A March and Rally for Justice Unheard

On Sunday afternoon, June 10th, people came to Washington D.C. to take part in a global rally and march to mark the 40th Anniversary of the Israeli occupation of the West Bank, Gaza, and East Jerusalem. Most estimates put the demonstration at around 5,000 participants making it the largest national demonstration against the Israeli occupation in U.S. history.1 Americans were not alone in their actions with similar rallies occurring worldwide from London to Malaysia to Australia to Tel Aviv. The US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation and United for Peace and Justice sponsored the event in which more than 300 other organizations took part, including Neturei Karta, a group of anti-Zionist orthodox Jews.2

The Rally began on the West-Lawn of the Capital where several speakers and a hip-hop performance engaged the crowd before demonstrators started to march. Emotions ran high when the anti-occupation protestors were confronted by a hundred or so Zionists holding signs such as, “Israel We Stand With You” and “Israel is on the map to Stay.” Passionate exchanges took place on both sides, but no major confrontations occurred. Now to the news, or shall we say, the lack there of.

If anyone had any doubts as to the stifling of information by the corporate media on this contentious issue, you should doubt no longer. For those of you, like myself, who expected to see some coverage regardless of its nature or bias, it seems our expectations were unfounded. Obviously, there are many important stories to cover on a Sunday afternoon; I mean, Paris Hilton is in jail for Christ sake! What does it take to get a blurb in a local newspaper these days? The Washington Post‘s headquarters is in Washington, D.C., right? Well, you couldn’t tell by reading their Monday addition. I searched the entire paper for a sentence, a mention, anything at all about the rally. What did I find? You guessed it, nothing. So then I figured I’d try a little harder to find some coverage of the rally; I mean, just because the Post didn’t cover the demonstration didn’t mean it wasn’t adequately covered somewhere else in the depths of our diverse media, right? Wrong. Well … somewhat right. After many hours of searching, I decided to go to The US Campaign to End Israeli Occupation’s website. Once there, under the “in the news” category, I found their reported press hits. Guess how many hits they found nationwide? Four. Guess how many hits were in mainstream media outlets? Zero. The rally got coverage in a whopping three local newspaper publications nation-wide: the Austin-American Statesman, the Buffalo News, and the Detroit News; The Huffington Post, which is a blog, and the Jerusalem Post based out of Israel, were also noted.

The U.S. Campaign to End Israeli Occupation claims the rally was a “huge success,” but for whom? Not for those of us who were at the rally protesting against the illegal occupation, that’s for sure. If our goal was to raise awareness and dialogue about the illegal occupation and the U.S. government’s direct economic and military support of the occupation, then it was a failure. To be fair, it should be mentioned that the failure of the event was not a result of the organizations involved; they were, after all, successful in leading a peaceful and populous rally, march, and subsequent lobby day on Capital Hill. Failure came in the form of our media and its refusal to give the march any airtime, which begs the question, why didn’t the demonstration get any mainstream coverage, even from the Washington Post? I don’t have the answer.

Perhaps at least one major factor in the lack of media coverage was the zionist community’s decision to not protest or partake in, but largely ignore the demonstration. As the director for the Jewish Council For Public Affairs, Hadar Susskind, put it, “We didn’t feel the need to bring it more attention.” Seems like their strategy may have worked better than they could have hoped.3

Not too long after the march I spoke with a representative from the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation; the representative stated that a discussion was on-going as to how they could gain greater coverage in the future. I also tried to contact the Washington Post about their blackout of the demonstration, but received no response. By writing this piece, I hope to give a voice to a rally and march for justice that went unheard.

  1. US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation []
  2. www.nkusa.org []
  3. June 11th, 2007. Jerusalem Post-online, Hilary Leila Krieger []

Andrew Thomaides is a freelance writer and activist. He can be reached at: andrewthomaides@gmail.com. Read other articles by Andrew, or visit Andrew's website.

3 comments on this article so far ...

