Zionism’s Exaggerated Sense of Entitlement

by Margaret Cassar          

Article for Intifada Palestine

As we prepare for our sixth year of protesting for the rights of Palestinians in Adelaide’s Rundle Mall we are reflecting on some new and disturbing behaviour from our detractors. Over the last 275 weeks we have had plenty of time and multiple opportunities to judge how various forms of Zionists and Christian Zionists comport themselves in public. Many of the behaviours appear to be counter-intuitive. It is well documented that a majority of Australians disapprove of Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians and believe that the Zionist Israeli government’s policies have a negative influence on world affairs. According to the BBC World Poll 2015 69% of Australians hold a negative view of Israel. Logically one would think that these Zionists would be on a mission to win the hearts and minds of the general populace when they appear in public. Yet the opposite appears to be happening here in Adelaide at our weekly protests

The Adelaide based Australian Friends of Palestine Association have held weekly BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions) protests of one hour duration for the past five years and four months where we distribute generic leaflets educating people about the situation in Palestine. We believe that knowledge without action is meaningless and a road to frustration and disempowerment. Praxis requires that once the people of Adelaide know about injustice in Palestine they must be given the tools to help alleviate that suffering so we also hand out Products to Boycott lists and information about the BDS movement.

We are a small group of protesters, quiet and peaceful. We carry a few Palestinian flags and several placards. Our protesting buskers regularly sing songs with a pro-Palestinian theme. As far as protesters go you would be hard pressed to find more peaceful, even tempered group. Yet as each Christmas has come and gone and we reflect on the past year it is obvious that the Zionist groups harassing us have become emboldened to increase their verbal violence and threats against us.

Just a few incidents from last year include:

                 . A mature aged female protester being stalked and harassed as she walked up Rundle Mall at night time by a three younger Zionist males

                . A Middle Eastern protester has been stalked and verbally and physically attacked by Christian Zionists on numerous occasions. Vile comments about his mother and the prophet Mohammad have also been hurled at him in an attempt to incite an angry reaction

               . One of the Christian Zionists made the gesture of a hand slitting his throat to intimidate a mature aged female protester

             . A male Zionist told one protester that he knows where she lives and would be sending around his friends to beat her up. He also taunted our Middle Eastern protester saying that all Muslims are dirty and never wash and should be herded in one place and bombed

           . A young man wearing a skull cap stormed through our protest one day and tried to wrestle a placard from the hands of a young female protester, rip the shirt off our Middle Eastern protester’s back and tear the Palestinian flag from the hands of another protester. Meanwhile he was yelling abuse accusing us of being Jew haters and Nazis

        . A few young Israeli workers hurl four-letter expletives at us and seem oblivious that this behaviour is being observed by shoppers in Rundle Mall

       . A young Israeli worker saw us taking photographs to commemorate our 5th Anniversary and stormed over to us aggressively, created a scene observed by dozens of shoppers and then demanded to know if we had been to Israel.

These behaviours are just a few isolated incidents from what has become a fairly constant pattern of harassment.  The face of Zionism that we see, and that the general populace of Adelaide sees, is rude, arrogant and disrespectful of the protest group and other Australian citizens. The Christian Zionist group also flouts Council by-laws. It is not difficult to see that their exaggerated sense of entitlement is just a reflection of the values promoted by the Israeli government with their contempt for the Palestinians and their belief in Israeli exceptionalism.


Margaret Cassar 23 January 2016

Photograph taken at 5th Anniversary Protest of a few members of the protest group. 8 October 2015


About the author

Margaret Cassar  is the co-coordinator of the AFOPA * BDS  movement in Adelaide, South Australia and a member of the Australian Friends of Palestine Association’s Executive.

 The Adelaide BDS group has protested every week for over 5 years in the centre of Adelaide’s premier retail precinct and at Israeli cultural events. The members of this persistent and peaceful pro-Palestinian group have been inspired by the non-violent protest movement in Palestine at places like Bilin. They have met with considerable resistance from Zionists and Christian Zionists but remain committed to BDS actions until Israel ends its military occupation of Palestine and there is equality and justice for all Palestinians.


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