Anthony Weiner spoke at 1993 anti-Rabin rally where participants called for Israel PM’s assassination

Anthony Weiner was back at New York City’s Israel Day Parade this week, using the annual procession to promote his bid for the mayor’s office. The reaction from participants was mixed at best, with many in the crowd heckling the disgraced former congressman with taunts related to the Twitter scandal that prompted his resignation. But there were others who offered Weiner their unconditional support, recalling his long record of aggressive pro-Israel activism, a history that ranges from leading calls to subject Gaza Freedom Flotilla activists to a criminal investigation to claiming in a public debate that the Israeli occupation did not exist.

weiner
Anthony Weiner at the “Celebrate Israel Parade” in New York City
on Sunday, June 2. (Photo: Andrew Renault/Polaris)

Though Weiner is far from the only New York Democrat who has relied on demagogic pro-Israel appeals to propel their ambitions (at a March, 2002 pro-Israel rally, Hillary Clinton proclaimed that the 9/11 attacks originated “from the same well of hatred and evil that stalks Israel”), he has been one of the most consistently extreme. Early in his career, as a young New York City Councilman and protege of Senator Charles Schumer, Weiner joined a rally against the Oslo Accords that devolved into a festival of incitement against Yitzhak Rabin, then Israel’s Prime Minister.

The rally, which took place on December 13, 1993 in New York, was organized by a far-right pro-Israel millionaire named Manfred Lehmann, who headed a group called the World Council for Israel. Weiner accepted Lehmann’s invitation to speak, joining the longtime Jewish Defense League terror cell leader and NY State Assemblyman Dov Hikind on stage before a crowd of 300.

Also speaking at the rally was Sam Domb, a Likudnik businessman who had described Rabin as “a man seemingly devoid of honor, self-respect, compassion, common sense and sense of history,” and who accused the Israeli Prime Minister of “spiritually destroying the Jewish people.”

According to a December 14, 1993 report in the Mideast Mirror, “The vocal crowd carried homemade placards bearing mottos such as, ‘Don’t turn Israel into another Lebanon,” and ‘Rabin is a traitor.’”

Political science professor Ofira Selikar published a similar account of the demonstration in her book, Divided We Stand: American Jews, Israel, and the Peace Process. According to Selikar, “some participants described Rabin as ‘worse than Hitler” and demanded that he be killed.” There is no record of the remarks Weiner made at the rally.

Less than two years after the demonstration, on November 4, 1995, a Jewish fanatic named Yigal Amir acted on the calls to kill Rabin, assassinating the Prime Minister at a rally in Tel Aviv.

Rabin’s career ended in a single gunshot, but Weiner’s was just beginning.

About Max Blumenthal

Max Blumenthal is an award-winning journalist and bestselling author.
Posted in Israel Lobby, Israel/Palestine, Israeli Government, US Politics | Tagged

{ 31 comments... read them below or add one }

  1. seafoid says:

    Weiner looks really different when he wears trousers.

    Extremism is prolly the price of funding. He is just another unthinking Stateside political bot. Bibi’s insistence that only he could run Israel post Rabin looks very hollow now.

  2. Nevada Ned says:

    After Rabin was assassinated, encomiums pored in for the late leader. He was praised to the sky, lauded as a man of peace, etc.

    But if you look at his actual track record, it’s a very different story. As a young man, he played an important role in the Nakba. He commanded the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians from Ramle and Lydda (now Lod).

    • AhVee says:

      Exactly. Further, it bothers me that Mandela speaks so highly of Rabin, too. Outtake from Mandela’s 1997 address at the international day of solidarity with the Palestinian people:

      “I wish to take this opportunity to pay tribute to these Palestinian and Israeli leaders. In particular, we pay homage to the memory of Yitshak Rabin who paid the supreme sacrifice in pursuit of peace.”

      One needn’t look further than Wikipedia to gain some insights into Rabin’s revolting antics.

  3. hophmi says:

    I’m not a fan of Anthony Weiner’s views on Israel, but this is a ridiculous smear piece by Max. Essentially, his argument is that Weiner spoke at a rally where “participants” (read: people who showed up) said Rabin was worse than Hitler and should be killed.

    Is Max going to apply this logic to pro-Palestinian leaders or politicians or to himself and be critical of everybody who speaks at a pro-Palestinian rally where some radical holds up a sign supportive of Hamas or Hezbollah or says terrorism is ok as a resistance tactic? Is her down with people who say that since Max’s blog contains a link to this website, he’s responsible for every comment made here? I doubt it. It’s a weasal tactic to hold the guy responsible for every view expressed by a crowd member at a rally.

