Today two implacable foes will fight over a barren strip of land that time seems to have forgotten. That would be, of course, the stretch of Wilshire Boulevard that is home to the
Israeli Consulate, where pro-Palestinian demonstrators will protest the Jewish state's invasion of Gaza -- and where, across the street, a pro-Israel gathering will attempt to drown out the other side's chants.
Photos: Robert Lowden
ANSWER L.A. is organizing today's anti-Israel action at Wilshire and La Jolla at 4:30 p.m., while StandWithUs is behind the counter-demonstration. These kind of events have tended to produce ugly shouting matches but, so far, no physical violence. We asked representatives for both sides if there had, perhaps, been secret talks between them that laid out certain ground rules.
"I don't think we want to talk to them and I know they don't want to
talk to us," says ANSWER L.A. spokesman Ian Thompson. The feeling seems
mutual, according to a StandWithUs spokeswoman who declined to give her
"We counter-protest them a lot," the woman says, adding that there is no communication between the groups.
yelled at us with 'F-you' at lot," the StandWithUs spokeswoman says,
recalling a recent confrontation. "One 12-year-old kid came up and
yelled 'F-you!' at us -- it was unsettling."
Thompson has his own examples of incivility.
"They have tried to [verbally] assault people," Thompson says. "They screamed 'Die! Die! Die!' at this young Palestinian."
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January 7, StandWithUs sponsors a noon pro-Israel rally at the Federal
Building in Westwood. At noon, Saturday, January 10, ANSWER LA will
stage its own anti-Israel demonstration at the same location, on
Wilshire at Veteran.