15,000 Chicago protestors demand end to Israeli occupation

15,000 Chicago protestors demand end to Israeli occupation
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An estimated 15,000 people marched demanding that Israel end its brutal military attacks against Palestinians, blasting the mainstream news media for its one-sided, pro-Israel coverage and downplaying the Israeli killing of Palestinians while emphasizing Palestinian killings of Israelis

By Ray Hanania

Nearly 15,000 people protesting Israeli violence against Palestinian civilians and the failure of the news media to fairly cover the conflict marched through the heart of America’s second largest city in America, sending a loud and clear message that Palestine must be free.

Attendees came from all over the Chicagoland area and waved placards denouncing Israeli violence against Palestinian civilians. During the past several weeks, the media has emphasized that seven Israelis have been killed in attacks but downplayed that more than 45 Palestinians have been killed by Israelis. Additionally, Israel has beaten and injured nearly 1,000 Palestinian civilians in Occupied Jerusalem, in the Occupied West Bank and in the Gaza Strip where Israeli snipers have targeted protestors on the Gaza Side of the Israeli military obstructions.

Protestors also waved the green, red, white and black Palestinian flag including one that was huge and carried by two dozen people. The protest route started at Congress and Michigan Avenue all the way north to at Wacker Drive near the Israeli consulate, then down State Street back to Balboa Street then returning to  Michigan again Congress.

 

Protests in Chicago Sunday Oct. 18, 2015 against Israel's occupation. Photo courtesy of Dr. Atiyeh Salem

Protests in Chicago Sunday Oct. 18, 2015 against Israel’s occupation. Photo courtesy of Dr. Atiyeh Salem

“Today, Chicago voiced it’s solidarity with Palestine. All ages including educators, professionals, doctors, lawyers and busyness people, including the normal hard-working at Chicago area responded to the outcry of the Palestinians under the worst occupation that Humanity has ever known,” described Dr. Atiyeh Salem, a Palestinian originally from Bethlehem, Palestine and one of the protestors attending the march on Sunday afternoon.

“This demonstration in Chicago was led by all types of students and many nationalities including pro-Palestinians, Jewish educators, students from universities and high school graduates, with housewives and religious leaders.  This demonstration expressed the feeling inside every Arab and every Palestinian Christian or Muslims.”

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Dr. Atiyeh Salem, one of 15,000 protestors at a demonstration demanding an end to the Israeli occupation of Palestine -- Sunday (Oct. 18, 2015) in Chicago

Dr. Atiyeh Salem, one of 15,000 protestors at a demonstration demanding an end to the Israeli occupation of Palestine — Sunday (Oct. 18, 2015) in Chicago

Atiyeh said the the demonstration was “a natural reaction” to the atrocities committed by Israel nearly every day, killing mainly children. He said people protested against injustice by Israel and against the Apartheid Wall, calling it “The Wall of Shame.”

“We protested against the illegal administrative detentions, the closures, the occupation of 62% of the West Bank, the closure of the Gaza Strip, the continued building of illegal establishments with the support of the Israeli army with soldiers acting like gangsters, and protesting the burning of entire families and children,” Salem said.

“All of these factors have caused natural response from the victims, when no Arab country or anyone will give a hand or pass any resolutions in the United Nations to defend the Palestinian people and support the  Palestinian cause. This more than 15,000 demonstrators were asking for one thing, end the occupation.”

Palestinians and protestors proudly waved Palestinian flags at the protest in Chicago Sunday Oct. 18, 2015 against Israel's occupation. Photo courtesy of Dr. Atiyeh Salem

Palestinians and protestors proudly waved Palestinian flags at the protest in Chicago Sunday Oct. 18, 2015 against Israel’s occupation. Photo courtesy of Dr. Atiyeh Salem

Salem’s views reflected the views of many of the protestors who attended and posted photographs on their Facebook Pages. Salem provided photos taken at the protest to The Arab Daily News, which are included in this report.