    • Donald says:

      The main problem with the piece is that it overemphasized his appearance at this rally, and underemphasized his claim that there is no occupation (something Phil wrote about in an article linked in this one.) You’re all upset that Weiner is being linked to people who compared Rabin to Hitler–how is this any worse than denying the occupation?

      • hophmi says:

        I was there when he said that and I cringed. To deny that there is an occupation is silly; to do it in a debate with someone like Brian Baird, one of the more articulate pro-Palestinian activists out there, a debate moderated by a NY Times columnist, gives you an idea of just how irresponsible he can be, in addition to how poor an intellect he is. But he’s that kind of politician. He’s either all for it or all against it; nuance is lost on him.

        • Donald says:

          Hophmi–I can’t argue with that. I hope Weiner’s political comeback attempt is a failure. He seems to be even more narcissistic than the usual politician, which is saying something.

    • seafoid says:

      You can’t compare Hezbollah or the khamas with the thugs who murdered rabin .
      The hezb is like the yishuv haganah. It is a proper army . Hamas is like Labor .

      • hophmi says:

        Huh? How is either like either? What’s Hezbollah trying to achieve? Not a democracy in Lebanon. Not a democracy in Syria, where they’re helping Butcher al-Assad. How do you feel about that? How is Hamas like Labor? If you want to pursue this kind of analogy, you could say that Fatah is Haganah and Hamas is Irgun, but it’s silly because the whole point is that the Haganah was a unified organization that came to represent a broad spectrum of the Yishuv. That’s not true of PA and its myriad security agencies Arafat set up to compete with one another (and not with him) and it’s not true in the sense that you have a Palestine divided between two different political authorities.

        • seafoid says:

          Labor has a military wing called the IDF, Hoph.

          Haganah wasn’t unified. Did you ever hear of the Altalena ?
          That was about 2 different political authorities too, you know.

        • hophmi says:

          The IDF is Labor’s military wing? Where do you come up with this stuff? The IDF represents the whole country.

          “Haganah wasn’t unified. Did you ever hear of the Altalena ?”

          Um, yeah. The Altalena is exactly what the PA was never willing to do, and now the Palestinians are essentially divided in two.

  4. just says:

    Max– thank you.

    I remain stunned that Weinerman is “in the running”.

  5. flyod says:

    one has to earn the backing of the rosen’s of the world

    rabin was no saint;

    link to mondoweiss.net

    • hophmi says:

      No one ever said Yitzhak Rabin was a saint. Saints generally are not the ones to make peace, and politicians are as a rule not saintly.

      Yitzhak Rabin was shot at a massive peace rally as he finished singing a song about peace with the assembled crowd. He did a tremendous amount of heavy lifting behind the scenes to prepare skeptics for negotiations with Arafat and the Oslo process. Yasir Arafat told his people one thing in Arabic and the West another in English.

      You don’t have to be a fan of Rabin’s whole history to appreciate the work he did in the 1990s to move Oslo forward by taking the courageous stand of fighting terrorism as if there were no negotiations and conducting negotiations as if there were no terrorism, a stance he was pillorized for on the right, and a stance he eventually died for. To condemn him today seems to me to be the work of nasty people who never stood where he stood, never accomplished what he accomplished, and frankly, lack all credibility as far as I’m concerned. If only there were another like him. And if only there were less like all of you.

      • flyod says:

        the scam that is oslo – just another land grab – as in area c, you must mean.

        aviv replaced that worn peace song don’t you know;

  6. Max, This post certainly isn’t Max “Blumenthal at his best.” Anthony Weiner is self centered, ambitious and careless; a man who says and does outrageous things. His history must include statements, proposals, and other damaging actions that are clearly not in the best interest of New York or the US, maybe even Israel. Give us important information. Faulting him for being present when others made inflammatory cries, waters down everything you wrote in the post.
    You can make a difference in this election by doing your research, asking the right questions and exposing him for what he is: egotistical ass who isn’t fit to be Mayor of New York City. He was unqualified even before he expose himself?

  7. MRW says:

    When Mexican Americans had a Cinco de Maio parade in Los Angeles in 2006 with over 500,000 people taking part and waved little Mexican flags, the punditry went bonkers that they were un-American and unassimilated.

    How is this different?

