'Native American' protesters to US: Give us back Manhattan - Israel News, Ynetnews

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Protest in front of US Embassy Photo: Michael Borodkin NEWSru.co.il
Protest in front of US Embassy Photo: Michael Borodkin NEWSru.co.il

'Native American' protesters to US: Give us back Manhattan

Some 20 people protest in front of American Embassy against US pressure on Israel to freeze settlement building. Protesters dress up as Native Americans in effort to remind US that pioneers who settled their country did not quite ask where they could and could not build

Olga Gouresky
Published: 08.20.09, 00:23 / Israel News

Some 20 people protested Wednesday outside the American Embassy in Tel Aviv against US pressure on Israel to freeze settlement building. Some of the protesters were dressed as Native Americans in a reminder to the US authorities that their country did not exactly ask the natives where they could live or build.

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The protestors carried signs emblazoned with slogans like "Three countries for three races" and "America, we understand you – understand us, too" and "Freeze building west of the Atlantic Ocean. Red-skinned American within 1492 border."


Their feathered headdresses and colorfully painted faces attracted the attention of passersby on the beachfront promenade. As a finishing touch, the protesters released balloons decorated with portraits of President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.


"The protest today is against US meddling in Israel's internal affairs," Yossef Mendelvich, one of the protest organizers, said to Ynet. Mendelvich is a writer and a former prisoner of Zion.

'Give back Manhattan.' Protestors in front of embassy (Photo: Michael Borodkin NEWSru.co.il)


"We feel a civic duty to the State and to Zionism. We wanted to say that when a state is being built, a lot of people come, and one can't limit the building of houses. What right does Obama have to tell us that we can't build a school or a day care center for children born in these towns? These things are done in open, unused space. There is enough space for Arabs and for us. When the white man came to the US, he didn't ask the Indians where to build and to live. Another country will not tell us where to build," he explained.


"We wanted to show the Americans that they have their own problems," added another protester, writer Alexnder Kazarnovsky, a resident of Pardes Hanna. "They won't teach us and we won't allow foreigner to dictate (terms) to us. Jerusalem is the capital of Israel, and only Israel will decide where it is allowed to build."


"As an analogy, we showed here what would happen if we would dictate to them not to build in New York or in Washington. We wanted to say to them that just as they call upon us to give back certain territories in the State of Israel, we call upon them to give Manhattan back to the Indians – the third most important site to the Indians. To return to the borders of 1492," explained Kazarnovsky.


According to them, their group did not receive permission to protest in a larger group, "but tourists and passersby showed interest and joined us." Despite this, he does not have high hopes that their efforts will have a large effect: "I don't think Hillary Clinton and Obama will take note of us."


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