Disruptions at the GA
from the Forward:
Jewish Voice for Peace Activists Interrupt Bibi at GA
Benjamin Netanyahu was interrupted five times by protesters who shouted and held up signs while the Israeli prime minister was delivering an address on Monday to the General Assembly of the Jewish Federations of North America.
The protesters shouted “the loyalty oaths delegitimize Israel” and “the occupation delegitimizes Israel” while being escorted from the room. Their signs bore similar messages.
The disrupters were members of a group of young protesters convened by Jewish Voice for Peace, a left-wing activist organization. The protesters said that they were responding to the General Assembly’s focus on what has been called an international effort to delegitimize Israel. At a General Assembly that has made much of the involvement of 600 college students, the protesters claimed that they represented a political perspective and an age cohort that deserved a place at the conference.
But the group’s pretensions to representing a generational voice, manifested in the publication of a document roughly outlining their positions and titled the Young Jewish Declaration, were called into question by the presence of scores of young, pro-Israel activists in the halls of the G.A.
… Communications staff at the JFNA knew of plans to disrupt Netanyahu’s speech as early as the evening of November 6. Staff members became aware that at least one person registered as a member of the press was actually an activist. JFNA staff sought to intercept any protesters going in disguised as press before they could enter the ballroom. It’s not clear whether they were successful.
Asked about the JFNA staff’s concerns about a disruption of the speech hours before the second plenary, Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles president Jay Sanderson said, “I would rather my enemy be standing right in front of me than hiding. I’m not afraid of any kind of protest. At least we have an opportunity to respond.” Sanderson has been one of the architects of the Israel Action Network, the new JFNA anti-divestment initiative that has been a focus of the program at the G.A.
[eJP note] In this article from JTA, we learn that not only some hecklers were out of line but also some delegates.