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An Unlikely Sight

Updated on March 31, 2015

I was walking towards downtown last Sunday (27th June, 2010), after parking my car on a side-street away from the major demonstrations and chaos when I heard pro Palestinian chants. As I got closer I could make out a Palestinian flag and some Israeli flags as well.

I heard chants such as “The state of Israel is illegal” and “Down with the Zionist criminals”. I have heard many such chants in my lifetime and considering that this week-end Toronto was filled with protesters of all forms and creeds, I was not surprised. What puzzled me though was the fact that I saw a bunch of orthodox Jews holding the Palestinian flag. It was also an elderly rabbi who was using a megaphone chanting all those anti-Zionist slogans.

I felt rather stupid to be frank about it. I would have never thought I would see orthodox Jews talking about how the state of Israel is giving all Jews a bad name by oppressing the Palestinian people of Gaza and West Bank. This incident was obviously needed to erase my ignorance regarding this subject.

I knew from before that not all Jews agree with the militant techniques of the state of Israel. In university I was part of a group called “Shalom / Salam”, which was made-up mostly of Palestinians and Jews who tried to build a bridge between the two groups. Thus, I knew that many people on both sides of the camp are sick of the violence and hatred which has dominated the Israeli-Palestinian conflict for decades. What I did not know was the ferocity of orthodox Jews when the topic of Zionism comes up. I must bow to them for that.

I stood in disbelief watching one orthodox rabbi speaking about the atrocious acts of the Zionist militants while a circle of curious people was slowly forming. Soon enough, there were Jews who showed up with Israeli flags and they started harassing the rabbi on the megaphone and those surrounding him. One man kicked one of their banners while an elderly woman asked for some of their pamphlets. When she received one she ripped it to shreds and threw the pieces on the ground. The crowd opposing the protesting orthodox Jews was beginning to get very angry, nearing violence so I stood with my camera ready to shoot.

Playing stupid at one point, I asked a younger Jew if this was Jews fighting Jews.

“These are not Jews! I don’t know what they are. They are crazy people! A disgrace!” he told me.

I personally do not know much about Jews but I do know what an orthodox Jew looks like and those guys with the anti-Zionism banners were definitely Jews no matter what the younger kid told me.

I was glad to see Jews speaking against the horrific actions which the Zionist state of Israel is pursuing and has been pursuing for many, many years now. I was encouraged to see once again Jews who do not support the suppression of the Palestinian people and who preach peace and harmony. It was indeed a great experience from which I had something to learn and I am ultimately thankful for.

For anyone interested in this subject follow the link:


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    • Mr. Happy profile image

      Mr. Happy 6 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      There are many Orthodox Jews here in Toronto, Mr. Wesman. They stay to themselves though (from the little I know/see); I probably would too if my own people stood against me ...

      I was contacted by a Rabbi from New York when I left an email on that website so, I guess there are some in the United States too.


    • Wesman Todd Shaw profile image

      Wesman Todd Shaw 6 years ago from Kaufman, Texas

      That site was so beautiful that I'd truly want to become as good a friend to those Orthodox Jews as I possibly could.

      I've never met an Orthodox Jew - I wish that I had.

    • Mr. Happy profile image

      Mr. Happy 7 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      Mr. OmNaser, I am glad I could bring to light a topic which many people do not know about. I am even more happy that you took the time to read the blog/article. Thank you.

      Mr. MacCoinneach, I thank you for your comment and the time you took to do so. Some things are just not talked about enough and many people are simply not aware of what is going on. Education is the key. Thank you again for stopping by. All the best!

    • profile image

      MacCoinneach 7 years ago

      There is a great misunderstanding, as made evident by some of these comments. No doubt, the State of Israel does NOT represent true Yisra'el. These "orthodox Jews" see that and, despite the comment by "cajunrooster" that these types of protests only take place in safe areas, is not true at all. "Orthodox Jews" protest in the State of Israel as well...against the Zionist state. I suppose some here need to give this site a visit for deeper insight: Without getting into a theological study here, I would also recommend that some here research why the State of Israel is NOT the Nation of Yisra'el. The State of Israel is a creation of the Zionist movement and are NOT Judaic at all. Oh they have their "Rabbis", but if one was to dig deeper, truth is just under the surface. By the way, the term Jew only refers to ONE tribe of Yisra'el. Study to how yourselves approved. Todah Rabbah! Shalom!

    • OmNaser profile image

      OmNaser 7 years ago from kuwait

      Yeah never seen this before...Im glad too that there are jews against those actions.

    • Mr. Happy profile image

      Mr. Happy 7 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      Haha, thank you for your comment Mr. Ahorseback. You are so right, you will not see such things on the news. It's not part of the brainwashing program. Cheers!

    • ahorseback profile image

      ahorseback 7 years ago

      Its funny , you won't see this on the news I guess, thanks for sharing.

    • cajunrooster profile image

      John David LeCoq 7 years ago from San Antonio, Texas

      I think the Israelis would live in peace if left alone. But there are some Jews in Israel and around the world that feel Israel needs to do more to help out the Palestinians. I think even Benjamin Netanyahu thinks that. But there are too many in the Arab world that don't even agree with Israel's right to exist. So you have a big problem there. I think it's like anything else. The people of the area would get along with each other if not for the militant groups. Israel does not have "militant" groups such as Hamas and Hezbollah, but they do have segments of their society that are very radical and will meet any troulbe with violence. I think if any Jew proposes to give in too much to the Arabs it will cost him. You notice this protest was in Toronto and not on the West Bank. You aren't going to get killed for your views in Toronto no matter what side you are on. If you tried something like this in Israel or one of the land closeby you probably wouldn't live very long!! I just don't think there will ever be peace in the area as long as militant groups exist in the countries. A great post and one I would have never thought I'd see!!

    • Mr. Happy profile image

      Mr. Happy 7 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      I was expecting more comments but I think this is somewhat of a taboo subject for the North American society ...

    • Mr. Happy profile image

      Mr. Happy 7 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      Mr. Dabeaner, I lost you here lol ... how are the orthodox Jews useful idiots for those seeking to expand their power? Maybe I am tired and my brain's not working but I didn't "get" your comment, sorry.

    • profile image

      Tugbo 7 years ago

      if it looks like a Duck ....and so on.

    • dabeaner profile image

      dabeaner 7 years ago from Nibiru

      Every country has more than enough "useful idiots". (Useful to those seeking to expand their power.)

    • lmmartin profile image

      lmmartin 7 years ago from Alberta and Florida

      It is a wonderful world where all opinions can be shared; a shameful world when those opinions are met with anger and violence. Lynda