Tea Party Israel Style

Published: November 1st 2010
in News » Israel

Tea Party Protest in the US
Pic: WikiMedia Commons

The anti-Obama Tea Party movement has hit again, but this time nowhere near the US: On Sunday night, Likud activists held the Israeli Tea Party’s inaugural rally at the Zionist Organization of America house in Tel Aviv.


The rally, which was attended by several dozen supporters, did not resemble the notorious American Tea Party meetings in that no one was dressed up as an act of protest, nor were posters depicting US President Barack Obama as a witchdoctor held up.


Despite this, Obama was the focus of the rally, which was intended to send a simple message: back off Israel.


Former Likud MK Michael Kleiner, one of the organizers of the event, told the Jerusalem Post that the message of the Likud Tea Party is that “Israel is a democracy and in a democracy you don’t deny the will of the people. In Israel, the people voted against the two-state solution and the settlement freeze. Obama is not respecting our democratic elections and this is why we are saying no to him.”


While not officially endorsed by the Likud party, the event was attended by a number of its members and supporters, including MKs Danny Danon, Tzipi Hotovely and Ayoob Kara. Also taking part was one-time Likud contender Moshe Feiglin.


Kara, who spoke at the event, referred to the discovery of two letter bombs sent from Yemen to Jewish communities in the USA. “The solidarity that [United States President] Barack Obama displays to Islamic countries gives inspiration to [Al-Qaeda terror leader] Osama [Bin Laden], who sent explosive packages to Jewish targets in the United States only two days ago,” he was quoted by Arutz 7 as saying.


Hotovely spoke directly to Obama and was quoted by the Jerusalem Post as saying: “You [Obama] are confused, you don’t understand who your friends are and who your enemies area. We are your friends, not the Islamic radicals. We know what happens to people who don’t know who their friends are, just look at World War II and those who held their hand out to Hitler.”


Danon also took the stage, and spoke in English, saying: “We are here today to send a very clear message to Mr. Obama: Stop bullying our prime minister, we will not be the scapegoat for your wishful thinking. Take your hands from Jerusalem, take your hands from Judea and Samaria.”


For now, it seems as though the activists can breathe easily: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told a Likud meeting on Monday that there is no concrete American proposal regarding the renewal of a settlement construction freeze in the West Bank and the issue is on hold for the time being, Ynet reported.


“We are not discussing it at this point,” said Netanyahu and also denied recent reports saying Israel would lease land in east Jerusalem and the Jordan Valley from the Palestinians as part of a comprehensive peace agreement.


Meanwhile, it was reported on Monday that Egypt's intelligence chief, Omar Suleiman, will arrive in Israel this week to meet with Netanyahu and President Shimon Peres. Suleiman’s visit is aimed at renewing peace talks with the Palestinians.

Related articles: (Tea Party, Likud, Barack Obama)
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