to go back to the Indians (feathers, not the dot).

I'd like to thank our buddies at FIXED NOISE CHANNEL for getting Obama re-elected, he couldn't have done so without you!!

HILLARY 2016!!!

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11DSquared(1788 comments)posted 3 years, 8 months ago

Israelis are God's chosen people. Not the savages who would cut their own mother's throat for a dollar. ( Obama's cousins)

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12GoPens(397 comments)posted 3 years, 8 months ago

@ James_S (post 5). The League of Nations was founded after WWI In 1919, not 1913. Now if I can just figure out what the rest of your incoherent post means...

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13iBuck(231 comments)posted 3 years, 8 months ago

Yes, it's such a shame. Those Philistines should move out of Israel (yes, out of Jerusalem and out of the west bank of the Jordan which is the heartland of Israel) back to Gaza/Palestine, and stop viciously attacking their neighbors.

And weren't we all lectured by the media for the last decade to call it "Myanmar". Now, cousin Obummer visits and it's back to "Burma", and we're supposed to believe that liberals (in the tradition of Francis Hutchinson) are now "right-wing extremists" and extreme leftists who keep trying to squash the peaceful free exercise of speech and religion are now "liberals", and we're supposed to believe that regress to neofeudal classes is "progress". It's amazing what the leftists have accomplished and confusion sown with a little perversion of the language.

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14DMullins051(9 comments)posted 3 years, 8 months ago

These Arab groups & leaders blame Israel for the current fighting based on Israel throwing the first blow 3 days ago 14NOV2012.

What a JOKE! How about this history just this year (2012)?:

As of November 2012, over 1,540 rockets had been launched at Israel from Gaza since January 2012.

The Liberal Media & this Administration may NOT be willing to publicize the truth, but that doesn't mean the truth isn't known --- that the terrorists surrounding Israel are the REAL aggressors!

Israel is SMALLER then New Jersey or Massachusetts ... and if either of these state had this many assaults against it, they would have defended themselves LONG AGO!

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