AIPAC event in Connecticut features anti-Semitic humor, from an Israeli editor

Why do synagogues sanction the speeches of only Zionists?

One year ago in ye old Temple Israel, Westport CT:

“Israeli protestor speaks out about arrest at Temple Israel

WESTPORT — After a failed attempt to ambush a pro-Israeli luncheon at a Westport synagogue landed two New Haven men in handcuffs, one of the suspects is speaking out in defense of their actions.

Daniel Fischer said he and fellow activist Gregory Williams planned to “peacefully protest” a Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF) luncheon at Temple Israel in an effort to shed light on the experiences of those living under an “apartheid regime in Palestine.”

Their message, however, was squelched by uneasy guests who alerted Westport police, which prompted an evacuation of the luncheon and a lockdown of area schools.

“I wasn’t expecting to get a standing ovation from the crowd, but I didn’t expect to be tackled and have police officers show up with machine guns,” Fischer said. “Unfortunately it escalated into a dangerous situation because someone gave false information to the police. Their (FIDF) reaction interrupted their own event.”

Fischer and Williams, both of whom are 25 years old and reside in New Haven, showed up unannounced to the women’s luncheon – where an IDF Brigadier General was speaking. Fischer and Williams were protesting in an effort to read testimony from a Palestinian woman (Nabilah Abu Halima) whose son was killed in Gaza in 2009.

Fischer said he and Williams were told to leave the building because they did not have tickets to attend the luncheon and were told they were not supposed to be there.

“They then restrained us and I began reading the testimony from my cell phone,” Fischer said. “The phone was smacked out of my hand, so we started chanting, ‘Free, free Palestine’ and ‘Long live the Intifada,’ which means uprising. Those in support of Israel war crimes in my experience tend to be very zealous and self-righteous about their support of Israel. Their reaction was a symptom about not wanting the truth about Palestine to get out and to silence criticism of Israel.”

Fischer, who grew up in Fairfield and attended Wesleyan University, is currently attending Southern Connecticut State University and is an activist with the Middle East Crisis Committee and Capitalism vs. the Climate.

Williams, a student at Yale Divinity School who plans to attend Duke University this fall to obtain his Ph.D., said in a statement, “I am a Jew coming to a synagogue today. I want to be part of a religion based on emancipation and democracy, not one based on colonialism, white supremacy and apartheid.”

Neither Fischer nor Williams, who are both Jewish, contacted the FIDF of their intentions to speak at the luncheon.

Both were charged with first-degree criminal trespass and second-degree breach of peace. After each posted $1,500 bonds, they were given court dates…

In December 2014, Fischer was arrested in Cromwell after blocking the driveway to Spectra Energy while in opposition to its proposed pipeline expansion.

“In that instance, I expected to get arrested, but in this one (at Temple Israel) I did not,” Fischer said. “We were not armed and the fact that schools were locked down over some hysterical woman calling the police. Palestinians are not getting the equal rights they deserve and believe it or not, the American-Jewish community has quite a lot of influence over the situation. If Jews started speaking out and questioning why leaders are siding with the racist apartheid regime, they could make a change. Instead they are allowing injustice to continue.”

In response to Tuesday’s incident, State Sen. Toni Boucher (R-Wilton) said she is “very proud of the Congregation and Westport police for taking control of this awful situation.”

“It is one thing to stand on public property and peacefully protest regarding something you believe in no matter how objectionable some finds it,” Boucher said. “It is another matter however, to barge into a luncheon filled with women and children shouting in a menacing way.”

Boucher denounced the protest, saying the suspects exhibited a “menacing act.”

“I call on the Yale Administration to condemn and take the strongest possible action regarding this student (Williams),” Boucher said. “The Divinity program should be a model for peace, tolerance and understanding of all religions in the often hostile world we live in.”

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