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Pro Israel rally draws large crowds

Hundreds of people rallied Sunday in front of the Israeli consulate in Los Angeles to show support for the country amid an international outcry over a deadly raid on a pro-Palestinian aid flotilla headed to Gaza last week.

“Israel, you are not alone,” said the country’s consul general,  Jacob Dayan, who addressed the cheering crowd wrapped in the Israeli flag. “We support you, we are behind you, we are proud of our wonderful soldiers.”

Protesters said Israel has been unfairly criticized for enforcing a blockade that is necessary to prevent weapons from reaching Hamas, the militant Palestinian group that controls Gaza and refuses to recognize Israel’s right to exist.

“Every other country in the world has the right to defend itself and Israel, which does it in a very humanitarian way, is vilified and damned,” said Ira Cohen, a Los Angeles podiatrist who held up a poster saying, “Mr. President, you must support Israel.”

More than 25 speakers addressed the rally, which was organized by the Israeli consulate, the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles and other community groups. They included Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger; Republican gubernatorial candidate Steve Poizner, Republican Senate contender Chuck DeVore, U.S. Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Sherman Oaks) and Los Angeles City Council members Paul Koretz  and Janice Hahn.

Los Angeles police estimated the crowd in front of the consulate in the 6300 block of Wilshire Avenue at about 2,200. It was the latest in a series of Los Angeles demonstrations supporting and opposing Israel’s actions.

Nine activists were killed last week when they tried to fight off Israeli commandos who rappelled from helicopters onto the Turkish-flagged Mavi Marmara, which was carrying 680 passengers. On Saturday, Israel’s navy seized a second protest vessel trying to reach the Gaza Strip without incident.

-- Alexandra Zavis

 
Comments () | Archives (72)

So police estimate the crowd at 2200, yet the times leads the story by saying "hundreds".

Why does your first line say "hundreds" of people rather than "thousands" when the estimate was 2,200 attending?

If the LA Police estimate the crowd at about 2,200, why does the Times open by saying that only "hundreds" attended? Naturally, it's another way to diminish the true support for Israel. If 25 pro-Palestinians (read: anti-Israel) gathered on a street corner, you would have counted every one and then inflated the numbers by a magnitude of 10.

How lazy and biased are you, anyway? The answer is clear.

Gotta love America, where agents of a foreign power which is antagonistic to world peace can freely assemble to express their contempt for the rule of law.

Why does the Los Angeles Times continue with its biased coverage? If the police at the rally estimate that more than 2,000 people attended the rally in support of Israel, as stated halfway through the article, why doesn't the article begin "Thousands of people" rallied in support of Israel, rather than "Hundreds of people?" Please change the first line of this article to correct the facts. Thank you.

Alexandra, your coverage of today's demonstration supporting the legitimacy of Israel's right to defend itself is commendable. Thank you.

However, I take issue with the way you ended your otherwise excellent piece. You said:

"Nine activists were killed last week when they tried to fight off Israeli commandos who rappelled from helicopters onto the Turkish-flagged Mavi Marmara, which was carrying 680 passengers."

It is now becoming clear that the truth behind Israel's actions was very different from the initial reports. If you had done a little more research, you might have ended you piece like this:

"Nine activists were killed last week after the Captain of the Turkish-flagged Mavi Marmara misled Israeli forces into believing that there would be no resistance to IDF forces boarding the ship. Israel sent 4 commandos, armed only with pistols to the ship. As soon as the commandos were on board, the activists attacked, beating and stabbing the commandos with sharpened steel rods. The 4 IDF commandos were overpowered, disarmed, and then held captive in a cabin on the ship."

"When IDF demands for the release of the captive commandos were ignored, a second wave of more heavily armed commandos boarded the ship and secured the release of the 4 captured commandos. Some of the nine activists killed used pistols taken from the captured commandos."

See: http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3898960,00.html

isn't la the jewish capital of the usa? that explains the large numbers at the rally.

Why are we fighting there battles....! Bring our troops home so we can defend
our own borders and let them fight it out on there own wars....!

Hello. I'm neither Israeli, nor Palestinian, or even close to either group. Hi Israel, the whole protester boat thing was handled poorly, water hoses could have been used on protesters instead of live ammo. I understand the level of restraint you feel you are using, but there's always an alternative to killing.

Hello Palestinian sympathathizers. Maybe if Palestine didn't randonly fire missiles into Israel you would get more Westerm support. Again, there's always an alternative to violence.

When you choose the alternative, you get respect. Respect leads to support. Whoever is successful at operating without violence will win the conflict in the end.

Ah, tragic Israel, You learned too well from your own tormentors how to torment and punish. It would be easier if you served a god of love rather than a god of vengeance.

America should support Israel because Israel's defense is an extremely just and worthy issue. Israel is the first line of defense against a Middle East which is intolerant of Christians, Jews, women, Kurds and any other minority. That's why.

Thanks David Berger for elaborating on the deceptive tactics of the "activists" in imprisoning 4 IDF soldiers who were lured into boarding the ship thinking there would be no resistance. I was aware of the violent resistance of the "activists" and the ties of the Turkish "charity" sponsoring the flotilla to such radical Islamic terrorist groups as Hamas, but your information is even more troubling.

