Palestinian supporters chant as they march during a protest at Columbia University, Thursday, Oct. 12, 2023 (AP Photo/Yuki Iwamura, File) (AP Photo/Yuki Iwamura, File)
Columbia University, anti-Israel

The anti-Israel groups are planning to disrupt holiday celebrations in New York City and Philadelphia on July 4th.

By Dion J. Pierre, The Algemeiner

Pro-Hamas groups are planning to disrupt Fourth of July celebrations marking US Independence Day in Philadelphia and New York City with “All Out for Gaza” protests, demonstrating again an ideological link between their anti-Zionism and anti-Americanism.

“Philly, mark your calendars: July 4,” said an announcement circulated on social media by two groups, The Philly Palestine Coalition (PPC) and CodePink, the latter of which has ties to the virulent antisemite Louis Farrakhan through its proxy Linda Sarsour and has itself promoted antisemitic conspiracies of Jewish power and control.

The Philly Palestine Coalition, meanwhile, came under national scrutiny in December when it organized what lawmakers and other government officials described as an antisemitic demonstration targeting a restaurant owned by American–Israeli Michael Solomonov, making outlandish accusations against the famed chef and the Jewish state. The group has a history of backing the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas, calling for the destruction of Israel, and ridiculing victims of Hamas’ violence.

The two groups made clear in their latest social media announcement that Thursday’s planned demonstrations won’t just be protests against Israel but the US as well.

“For the past 9 months, this country’s continued to support, fund, and oversee this ongoing genocide and warmongering all over the world,” the announcement continued, referring to the US government’s overall backing of Israel’s war against Hamas in Gaza.

“This July 4th, join us as we stand with the resistance and support Palestine, not AmeriKKKa!” the post continued, combining “America” with the infamous acronym of the Ku Klux Klan. “We don’t celebrate the legacy of genocide, colonialism, and slavery that July 4th symbolizes but struggle for true liberation for all.”

The post concluded with emojis of the Palestinian flag.

The Philadelphia protest will take place in Rittenhouse Square, while the New York City protest will take place in Union Square, located in the Manhattan borough.

Similar to far-right, white nationalist organizations, CodePink has, through its campaigns and social media activity, attempted to undermine the legitimacy of the state by spreading falsehoods about the foreign policy objectives of the US and its allies, including Israel, which it has spuriously accused of committing a genocide in Gaza and manipulating US elections.

One of CodePink’s board members is lawyer Huwaida Arraf, an anti-Zionist activist who has shared on social media atrocity propaganda manufactured by Hamas to misrepresent Israel’s actions in the Palestinian territories. He was also the co-founder of International Solidarity Movement (ISM), a group that was linked to terrorists in a 2004 investigation conducted by the FBI.

CodePink publicly boasts ties to other groups linked to terror, including American Muslims for Palestine (AMP), an advocacy group that, according to a landmark report published last year by the National Association of Scholars (NAS), “retains ties to terrorist groups operating in the Palestinian territories.”

In 2019, CodePink defended US Rep. Ilhan Omar’s (D-MN) saying that support for Israel is “all about the Benjamins, baby,” an evocation of antisemitic tropes concerning Jewish influence through money. In a statement posted to its website, the organization accused Jews of attacking “people of color,” a tactic that has been appropriated by far-right groups to defend minority public figures of color who embrace and traffic in antisemitic conspiracies.

“Everyone who works in Washington, DC knows that when an elected official crosses AIPAC [the America Israel Public Affairs Committee, a pro-Israel lobbying organization in the US], uses its enormous power to exact revenge,” CodePink said. “We are seeing it now as they try to destroy a brand new, inspirational congresswoman: Ilhan Omar. We won’t stand for it again. Every moment that we allow false accusations of anti-Semitism [sic] to dominate the national conversation, we ignore the actual issues … The pro-Israel lobby has been looking for any reason to attack Ilhan Omar, but don’t let them dictate the terms of the debate.”

The Philly Palestine Coalition (PPC) was the principal orchestrator of illegal “Gaza Solidarity Encampments” at the University of Pennsylvania and Drexel University, according to an investigative report by The Washington Free Beacon, demonstrations which resulted in dozens of antisemitic incidents, vandalism, and hate speech.

At the University of Pennsylvania, protesters, students, and non-students who were sent there by PPC vandalized a statue of Benjamin Franklin. At Drexel University, during the time of PPC’s involvement in protests, the Raymond G. Perelman Center for Jewish Life was vandalized, with the perpetrators removing large channel letters spelling out Perelman’s name from a brick structure bearing the building’s name.

A month later, Drexel University was pushed into lockdown when the PPC-backed group “Drexel Palestine Coalition” (DPC) set up an encampment and flooded it with non-students. DPC then demanded that the school adopt the boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel and “terminate” its Hillel and Chabad chapters.

“These organizations must be replaced by non-Zionist Jewish ones that in no way support the ongoing genocide, occupation, or apartheid in Palestine,” DPC said in a statement posted on social media.

DPC also demanded that the university abolish its police, grant amnesty to any protester charged with violating school rules, and reduce the salary of the university’s president John Fry by “60 percent.” Footage of their demonstration showed some aggressive behavior, including the dismantling of police barricades.

“Since Oct. 7, we have seen pro-Hamas activists abuse the First Amendment to rationalize their support for terrorism under the guise of ‘free speech,’ turning America on its head by spreading anti-American values,” Asaf Romirowsky, an expert on the Middle East and executive director of Scholars for Peace in the Middle East told The Algemeiner on Tuesday. “With July 4th around the corner we are now seeing yet again another egregious attempt by pro-Hamas groups, including CodePink, to subvert our democracy by presenting anti-democratic values as ‘democratic’ but instead showing their roots in an ideological nexus of Marxism, Communism, and antisemitism.”

He continued, “The continuous attempt to push their unbridled defenses of Hamas in every aspect of American life is part of a consistent strategy to marginalize and exclude Israelis and Jews from the American zeitgeist as a pretext for increasingly crude antisemitism.”


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