America magazine, founded by the Jesuits in 1909, has weighed in on the flap between the Obama and the Netanyahu administrations. The editorial in the publication’s most recent issue predictably portrays Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a harsh and negative light.
One interesting aspect of the editorial was the manner in which it invoked a protest outside the Waldorf Astoria in New York City on March 9, 2010. The editors at America describe the protesters in very sympathetic and laudatory terms:
The Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in Manhattan might seem a strange place for a human rights protest, but on March 9 some 400 people walked in single file in a slow, silent procession. Holding signs calling for “Justice for Gaza,” the demonstrators were protesting what was taking place inside—a $1,000-a-plate dinner hosted by the Friends of the Israeli Defense Forces. Inside the Waldorf the event raised $20 million for I.D.F. veterans while the marchers on the street outside tried to raise awareness of the Gaza blockade.…For the Waldorf Hotel protesters, with Gaza all but cut off from the free flow of humanitarian supplies like food and medicine, hopes for peace between Israel and Gaza remain more tenuous than ever.
Yes, at one point on March 9, 2009 there were 400 people walking “in single file in a slow silent procession” and holding signs that read “Justice for Gaza.” To be sure, that was part of the story, as the first few minutes of this youtube video indicates. Three minutes into the video, however, we learn that another group of protesters showed up later and behaved quite differently. Instead of walking quietly, these protesters chanted that “Israeli Zionists are the Klu Klux Klan.” They carried signs that called General Ashkenazi a “butcher” and called for his arrest.
As this video indicates, the activists called