As for the claim by "kuruc" that LA is the "jewish capital of the usa" (sic), that would be incorrect, since that title belongs to the undisputed Jewish-American capital of New York City. Nonetheless, I dont know of any major pro-Israel rallies there recently, although they have their own confrontations with radical Islam, the latest being the June 5 rally of 5,000 New Yorkers protesting the placement of a 13-story Mega-Mosque across the street from Ground Zero. Much like the Turkish "charity" behind the flotilla, the Imam behind the Ground Zero Mega-Mosque has strong ties with radical Muslim extremist groups, which is clearly a LONG-TERM problem, not only in the US but across the globe.

thank you Otis....

To those of you who take issue with the title. 2,200 can be referred to as "hundreds". There is nothing misleading about that because two-thousand, two hundred is the same as twenty-two hundred. And I wonder how many of you that support the ban Israel has placed on Gaza support the 2nd amendment to the U.S. constitution and would take offense to having a ban on L.A. because of the criminal element that owns guns and uses them in assorted crimes even though you haven't done anything wrong. That's exactly what's happening in Gaza. In addition, you're being hypocritical when you say Israel has a right to defend itself but the Palestinian people don't.

Why don't you mention that the "Humanitarian" activists who were on the Gaza flotilla are members of the Turkish IHH organization! The IHH is the same group that was tied to a plot to bomb Los Angeles Airport on New Years of 2000. IHH tied to Hamas and Al-Qaeda!!! Of course LA should show support for Israel in such case:)!

I am disappointed in the quality of the reporting in this article -- surely not the calibur of a Los Angeles Times article. Not only did the article begin by reporting that only hundreds attended the rally and then quote the police report at 2200, but the article gives the impression that this was organized and attended only by Jewish groups, omitting the broad representation by groups from other communities. I was there and there was broad attendance by supporters and leaders from the Iranian, Armenian, and Mexican communities, as well as Christians. Finally, the selective summary at the end of the article about the recent flotilla incident reports that the "activists" were killed after "fighting off" Israeli commandos. If the reporter had done her homework about the facts and videos that were released after the rush to judgment, she would have ethically had to acknowledge that these "activists" were "armed activists" who initiated a fight with the commandos after refusing requests to dock their goods for delivery to Gaza after inspection.

The US needs to stop supporting Israel completely. Let them deal with the aftermath of the chaos they create.

To -kuruc- As myself there were a lot of Christians at the Israel Solidarity Ralley as well.

To the others who worry about the number count, don't sweat the minor details, it was a great rally and I guess ANSWER's ralley on Friday was a dud. The police were pretty casual with us since they didn't have to deal with masked rioters that usually show up at hate the world group's events.

Where is the anger over the foreign flags being waved in the USA? If these were Mexican flags, I'm sure there would be an uproar!

More importantly, why does the article say "large" when only 2,200 people attended?

By LA standards, that is a very modest turnout.

And I wonder how some people would feel if the Republic of Mexico started staging its own political face-saving rallies in front of its Consulate?

AKV, there are plenty of guns there now regardless of Israel's attempts to
remove them. Comparing LA to Gaza is just idiotic. Those in Gaza are not
Israeli citizen, but members of a group openly at war with Israel. It's stupid
to allow your enemy to have arms when you can reduce them.

otis , there are no American Bases in Israel.

"Cardinal Rivera" I doubt you are a cardinal or member of the church hierarchy
in any way. The church believes that Jesus will return to Israel as the king of Jews, kind of hard to do if occupied by Muslims now isn't it?

eomfd, the flags being flown at the Mexican rallies were in support of the
concept that the south western portion of the US actually belongs to Mexico
and thus they have the "right" to be here. Israel's flags being flown are in
support that the country has the right to exist.

I am sorry for the loss.
Why was palestinians firing missiles randomly?

...another example of misguided allegiance!

"large"?? luckily, a small gathering of 2,000 supporters gives hope to the fact that the vast majority of americans Do Not support illegal blockades and military aggression in international waters. let's all give support to obama to shut down the money highway to israel and let them suffer the consequences of their actions knowing that acting bully to the world will no longer be defended by us tax dollars.

You are allowed to support Israel and only Israel. You are only allowed to fly the Israeli flag and maybe the U.S. flag.

You are not allowed to use the word "genocide" or "holocaust" unless referring to the people of Israel/ jewish people. They own that word. Never mind that the Native Americans of this land suffered a far worse genocide and still suffer from it.

There is NO reason for the US to keep funding Israel. We cannot create peace among two children fighting over fairy tales. Remove religion from the world and moronic violence like this will cease.

I am not anti-Semitic, I do not support ANY religion or group of people that use God and THEIR religion to justify their evil actions.

 
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L.A. Now is the Los Angeles Times’ breaking news section for Southern California. It is produced by more than 80 reporters and editors in The Times’ Metro section, reporting from the paper’s downtown Los Angeles headquarters as well as bureaus in Costa Mesa, Long Beach, San Diego, San Francisco, Sacramento, Riverside, Ventura and West Los Angeles.
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