Newt Gingrich lauds ‘Jerusalem Day’ extremists

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Newt Gingrich’s speech yesterday to the Republican Jewish Coalition was standard right-wing boilerplate intended to appeal to Republican Jewish donors and hardcore Christian Zionists. But notably and disturbingly, Gingrich lauded the throngs of Jews who danced through the streets of occupied Jerusalem earlier this month to celebrate what they call the “reunification” of Jerusalem.

Here’s Gingrich (my emphasis added):

It was on this Feast of Shavuot 44 years ago, in June of 1967, a mere six days after the Old City of Jerusalem had been reunited in the Six Day War, that for the first time in almost 2,000 years, Jewish people were once again able to visit the Western Wall and walk the streets of the Old City as citizens of a sovereign Jewish nation.

Hours before dawn that day, thousands upon thousands of Jews gathered at the Zion gate to await entry into the Old City.

At 4 a.m., the crowds were finally allowed to stream into east Jerusalem — the first time Jews had been allowed to carry out a pilgrimage to the Western Wall, as members of a Jewish nation, celebrating a Jewish festival — since the pilgrimages to the Temple 2,000 years earlier.

As the sun rose over the Old City, a total of more than 200,000 Jews made their way through the city streets to a site that today remains the heart of a people, a religion, and a nation.

Each year the Festival is celebrated in a similar fashion, by a pedestrian pilgrimage through the streets of Jerusalem to the Western Wall.

It is a pilgrimage of which generations of Jews could only dream, and signifies the unbroken connection between the identity of the Jewish people and the land of Israel that has existed not for mere decades, but for thousands of years.

During this last week, today’s generation of Jews made a similar pilgrimage through the streets of Jerusalem, knowing that the freedom that allows them to visit their holiest sites is more endangered at this moment in history than at any time since that Shavuot morning four and a half decades ago.

Leave aside the whitewashed talk about the 1967 war, when hundreds of thousands of Palestinians were made refugees. The most significant aspect of Gingrich’s speech is his wink and a nod to the Jerusalem Day revelers who marched through occupied Palestinian parts of the city and chanted, “Butcher the Arabs” while Israeli police protected them in early June. See these video above and here to see what the “pilgrimage through the streets of Jerusalem” was really about. Gingrich is lauding state-supported violence and racism directed against the Palestinian residents of Jerusalem.

The political reasons for the tacit support of the ethnic cleansing project in Jerusalem is clear. Right-wing Jewish donors–including Democratic Party donors–and Christian Zionists insist that Israel hold on to Jerusalem as the state’s eternal capital. The speech also allows Gingrich to shore up his Arabophobic and Islamophobic credentials as the Republican Party primary heats up. But let’s be clear: Gingrich is playing with real fire when he lauds those Israelis who openly incite for the killings of Arabs.

Alex Kane, a freelance journalist based in New York City, blogs on Israel/Palestine and Islamophobia at, where this post originally appeared.  Follow him on Twitter @alexbkane.

About Alex Kane

Alex Kane is a freelance journalist who focuses on Israel/Palestine and civil liberties. Follow him on Twitter @alexbkane.

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25 Responses

  1. Cliff
    December 8, 2011, 12:35 pm

    Bump, can’t ****ing believe I missed this video.


    In another thread, hophmi was telling us that there is widespread attacks on Jews in Europe by Muslims.

    He provided no evidence of course. He also said Jews don’t attack Muslims in Europe.

    The insinuation is that Jews are being persecuted in Europe.

    Look at this video and think of the power dynamic. The lack of basic decency in Israeli society. You even see several American Jews who cannot explain their hateful behavior during the event. They rather not answer the question.

    They hesitate because they are American and internally they are somewhat acknowledging the bullshit in what they are doing. They’re still too Zionist to care though.

    But that is the power dynamic at work over there.

    Over here, Muslims aren’t stomped on by Jews so I suspect they exercise their frustrations on Jews because they won’t have to deal with the systemic discrimination they’d normally endure.

    Essentially, over here and in Europe, Muslims and Jews are equals (more or less) and so disgruntled Muslims can be disgruntled. In Israel, Jews can be disgruntled and you won’t see Palestinians behaving this way toward Jews because they are subjugated and the force used in retaliation is too much for them (see: Gaza).

    The relationship is one of an abusive spouse (or just a very abusive bully) and the victim/battered wife.

    Here, that relationship is non-existent although Zionist Jews behave patronizingly (lecturing leftists on worse conflicts in Darfur or the coptics or the Hamas charter or blah blah blah).

    It’s the typical bourgeois attitude but nationalistic and racist. Pampered because the Establishment is with Israel for the long haul. That is the power dynamic.

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