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Monday, April 15, 2024

Cheering Iran

Most Americans have an unfavorable view of Iran.  The weekend attack on Israel will not improve its image.

Olivia Reingold at The Free Press:
About 300 anti-war activists crowded into the basement of the Teamsters Union’s headquarters on Saturday to hear organizers from all over the country describe their plans to disrupt the Democratic National Convention this August. Joe Biden’s backing of Israel since Hamas’s October 7 attack has turned these left-wing radicals against their own party.

“It’s really inspiring to see that people are just as enthusiastic, and maybe even more enthusiastic, to march on the DNC as they are to march on the RNC,” says Omar Florez, a Milwaukee-based activist. “We can thank Genocide Joe and our movement for that.”

But then a man stumbles to the podium, wiping sweat from his forehead. He grabs the microphone to announce that the Islamic regime of Iran has launched missiles and drones heading straight toward Israel.

“They believe that they will be in Palestinian—I don’t call it Israeli—airspace between two and four a.m., which means about two to four hours from now,” he says. “In addition, there are reports of drones having been fired on Israel from Yemen and Iraq.”

The crowd, all wearing black N95s, erupts into applause. Someone in the back lowers their mask to send a celebratory whistle soaring throughout the room.

The man at the podium, Hatem Abudayyeh, heads the U.S. Palestinian Community Network, “a purported community group which, on information and belief, is an affiliate of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, a designated terror organization based in Gaza,” according to a lawsuit over the alleged relations between U.S. advocacy groups and Hamas.

“This is when this country and the world needs us because the United States is going to, quote unquote, defend the criminal Israeli state,” says Abudayyeh, whose home was raided by the FBI in 2010 as part of an investigation “concerning the material support of terrorism.”

“We have to assume that the United States is going to try to retaliate against Iran.”

After the boos and calls of “shame” subside, Abudayyeh says it is “incumbent” upon Americans to “stop the United States from expanding this war and hitting Iran.”

“We’ve got to be the strong, powerful anti-war movement that we are,” he says, placing the microphone down and exiting the stage.

The crowd immediately began chanting, “Hands off Iran.”