Calls for Palestinian Uprising from... Miami
By Joe Kaufman
May 19, 2011
On May 16, 2011, a group demonstrated across the street from the Israeli Consulate in Miami’s Bayfront Park, calling for an intifada (uprising) against Israel. The group tried hard to come across as peaceful, but some of the things they were saying, some of the garb they were wearing, and merely using a term such as “intifada” proved that the group had anything but peaceful intentions.
“Third Intifada” – that’s the name given to a rally which took place in Miami earlier this month. The term instantly generates emotion, as it refers to a sequel of two previous violent uprisings perpetrated by Palestinians against Israelis, the last one taking place in the year 2000, in which over 1000 Israelis were murdered.
The event coincided with other calls for a Palestinian intifada emanating directly from the Middle East, specifically from Palestinian neighborhoods.
In March, a Facebook page calling for a third intifada was shut down amidst complaints from the Anti-Defamation League (ADL). But as Joseph Sabag of the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) pointed out in a recent press release, the page was resurrected when the Miami group took the terminology and logo from it and used it for its own Facebook page. That page – Miami’s Third Intifada Rally for Palestine – is still up today.
Heading the rally was Muhammed Malik, the former Executive Director of the South Florida chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).
CAIR is known for its many associations with Hamas – a group founded during the first intifada in 1987 – and this protest had its own Hamas imagery.
One of the other leaders of the event was Mnar Muhareb, the Past President of Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) at Florida International University (FIU). At the rally, Muhareb, as well as another protester, donned a baseball cap bearing a logo resembling that of Hamas. Yet another, Farid Hamoudeh, wrapped his entire head in a keffiyeh (headscarf), a la Palestinian militants in Gaza.
During the demonstration, protesters repeatedly chanted a slogan often used by Hamas and other Palestinian radicals calling for the destruction of Israel. It went: “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.” A girl dressed from head to toe in a black burqa, Flavia Marlene Almonte, held a sign saying the same.
The “river” refers to the Jordan River, and the “sea” refers to the Mediterranean.
As Hamas spokesman Mahmoud al-Zahar spelled out in January 2006, on al-Manar TV, “Palestine means Palestine in its entirety – from the [Mediterranean] Sea to the [Jordan] River, from Ras al-Naqura to Rafah. We cannot give up a single inch of it. Therefore, we will not recognize the Israeli enemy’s [right] to a single inch.”
To this effect, Muharab wore a chain around her neck with a pendant depicting a map of the entire state of Israel.
Apart from these things, the rally goers were trying hard to appear and sound peaceful, holding a poster containing a peace emblem and invoking the name of Martin Luther King.
This wasn’t the case at previous demonstrations.
In January 2009, from the same area in Miami, Muhammed Malik led a protest featuring anti-Semitic Nazi symbolism and acts of violence against pro-Israel supporters which led to arrests.
This time, they were a little more careful – but not careful enough to hide their true intent, beginning with the name of the rally, itself.
Beila Rabinowitz, Director of Militant Islam Monitor, contributed to this report.
Source: Hudson Institute