Israelis are dissatisfied with the wave of anti-war protests in America
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Israelis are dissatisfied with the wave of anti-war protests in America

At a theater in Jerusalem on the evening of May 2, concert attendees and staff here expressed anger and sadness at the widespread protest movement against the Gaza war and in support of the Palestinians.

The noisy protests are being closely watched by the Israeli government, reported by major media outlets, and discussed by celebrities.

Idan Degani, 28, a security guard at the theater, said many Israelis witnessed the protest movement with confusion and anxiety, seeing it as an attack on the entire country, not just the government.

Palestinian supporters at a protest at the City University of New York on April 30.

`We didn’t know there were so many people who hated Israel. I don’t think those young people deeply understand Israel or the conflict. I think older people probably know, but this young generation doesn’t,`

Thoughts like Degani’s appear popular among the majority Jewish community in Israel, 7 months after Israel launched a campaign to attack the Gaza Strip in retaliation against Hamas.

`We understand how much hate there is out there. I’m the child of Holocaust survivors, but it still shocks me,` said Danae Marx, a public relations specialist at Hebrew University in

Some people criticize Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the far-right ministers in his coalition government, however, there are also many who believe that anger abroad stems from misinformation and ignorance.

`At first, people took these protests lightly. But now they are seen as evidence that radicals in liberal democracies can dominate the public agenda and use it to

`The protest crowd sees all Israelis as the same and the misinformation is so pervasive that even those who oppose the current Israeli government cannot accept it. They are all outraged by the protests

In the Jerusalem Post, columnist David Weinberg wrote that `unbalanced criticism` of Israel is not new.

According to him, long before the Netanyahu government, the world harshly criticized Israel.

Analysts say the US protest movement’s ignoring the pain that Israel suffered during the October 7, 2023 attack by Hamas and accusing Tel Aviv of committing genocide has angered many Israelis.

On October 7, 2023, Hamas raided Israeli territory, killing more than 1,100 people and kidnapping hundreds.

Israeli officials believe that Hamas is responsible for civilian casualties in the Gaza Strip, accusing Hamas of using civilians as human shields, as well as operating in areas around hospitals, schools and other Coalition facilities.

Many in Israel say the accusation of genocide stems from anti-Semitism and consider the slogan chanted by a series of American protesters `from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free` to be a call to destroy Israel.

Prime Minister Netanyahu last month recorded a video statement expressing his views on protests at American universities, emphasizing that `anti-Semitic mobs are occupying top universities`.

According to observers, the diplomatic isolation and increasingly tense relationship between Israel and the United States have reinforced the historical sense among Jews that their country has no reliable ally or protector.

On May 2, Prime Minister Netanyahu met with Holocaust survivors, who next week will participate in the opening ceremony of the annual day of remembrance commemorating the more than 6 million Jews murdered by the Nazis.

`If we have to stand alone, we will stand alone. If we can convince the nations of the world, all the better. But if we don’t protect ourselves, no one will protect us,`

Prime Minister Netanyahu’s office on May 3 quoted Itzhak Kabilio, a Holocaust survivor from Yugoslavia, that `today, the state of Israel is the only refuge for Jews. Maybe someone once

On Jerusalem’s Jaffa Street at 11pm on May 2, teenagers sat outside cafes, gathered at bars and ate ice cream.

Joseph, 21, a soldier who recently immigrated to Israel from England, said the crowd protesting in the US is spreading false information. `Everyone has the right to protest and voice their opinion, but I don’t.

At the Jerusalem theater, many audience members described the current conflict as one of many wars that Israel will face in the coming decades.

`Jews are stupid. It’s been like that for hundreds of years and we always think it will get better. But it never does,` said Joseph Avi Cohen, a retired banker.

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