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Palestine
Protesters picket speech by Israel's Tzipi Livni at New York City's Russian Tea Room
Protesters picket speech by Israel's Tzipi Livni at New York City's Russian Tea Room
Chanting "Tzipi Livni, you can't hide — we charge you with genocide" and calling for Livni to be prosecuted for Israeli war crimes in Gaza.
Sunday, July 4,2010 14:28
Ikhwanweb&News Agencies

ه  A group of 50 protesters picketed on West 57th Street outside New York's venerable Russian Tea Room on Thursday evening in opposition to an appearance there by Tzipi Livni. Ms. Livni is a former Foreign Minister of Israel as well as the leader of the opposition party, Kadima. Her speech was the closing session of a two-day conference on "Peace and Security" hosted by the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation and Political Violence, a think tank affiliated with Kings College, London, as well as the University of Pennsylvania. The Livni speech was also hosted by the Hudson Union Society, an organization with ties to Yale University.

 All sessions of the conference with the exception of the speech by Ms. Livni were held across town at the Waldorf Astoria hotel. The conference organizers had attempted to keep the location of the Livni speech a secret from the public by disclosing the venue only to registered attendees, citing "security concerns" and referencing the risk that Ms. Livni may face arrest when she travels outside Israel. A UK court issued an arrest warrant for Ms. Livni on war crimes charges last year but later withdrew it.

 Yesterday's protest was organized by members of Jews Say No!, American Jews for a Just Peace, and Adalah-NY: The New York Coalition for the Boycott of Israel. All three groups have been sponsors of other recent protests against Israeli military actions, including the deadly May 31 assault on an international flotilla carrying humanitarian supplies, and the attack on Gaza in December 2008-January 2009 which killed more than 1400 Palestinians.

 Yesterday's Russian Tea Room picketers carried signs that accused Israel of war crimes and referenced the numbers of civilians killed in recent Israeli military campaigns. The protesters distributed handbills that described Livni as a key official responsible for Israel's attacks on Lebanon in 2006 and on Gaza last year. The handbills asked, "Why is an audience at the Russian Tea Room listening to Israeli war criminal Tzipi Livni talk about 'peace?'" and quoted a 2009 Der Spiegel interview with Livni in which she avowed, ""Naturally I regret every civilian casualty, but what happened at the UN school was not a mistake," a reference to the January 2009 bombing of the United Nations school in Gaza City by the Israeli Defense Forces. The protesters called for an end to Israel's three-year-old blockade and siege of Gaza, and for support of the Palestinian call for international Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel.

 Perhaps because audience members' identification was being scrutinized by the conference's security personnel, or perhaps because of the limited capacity of the Russian Tea Room's elevators, some incoming audience members were forced to line up on the sidewalk in front of the restaurant. This left them standing directly beside the chanting picketers for several minutes at a time, though there was no direct interaction between the two groups. Queued patrons avoided eye contact and talked quietly among themselves, while protesters strolled past and sang promises to "keep on walkin', keep boycottin', til Palestine is free."

Source

tags: Gaza / Livni / Israeli Crimes / Jews / Freedom Flotilla / Gaza Siege / IOA / Kadima / Boycott of Israel
Posted in Palestine  
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