    • hophmi says:

      I’m not aware of people in NY protesting the holding of Cinco de Mayo parades.

      Are you against waving a Mexican flag at a Cinco de Mayo parade?

    • Joe Ed says:

      Maybe because the Mexican American came from Mexico and the pro Israel crowd comes from Europe?

  8. MRW says:

    God help NYC if this putz becomes Mayor.

  9. Keith says:

    The apoplectic reaction of American Jewish Zionists to Rabin’s forced baby steps toward accommodation highlight an important point. It is not true that American Jewish Zionists support Israel unconditionally. They support a radical, militarized Israel and won’t tolerate an accommodating Israel. Since Israel is dependent on the American Jewish Diaspora to provide the political muscle to ensure ongoing US aid, this tends to strongly influence Israel’s behavior. How can we expect Israel to seek peace and justice when their American Jewish Zionist supporters strongly oppose this?

    • hophmi says:

      Who are you talking about? Most American Jews supported Rabin. Those who opposed him were a minority. You just don’t seem to be able to accept that American Jews do not control Israel. You seem uninformed about what American Jews actually think, and instead believe a nonsensical stereotype of American Zionists as being all extremists.

      Most American Jewish Zionists, as you put it, favor the two-state solution and would be supportive if Israel negotiated. The idea that it’s them standing in the way is a myth.

      • Keith says:

        HOPHMI- “Most American Jews supported Rabin.”

        I am not concerned about most American Jews, I am concerned about American Jewish Zionists, primarily the Zionist leadership. How did the Adelsons, Bronfmans and Pritzkers feel about Rabin? Why is so much American Jewish money flowing toward the Israeli right wing?

        “Most American Jewish Zionists, as you put it, favor the two-state solution ….”

        Only if you consider a Palestinian Bantustan a viable two state solution. Most American Jewish Zionists were adamantly opposed to Oslo and continue to be opposed to any withdrawal to the Green Line borders. American Jewish Zionist leaders and their billionaire supporters overwhelmingly favor a militarized Jewish state. No? Try cutting US military aid to Israel and see what happens.

        • hophmi says:

          Most American Jews are Zionists. Edgar Bronfman does not give money to the right. His views are on the left. Neither does Pritzker. You don’t know your stuff. You pick out rich Jews and assume they give to the right.

          “Only if you consider a Palestinian Bantustan a viable two state solution. ”

          Not at all. The maps are available at ispeacepossible.com. They’re not Bantustans, and most everyone I know understands that a Palestinian state has to be viable and contiguous.

          “American Jewish Zionists were adamantly opposed to Oslo”

          Simply incorrect. The majority favored it. Most Zionists are not right-wingers. You are clueless.

  10. An ass clown of the first order.

  11. Liberty4All says:

    The man is a dreadful, sexist racist. Why any New Yorker would vote for him is beyond me. Giving him any kind of ‘air time’ only encourages the monster that he is. He denies the Nakba, says Israel is not occupying Palestinian land and stealing their resources, he actually said that organizers of the Freedom Flotilla should be arrested (by the way, your link does not work), and posted disgusting photos of his junk.

  12. Mondoweiss should have a contest:

    What could an American zionist politician NOT get away with, as long as he or she remains a fanatical supporter of Israel? Personally, I just can’t think of answer.

  13. chris o says:

    Sadly, this information can only help his bid for the mayoralty. In electoral politics, there is no limit to the extent one can be rabidly pro-Israeli or anti-Arab/Muslim. But at least his penis is clearly getting in the way of his ambition.

    This is America.

    • AhVee says:

      The American right-wing are once again firmly caught up in the ultimate race to the rhetorical bottom. People love hearing someone else fume, spew and hate, especially if they’re being flattered by the side. It’s become an industry, and there’s too much money to be made with it and attention to be had for it to stop anytime soon. It’s also a copy/paste of the American-brand of anti-Jewish demagogy of the earlier 20th century.

      I don’t so much believe demagogues like Weiner are pro-Zionist per-se as much as they are the kind of people who are, in every era, to be found among the ranks of overt racists and mind polluting demagogues, rallying against whatever scapegoat du-jour happens to be lying around, and mixing half (or quarter)-truths with blatant lies and heating the stew up to boiling temperature to achieve a strong emotional effect in their target audience, which is what I believe they actually get off on. Sort of like a television salesperson who isn’t hyped about the product he’s screaming at you about, but about the fact thousands are seeing his face and hearing his voice.