Oftentimes, the mainstream American news media ignores protests against Israel, or if they do mention the protests, they give it a short an quick mention. But, when an Israeli is killed, the news media makes the death the headline of the news on television, radio and in the newspapers and in their online media websites.

“It’s shameful the way the media acts. It’s so unprofessional,” another protestor wrote on his Facebook Page. “The Israelis kill dozens of Palestinians and the news media doesn’t even mention the names of the Palestinians who are killed by the Israelis. Yet, when an Israeli is killed by a Palestinian who is resisting the occupation, who has been brutalized and had his land and life stolen by Israel, the news media makes it look like the Palestinians are the cause of the violence.”

Protests were held across the United States including in Dearborn, Michigan and also around the world to show solidarity with the Palestinians and to demand an end to the Israeli occupation which is the cause of the violence. But Chicago’s demonstration was one of the largest held.

Protest in Chicago Sunday Oct. 18, 2015 against Israel's occupation. Photo courtesy of Dr. Atiyeh Salem

Protest in Chicago Sunday Oct. 18, 2015 against Israel’s occupation. Photo courtesy of Dr. Atiyeh Salem

Protestors proudly wave Palestinian flags against Israeli injustice, demanding and end to the occupation. Protest in Chicago Sunday Oct. 18, 2015 against Israel's occupation. Photo courtesy of Dr. Atiyeh Salem

Protestors proudly wave Palestinian flags against Israeli injustice, demanding and end to the occupation. Protest in Chicago Sunday Oct. 18, 2015 against Israel’s occupation. Photo courtesy of Dr. Atiyeh Salem

Many signs held at the protest denounced Israeli atrocities and also urged the United States to stop funding Israeli's atrocities and war crimes. Israel receives more than $5 billion a year from American taxpayers. Photo courtesy of Dr. Atiyeh Salem

Many signs held at the protest denounced Israeli atrocities and also urged the United States to stop funding Israeli’s atrocities and war crimes. Israel receives more than $5 billion a year from American taxpayers. Photo courtesy of Dr. Atiyeh Salem

Protest in Chicago Sunday Oct. 18, 2015 against Israel's occupation. Photo courtesy of Dr. Atiyeh Salem

Protest in Chicago Sunday Oct. 18, 2015 against Israel’s occupation. Photo courtesy of Dr. Atiyeh Salem

Protests in Chicago Sunday Oct. 18, 2015 against Israel's occupation. Photo courtesy of Dr. Atiyeh Salem

Protests in Chicago Sunday Oct. 18, 2015 against Israel’s occupation. Photo courtesy of Dr. Atiyeh Salem

Protests in Chicago Sunday Oct. 18, 2015 against Israel's occupation. Photo courtesy of Dr. Atiyeh Salem

Protests in Chicago Sunday Oct. 18, 2015 against Israel’s occupation. Photo courtesy of Dr. Atiyeh Salem

Palestinian protest leaders and attendees said the turnout ranged from 4,000 to 15,000 attendees. Part of the difficulty of the count is that the Chicago Police did not provide any numbers. The biased mainstream Chicago news media mostly ignored the massive protest, but at least one TV station did include a quick report of about 10 seconds noting pro-Palestinian protestors marched at Grant Park, but they offered no coverage or substance. The WLS TV anchor said that “several hundred” people protested the “ongoing violence” in the Middle East. The US Palestinian Network which has chapters in California, Chicago, Ohio, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, St. Louis, Washington DC, and Wisconsin said they are using the number 4,000 to describe the protest, adding, “It’s still a number to be proud of.”

The estimate was based on the previous week when 46,000 runners participated in the Bank of American Chicago Marathon where a contingent of about 60 Palestinians running under the banner “Team Palestine” completed the popular Chicago run. Nearly 500,000 people lined the marathon route.

Chicago Police declined to give an official estimated of the number of protestors, something they do often in other protests. But then again, hey, Chicago is “Prime Minister Rahm Emanuel’s” occupied territory.

