Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

YALA Protests, GIA Counters

ISRAEL PROTEST YALA Protests, GIA Counters By David Benjamin Special to The Hoya

Members of Georgetown’s Young Arab Leadership Alliance gathered at the corner of M Street and Wisconsin Ave. with approximately 100 demonstrators Saturday night as part of a protest against U.S. aid to Israel; simultaneously, a smaller number of counter-protestors from the Georgetown Israel Alliance called for more aid to Israel.

YALA students walked up and down the streets leading to the intersection, acting as Palestinian civilians and Israeli commanders. GIA members held posters and Israeli flags in front of Riggs Bank for the duration of the protest.

The sidewalks became chaotic as protestors attracted the attention of passersby by acting out attacks on Palestinians. Between each of the theatrical enactments, protestors from Stop U.S. Tax-funded Aid to Israel Now, a group founded in part by Georgetown philosophy professor Mark Lance at the start of the second Intifada, in September 2000, chanted “Free Palestine!” At one point, a protestor wearing a toy army helmet, and matching jacket screamed in the face of a woman wearing a hajab, who was not part of the protest group. She brushed him aside and walked on.

“You Palestinians, get back in your holes! It’s past curfew, and if I catch you, you are dead!” barked one of the “street theater” protesters. U.S. Tax-funded Aid to Israel Now, organized the dramatic protest to increase awareness about perceived human rights abuses in the occupied regions of Israel. The group aims to increase taxpayer awareness about the billions in aid given by the U.S. to Israel each year.

The protest came out of a National Conference of Arab Student Associations held on the campus of the George Washington University last week.

The Young Arab Leaders Association came to show support for the protestors, and participated in the theater. Georgetown Israel Alliance members made up the majority of the counter-protestors. While the counter-protestors stood on one corner with posters and Israeli Flags, SUSTAIN protestors moved throughout the sidewalks, carrying paper-mache airplanes and two large canvas signs reading “You are now entering occupied territories, human rights abuses brought to you by U.S. tax dollars.”

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