Union Square Rally for Israel a success but not loud enough to snag media coverage
The New York Union Square rally for Israel and oppressed minorities under Islam was a rousing success, save for the stunning absence of a single major network or radio or newspaper (all the news apparently did not fit the definition of this huge rally, one surmises, huh, Grey Lady NYT?) I was there for 3+ hrs, and it was a great success; and there was no counter-protest.
The one irk was that there was ZERO press, though I know at least 2 people called and sent releases to every station and news medium. Not a single reporter. I saw a few telescopic lens cameras in the hands of handsome men, but they left in moments.
Perhaps 200-400 attendees, hot sun, quite a few “diversity” speakers: Kurdish man, Christian Arab, Copt, Hindus, Sudan ex-slave Simon Deng, scholar Mordechai Kadar, fabulous rap singer Ari on a whole bunch of lies and social issues -- marvelous music and assonance/rhyming, terrific impassioned CUFI speaker (Christians United for Israel, with 1.6 million members). Many security people standing directly in front of me (what good would that be if violence erupted mid-crowd?). Some brilliant Hebrew speaker who looked like a Harlem gangster, but isn't. Dov Hikind, whom I thought would have a stroke, he was getting so flushed and loud.
NYPD standing in front of us, kind of goggly with all the data and facts unspooled, all the strident facts and figures, all the recounting of terrible that has marked any Islamic national saga for 1,400 years. And all the singing and stuff. Desiree, the ardent Christian lady who comes to all our demos, had her long, long shofar, and blew it to punctuate major points in many speeches. She has good lungs. An Israeli cutie had a much shorter shofar; he blew his much less.
A Unitarian I know came over to me and said he has been banned from his church, one he has attended since he was 7, for 6 months. The church is 40% fallen Jews, but they are astringently anti-Israel, and I read the banning document, which was outrageous. No recourse, just shut up and do not even try to support Israel. They will arrest him if he comes too the church inside of 6 months. Scary. He is a very nice guy, too; soft-spoken but a strong supporter.
One t-shirt read, in Arabic and English: INFIDEL. Another read: Dead jihadis make great pig slop.
Flags in profusion along with hand-lettered placards. My sign read: Rescue the Yazidi. Some of the audience had no idea what the Yazidi are. But they learned.
Pens were given out that read: Humus good; hamas, bad.
Stickers were given out that read: I love the IDF.
Good loudspeakers: The secret to successful rallies anywhere.
We ended up dancing and singing. It began at 3:45, and ended at 7. No rain
A mostly youngish crowd, not the thatched snow fence that usually attends the tiny demos done by some passionate groups with few resources.
Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer pulled it off, along with Assaf and Maya, organizers; pal Bruce functioned as Security; and many former Russians and AFSI, STAND WITH US and CAMERA members. One kept searching the crowd for possible troublemakers. One friend told me he had seen a man in the crowd with a bunch of signs carrying swastikas. I had not seen the loon. But more worrisome than a lone Nazi was the ever-present fear that someone nearby could be a problem. There were 6 great flags from various, beliefs, sects and countries.
At one point, a few people pointed back toward the west side, and up. Just across the street from where we stood. There, some 10 flights up on a modern glass and steel apartment building, hung proudly over the railing of a patio, was a blue and white Star of David flag. In the UK, hanging such a flag elicited stones, broken windows and even a Molotov cocktail. In NYC, high up above Union Square Park, it hung there proud and civilized, reminding us of the differences between Here and …anywhere in Europe you could call There.