Israeli hostilities will reshape Middle East
for generations to come, says Israel official
Separate rallies in support of Israel and Lebanon convened
at Justin Hermannn Plaza earlier today.
By Pat Murphy and Luke
July 23, 2006, 2:30 p.m.
The Middle East will be reshaped for generations by the outcome
of current Israeli hostilities, an Israeli official told some
700 pro-Israel demonstrators in San Francisco today.
Israeli Deputy Consul General Omer Caspi indicated the ongoing
Israel assault on Hezbollah and Hamas centers will continue "because
enough is enough."
The noon Justin Hermannn Plaza rally was organized by an amalgam
of Bay Area Jewish organizations and led by U.S. Senator Dianne
Feinstein (D-California), a former San Francisco mayor.
Senator Dianne Feinstein seeks shelter under the sun's anvil.
Pockets of pro-Palestinian partisans, including the Green Party
candidate running against Feinstein, stayed on the edges of the
rally focusing attention on a planned August 12 pro-Palestine
demonstration rather than confrontation with Israeli supporters.
One pro-Palestinian demonstrator was handcuffed and detained
by police for 40 minutes as he walked through the rally. The man,
who declined to give his name, was cited and released for interfering
with public access, he said.
Police corral several Palestinian supporters out of Justin Hermann
prior to making an arrest.
Caspi gave rationale for continued hostilities.
"The outcome of the confrontation we have with Hezbollah
and Hamas will determine in many ways what Israel's future will
look like, and even more, what kind of Middle East we are going
to see in coming generations," Caspi stated.
"In May 2000 we left Lebanon completely, fulfilling UN Resolution
425. We left Lebanon with hope that a new dynamic would be created
and our northern border would be peaceful.
"By the summer of 2005 we left Gaza with hope that the Palestinians
would seize the moment and begin building their state and improve
"In return Israeli found itself facing two terrorist organizations
of the worst kind.
"Hezbollah rained down thousands of missiles on the north
and Hamas, governing the Palestinians in the south and the west,
showered our cities with armaments.
"Nevertheless we gave them a chance. We gave a chance to
the Lebanese government. We gave a chance to the Palestinian president
and to the people.
"We gave peace a chance but today we say enough is enough.
"It is a human tragedy that breaks our heart. We call the
peoples of Lebanon and the Palestinian authorities - stand up
and control these organizations, who do control their lives and
lead them to a certain disaster.
"We say to them please remove this cancer off your body
and soul before it is too late," concluded Caspi.
Feinstein expressed solidarity with Israel.
"When terrorists attacked our country on 9/11 Israel did
not waiver in support of the United States and now in time of
need we will not waiver in our support for the state of Israeli,"
U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein.
"Let there be no doubt Israel was subjected to unprovoked,
unjustified attacks from terrorists on both the northern and southern
"Remember it was Israel that pulled out of Lebanon. Remember
that it was Israel that pulled out of Gaza, that brought her people
out, that dismantled the synagogues... and the result on both
the north and the south have been rocket attacks," Feinstein
Financier Richard Blum
For his part, senate candidate Todd Chretien viewed the conflict
as an Israeli massacre of women and children.
"Senator Dianne Feinstein voted unanimously, along with
the rest of the United States Senate, to back Israel's invasion
of Lebanon and massacre of Lebanese's children and Palestinian
children," Chretian told some 50 pro-Palestinian supporters
prior to Feinstein's remarks.
Candidate for U.S. Senate Todd Chretien leads an anti-Israeli
Peace and Freedom Party candidate for U.S. Senate Marsha Feinland
"And what is that unanimous support for?
"It is for straight up terrorism.
"George Bush defines terrorism as military violence against
civilians to achieve a political aim.
"That is exactly what Israel is doing to the Palestinians
and to the Lebanese's civilian population," reported Chretien.
Chrietien was joined in condemnation of Israeli hostilities by
the Peace and Freedom Party candidate for U.S. Senate, Marsha
San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom and San Francisco City Attorney
Dennis Herrera appeared in support of Israel.
San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom