Anti-Imperialism/Foreign Policy

Israel’s flag march versus the neo-Nazi Skokie affair: A study in contrasts

By Joseph Massad Middle East Eye

Support for the racist march through occupied East Jerusalem extended to Jewish organisations in the US, where decades earlier, plans for a neo-Nazi rally spurred a landmark legal battle

The Israeli government, which in the eyes of international law is illegally occupying East Jerusalem, allowed mobs of ultra-racist Israeli Jews to march through the city’s Palestinian neighbourhoods on 29 May, brandishing their colonial flags and bellowing genocidal chants of “death to Arabs” and “may your village burn”.

They also cursed Palestinian American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, who was assassinated by an Israeli sniper last month. The marchers, numbering 70,000 this year, call the annual march during which they terrorise and attack Palestinians the “Jerusalem Day Flag March”.

The Israeli occupation established “Jerusalem Day” in 1968, a year after they occupied the Palestinian city, to celebrate their conquest. During the march, more than 2,600 Israelis stormed al-Aqsa Mosque complex under Israeli police protection.

The Israeli flag itself has become the quintessential symbol of Palestinian oppression and humiliation at the hands of the Zionists

The Israeli flag itself has become the quintessential symbol of Palestinian oppression and humiliation at the hands of the Zionists – an ongoing reminder of the colonial conquest of Palestine. The Israeli occupation savagely attacked the funeral procession of Abu Akleh under the pretext that some of the Palestinian mourners carried Palestinian flags, as the Israeli regime insists that the only flag allowed to be brandished in occupied East Jerusalem is the Israeli flag of the conqueror. Support for Israel’s genocidal racists was overwhelming not only inside Israel, but also in the US.

Given the anti-Palestinian violence and racist chants, how do some US-based organisations justify their support for the march?

The American Jewish Committee (AJC), the oldest of the US Jewish advocacy organisations, tweeted that its members “celebrate the reunification of Jerusalem, the eternal capital of Israel and the Jewish people”. It added that “70,000 marched to celebrate Jerusalem Day, marking the reunification of the capital of the Jewish people. Violence by Palestinian rioters, hateful chants by an extremist fringe of Jewish Israelis, and clashes between the two are not what this day is about. We stand with Israel.”

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