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  1. Daoud Ali said on July 25th, 2007 at 9:16am #

    Some years ago I attended a march and rally for Palestine in NYC. The late Edward Said, among other luminaries, spoke at the rally. Conservative estimates put the number at 15,000 people. As we marched through Manhattan, I remember thinking ‘this is huge… definitely frontpage coverage.’ To my utter disappointment, barely a blip on the mainstream news radar.

    The only way they will cover it is if there’s something negative they can report–an altercation, arrests, etc. I read that CNN et al. do not consider protests ‘newsworthy’ as a matter of policy. That’s corporate news for you…

    Thank you for the piece!

    Daoud
    myspace.com/abunurah

  2. Fllegal said on July 25th, 2007 at 11:39am #

    There has never been a Palestinian state. The Jews almost two thousand years ago were thrown out of their Historic Homeland (not entirely for there always remained a remnant of Jews in the land including Jerusalem). They existed in said land first as a Kingdom and/or State, then as a State and/or Two Divided Kingdoms for several thousand of years. If there truly anyone who has a right to possess said Historic lands that would be the Israelies, not Arabs who call themselves “Palestinians”. Let the Arabs live in Arab lands, surround Israel, for they were squatting on original Jewish lands. Arabs have the predominate amount of the land in the Middle East. Israel has a sliver; yet the Arabs want it all and to do so they (Arab nations) treat the Palestinians like dogs (a bargaining chip) by hurding them into “refugee camps” for 60 years instead of letting them assimilate into the local population. The 1948 war and the 1967 war allowed Israel to regain back more of her Historic homeland which is rightfully hers and will always be rightfully hers.

    Most of the “Palestinians” who fled Israel proper in 1948 did so at the threats made by surrounding Arab states, who were readying to wage war on Israel in 1948, of being slaughtered if they remained. The Arabs who remained behind became Israeli citizens.

    The Jews have their State and yet they still don’t have all the land that is rightfully theirs. It is THEIR HISTORIC HOMELAND. The claim by the Palestians to the land is a fraud.

    Here is a great link to learn the truth, instead of the Palestinian propaganda and lies, that are espoused by the Left & Islamic Fascists.

    http://www.palestinefacts.org/pf_early.php

    God Bless Israel. God Bless the United States.

    Other Great Links:

    http://mypetjawa.mu.nu/

    http://jihadwatch.org/

    http://jihadwatch.org/dhimmiwatch/

    http://www.littlegreenfootballs.com/weblog/

  3. Shabnam said on July 30th, 2007 at 5:55pm #

    I don’t know why some people continue to misrepresent. Palestinians have lived in their land for the past twenty centuries continually. Do you think only Jews were massacred? This kind of thing has happened to many countries on earth. Civilization after civilization has been wiped out by the aggressors. Don’t you remember Moguls who wiped out a lot of people in Mesopotamia, Persia and the Central Asia? In WWI, most of the Iranian population, about 8-10 millions, were perished as the result of British, the occupying army, war policy.* Since Western powers have the upper hand, these tragedies are not known to many peoples in other countries, especially the Western countries because screens, the newspapers, the printed materials, microphone, the conference room, and other means of propagation have focused on tragedy of one group of WWII. In WWII, 63 millions were perished, 23 millions were Russian. The Rwanda massacre where almost 1 million people literallywere cut into pieces and were burned in only 90 days, which is unique, already has been forgotten. The Armenian, the Palestinian massacre by Israeli, the British massacre of Indian, African, Asian, and ……. And American massacre of the indigenous population of Americas, the British massacre of the indigenous people of Australia, Canada and……. French massacre of the Arab North Africa, Asia, African and …… yet the Zionists and the former colonists and the imperialists of our time are implementing a genocidal policy to WIPE OUT PEOPLE OF IRAN AND her CIVILISATION OF more than 3000 YEARS. Enough is enough. These aggressors are trying to kill Iranian population through illegal Economic sanction and act of terrorism. What are you going to do?

    * Majd, Mohammad Gholi, The great famine and genocide in Persia, 1917-1919