Monday, May 12, 2008

American Soil Inspires Peaceful Protest

Al-Nakba, roughly translated as "The Disaster," is the day that remembers the 1948 UN decision to partition one Palestine into two nations: one for Jews and one for Arabs. This day is remembered every year by Palestinians and their supporters. This year marks the 60th anniversary of this event and so Nakba-60 was commemorated at Civic Center here in San Francisco with a protest, music, food, and of course, a counter-protest.

This event was typical of Middle Eastern culture (Israeli and Palestinian) in that the people smile through their tears. My movie gives you a pretty good idea of what went on there. Some people got pretty angry, especially when the pro-Israel counter-protesters arrived, but there was no fighting, no spitting, and no unsportsmanlike conduct. The police were there only as a reminder and to keep protesters from blocking traffic.

And again, culturally predictable, the American pro-Israel contingent was the group having the least fun.

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