Sun-Sentinel Lame Coverage of Pro-Hamas Ft. Lauderdale Demonstration Overshadowed by YouTube Video
Protesters waving Palestinian flags and shouting "Free Palestine" squared off against supporters of Israel outside Fort Lauderdale's courthouse Tuesday evening over four days of warfare in the Gaza Strip.
More than 100 people accused the Israeli military of genocide and demanded an end to its airstrikes. Across Southeast Third Avenue, about two dozen people charged that the Gaza Strip is controlled by terrorists and demanded a stop to rocket attacks that Israel says prompted its actions.
The two sides traded chants as rush-hour traffic passed by and police officers stood watch.
"It's horrible not knowing if your uncle or your grandmother is dead," said Sammy Abu-Hamdeh of Pembroke Pines, who attended the pro-Palestinian rally. Allyn Kanowsky of Coral Springs on the pro-Israel side said, "If the Palestinians laid down their arms, there would be no war. If the Israelis laid down their arms, there would be no Israel."
Israel began its airstrikes Saturday, and reports place the death toll at 374. Israeli leaders say they are targeting Hamas militants who have ruled the Gaza Strip since 2007 and who they say are responsible for recent rocket fire into southern Israel.
Pro-Palestinian demonstrators called on the United States to stop aid to Israel. Ahmad Suid of Naples brought his 8-year-old son and 9- and 10-year-old daughters to the rally holding signs saying "Stop the Genocide" and "I'm not a terrorist."
"This is absolutely inhumane," Suid said. "This is a modern-day holocaust."
Another rally for Israel is planned for Sunday at noon across from the Holocaust Memorial in Miami Beach. "We have to stand up for Israel and oppose the terrorist attacks that have been going on for way too long," said Rabbi Andrew Jacobs of Plantation.
What? There's some sort of law that says the Sun-Sentinel can't supplement its written reports with video? And where could they get such video? Why by searching YouTube. I'm sure Tom Trento would have granted the Sun-Sentinel permission for the use of the video. In fact, I'm sure Trento's YouTube video has had way more views (almost 53,000 as of this writing) than the Sun-Sentinel's written report which failed to relay any real sense of the insanity generated by the pro-Hamas crowd. And speaking of Tom Trento, he delivered a spot-on commentary about this demonstration at the tail end of his video:
Okay, I could provide a lot of commentary on what you just saw but I'll let the video speak for itself. The evening started off with a handful of Palestinian supporters and then grew and grew and grew for about two hours. Up to two or probably three hundred. And the intensity got more dramatic and more focused as the evening went on. And then the Imam had a call to prayer that you saw. And after that there was a fervor, an excitement, an agitation throughout the crowd. And as you saw, the crowd eventually wanted to go over to the side where the supporters of Israel were and to confront them and they moved that way. But for the police who pushed them back there may have been some problems. In any event this was not Gaza, it was not Paris, it was not London, it was not even Detroit. This was Fort Lauderdale, Florida. We have a lot of work to do in 2009. Take care.
And thank you, Tom Trento, for giving us an idea of what was really happening at that demonstration in downtown Ft. Lauderdale. Your video report provided us an insight that was pretty much lacking in the Sun-Sentinel story about the same event. Yet another illustration of why newspapers around the country are in a steep decline.
Remember, Earl, there's this internet thingy that you seem to be ignoring.