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rayhanania

rayhanania

Managing Writer at The Arab Daily News
RAY HANANIA — Columnist

Ray Hanania is an award winning political and humor columnist who analyzes American and Middle East politics, and life in general. He is an author of several books.

"I write about three topics, the Middle East, politics and life in general. I often take my life experiences and offer them in an entertaining way to readers, and I take on the toughest topics like the Israel-Palestine conflict and don't pull any punches about what I feel is fair. But, my priority is always about writing the good story."

Hanania covered Chicago Politics and Chicago City Hall from 1976 through 1992. Hanania began writing in 1975 when he published The Middle Eastern Voice newspaper in Chicago (1975-1977). He later published “The National Arab American Times” newspaper which was distributed through 12,500 Middle East food stores in 48 American States (2004-2007).

Hanania writes weekly columns on Middle East and American Arab issues for the Arab News in Saudi Arabia at www.ArabNews.com, Middle East Monitor in London, the TheArabDailyNews.com, www.TheDailyHookah.com and at SuburbanChicagoland.com. He has also published weekly columns in the Jerusalem Post newspaper, YNetNews.com, Newsday Newspaper in New York, the Orlando Sentinel Newspapers, and the Arlington Heights Daily Herald.

Palestinian, American Arab and Christian, Hanania’s parents originate from Jerusalem and Bethlehem.

Hanania is the recipient of four (4) Chicago Headline Club “Peter Lisagor Awards” for Column writing. In November 2006, he was named “Best Ethnic American Columnist” by the New American Media. In 2009, Hanania received the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi Award for Writing from the Society of Professional Journalists. He is the recipient of the MT Mehdi Courage in Journalism Award. He was honored for his writing skills with two (2) Chicago Stick-o-Type awards from the Chicago Newspaper Guild. In 1990, Hanania was nominated by the Chicago Sun-Times editors for a Pulitzer Prize for his four-part series on the Palestinian Intifada.

His writings have also been honored by two national Awards from ADC for his writing, and from the National Arab American Journalists Association.

The managing editor of Suburban Chicagoland Online News website www.SuburbanChicagoland.com, Hanania's columns also appeare in the Southwest News Newspaper Group of 8 newspapers.

Click here to send Ray Hanania and email.

His Facebook Page is Facebook.com/rghanania

Visit this link to read Ray's column archive at the ArabNews,com ArabNews.com/taxonomy/term/10906
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23 comments on “15,000 Chicago protestors demand end to Israeli occupation
  1. Joseph Shbotnick says:

    Your being very dishonest Ray. At the most 1,000 people showed and they advocated war and equated Jews to Nazis. You are married to a Jewish woman and should be ashamed.

    • Shame on you Joe for supporting oppression and being so very dishonest. You’re just mad because so many people — AMERICANS — protested against Israel’s government’s ugly brutality. It’s people like you who enable the violence. People are dying because of dishonest attitudes like yours. You know that to be true!

      • SKV says:

        That is all good and emotional but lets follow facts. You pictures show couple thousands at most. Could you support your claim of 15000 participants? How did you do your estimate? Is any reference available to verify your claim?

        I hope you will be able to find time to reply.

        • zenphoenix42 says:

          The pics certainly show far more than 1,000.

          • skv says:

            Sure. Couple thousands means 2000. I can accept 3000, but I don’t see 15000. I realize that photographer often just cannot get the right spot to capture the whole event, so I asked for reference to confirm number…

  2. Daniel says:

    The best part about Freedom of Speech…it doesn’t matter what people say, it only matters what people listen to. So long as the stated goal of Palestinians is the destruction of Israel and the murder of jews…they are nameless, faceless and if they are content to be ignored, then they wont have any problems in America.

  3. Thomas Jefferson says:

    I logged on to the Chicago Tribune web page this morning. I cannot find any story related to this.

    If there really were 15,000 people demonstrating in Chicago yesterday, it would be front page news.

    What planet are you on, Ray Hanania?

