Atlas Shrugs covers the pro-Israel rally in New York City. It was an impressive display of solidarity with the Jewish state, unspoiled even by the presence of pro-fascist leftists. The event in Chicago was similar:
Many of the 5,000 people who gathered at the Federal Plaza to show solidarity for Israel came from Loop office buildings, rallying in the sweltering air of Monday's lunch hour.
But 70-year-old Yekhil Brodsky made the trek from Wilmette, and, after surveying the crowd, said this was the proudest he had been of Israel in a long time. He said he long ago tired of concessions, like last year's pullout from the Gaza Strip, Brodsky said.
"It's a call of our souls and of our hearts. It's our moral duty to defend ourselves," he said. Jewish leaders "have cared more about the well-being of the Palestinian population than of the Jewish people."
The crowd was met by a much smaller counterdemonstration of about 100 people protesting Israeli attacks on Lebanon and the Gaza Strip. They chanted "Stop killing Lebanese children" and raised signs declaring "End Israeli Apartheid" from their own rally point, across Dearborn Street.
Police reported the groups were largely peaceful, though one man was arrested by Chicago police for disorderly conduct after officers said he threw a water bottle. Another woman, who said she was 70, was ticketed by federal officials with inciting the crowd and failing to leave property when told to do so.
Among counterprotesters was Gihad Ali, 23, of the Palestine Solidarity Group, who accused Israel of inflicting terror on the region.
"They're bombing civilians. That is not self-defense. The lives of two soldiers are not worth more than close to 350 that have been killed in the bombings," she said, critical also of the Illinois elected officials who support Israel. "The politicians are over there because they have more numbers over there and because they have more money over there. They are over there to work their own agendas."
The counterarguments to Israel are depressingly familiar, and its unsurprising but still wrong that the Tribune gave the leftist counter protesters as much space as they gave to Israel's supporters.
I'll keep my eye out for any story about the elderly pro-fascist who was arrested.
UPDATE: Power Line has an email from someone who was at the Chicago rally, and that person has pictures and video at his website.
UPDATE 2: The blog Voices In My Head has a description of the event. Still no word on the arrest of our little old fascist beyond the rumor from commenter Leah (also repeated here) that arrestee's weapon of choice was a crutch.