Anti-Israel protests billed as a “Day of Rage” – a phrase commonly used by Hamas to brand riots in Gaza – are set to take place this week in the United States against Israel’s expected decision to apply sovereignty over parts of the West Bank.
The protests, organised by pro-Palestinian and BDS groups, are scheduled to begin on Wednesday, 1 July with some of the organisers linking their aims with the recent Black Lives Matter protests. Meanwhile there is concern the protests could turn violent or result in anti-Semitism.
Wednesday is when the Israeli government is free to pursue its annexation goals according to a coalition agreement signed by the country’s two biggest parties earlier this year.
The Jerusalem Post reports that protests will be held in Chicago, San Diego, Brooklyn, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. International activists in Canada and Spain will also hold separate rallies.
A number of the demonstrations are being organised by groups known to be supporters of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, including Students for Justice in Palestine, Jewish Voice for Peace, and American Muslims for Palestine.
One group helping to organise the demonstrations, Al-Awda – The Palestinian Right to Return Coalition, which has been involved in supporting the Black Lives Matter movement, is aiming to link the two. It states on its website: “We demand the defunding and dismantling of US police alongside the defunding and dismantling of Zionist colonialism and racist Israeli apartheid.”
It also accuses Israel of “72 years of genocide, ethnic cleansing and dispossession,” and features artwork created by cartoonist Carlos Latuff, a second-place prize winner in Iran’s Holocaust Cartoon Competition, on its website.
According to the Post, Mayor Eric Garcetti and Police Chief Michael Moore have been contacted by legal groups to make sure the Los Angeles protest, scheduled to take place out the Israeli consulate, remains peaceful.
“While we fully support every American’s right to peacefully assemble and protest, there is every reason to believe that the planned July 1 ‘Day of Rage’ will be a day of violence and antisemitism, commensurate with… the word ‘rage,'” a letter by the Zachor Legal Institute and sent to the mayor’s office reads.