    • rayhanania says:

      Anti-Arab, racist news media bias … the pictures tell it all … but then, hatred does make people like you blind

    • Thanks for confirming my criticism. Not one media covered the protest. It got a short mention on WLS TV … no substance. Media Bias, of course.

    • Thomas Jefferson says:

      The Chicago Tribune has no motivation to be pro-Israel or pro-Palestinian.

      You, on the other hand, have a huge motivation to please your audience, which are Arabs.

      Therefore, when the Chicago Tribune does not even mention a story about Chicago that you claim is a huge story, then the non-Muslim population knows who is lying.

      Sadly, I have concluded that your culture promotes lies as a legitimate method to achieve your desired results. Your view of morality is different than the average American’s view of morality.

      Another Arab “news reporter” recently was caught doing the same thing. Ayman Mohyeldin, an Arab reporter for MSNBC, was recently corrected live on air by his anchor, for filing a falsified report. His live feed video was showing the opposite of what Ayman Mohyeldin was claiming in his report.

      You, Ayman Mohyeldin, and most other Arab “reporters” stage the news rather than report the news.

      Your tribe’s tactics and strategy are causing the opposite effect on us.
      America has a large redneck population that do not like people who are different from them.

      You are not welcome here and would be well advised to return to your homeland, where you and your views will be accepted.

      • Are you the President Thomas Jefferson who raped Black women in the 18th Century? Just checking. You sound like a true racist hater with no facts : )

        Fortunately, the American people are seeing through your hatred and stories like this make people like you crawl out from under the rocks so readers can see who the real haters really are.

        Thanks for your post. It’s perfect evidence.

        • Thomas Jefferson says:

          Most American people are not stupid. They will judge who the liars are, regardless of what you or I claim.

          • Well I agree. Americans are not stupid. They are misled, lied to, brainwashed and manipulated by powerful communications strategies the Arabs don’t seem to use. This website is all about providing Americans with the Other Side of the story that they don’t get from the biased mainstream news media.

            And you know something, when most of them hear it, they are shocked and want more. Information works and I am working to inform them.

            • Steve Lewis says:

              Amazon Community discussions needs a Palestinian to counter the Israeli Hasbarah shill posting non-stop, every day, anti-Palestinian, anti-Arab hate speech and Zionist propaganda on the “History of the Palestinian Nation” discussion. It is is read by Amazon customers and because the Hasbarah host has an endless supply of cut-n-paste Zionist propaganda about everything Palestinian, it continually degrades all Palestinians and the effort to restore Palestine again. I am not Palestinian, not a history of Palestine expert, but this is what is needed, to start a real Palestinian History discussion from Palestinian p.o.v. I would urge someone more knowledgeable than myself to look into starting such a discussion on Amazon Community discussions.

  4. alur says:

    If Palestinians would stop their violence, there would be peace, but Palestinians act on emotion, not logic. They have shown that they would rather continue their violence rather than allow their children a peaceful and prosperous future.

  5. Jay Reams says:

    If they want to protect them so much, send them over there to help. I’ll vote for my tax dollar to be used for their plane ticket. If they want to stay here, support some American causes and American needs. Help out the government that has made it so you can come here and enjoy your life in freedom and own gas stations.

    • You’re already sending your tax dollars to fund Israel’s government’s oppression. More than $5 billion a year out of your pockets and into the settlements and funding the fanatics …

  6. Ian Barland says:

    All other media say 1200-2000 people …..hardly 15,000. Out of a population of a few million in the city not impressive. More people come out for an art festival for cats.

    • rayhanania says:

      I love how you argue no one covered it so it didn’t happen, and all of a sudden now you say people did cover and the numbers were not what was claimed. Hate and denial will distort anything … drop the hatred and open your eyes to the truth and maybe you can help save some lives

    • zenphoenix42 says:

      If the media had bothered doing their job, and informing me of the event, I’d have been there. It didn’t, so I wasn’t. See how that works? When Fox news was building the Tea Party, they made sure everyone knew when the “protests” were.

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