Israeli Arabs protest outside US Embassy in Tel Aviv

Dozens gather to demonstrate peacefully against anti-Islam film; MKs attack ‘Western Islamophobia’

The US Embassy in Tel Aviv. (photo credit: CC-BY Krokodyl, Wikimedia Commons)
The US Embassy in Tel Aviv. (photo credit: CC-BY Krokodyl, Wikimedia Commons)

About 100 people protested outside the US Embassy in Tel Aviv Thursday, as anger over an anti-Islam movie continued to swirl around the Arab world.

The demonstration, which was peaceful, was led by the Northern Branch of the Islamic Movement, a radical group headed by Sheikh Raed Salah. Protesters held up signs and blasted the US for allowing the movie, which protrays the Islamic prophet Mohammad in an unflattering light, to be made.

On Wednesday, the movement released a statement calling on Muslims to respond to the film.

Earlier Thursday, Ambassador Dan Shapiro said he was confident in the security around the US Embassy.

US President Barack Obama ordered security around American interests beefed up after the protests.

The demos were part of a series of rallies outside US embassies in the wake of a trailer for the film being released on YouTube. In Yemen, protesters stormed the compound’s walls and set fire to vehicles and in Cairo, police clashed with Egyptians outside the Embassy.

A small group also protested the movie in Gaza, burning an American flag.

Protests were also reported in Iraq, Iran and Tunisia.

On Tuesday, gunmen, ostensibly protesting the film, stormed the American Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, killing the American ambassador and three staffers.

Israeli Arab Knesset members on Thursday blasted the movie, and warned of dire repercussions if the UN fails to take steps. MK Talab Sana (United Arab List) said that “if the UN does not mobilize to stop this erosion, it will be Armageddon.”

MK Ahmed Tibi called the movie a “contemptible and despicable film whose intention is to light the fires of hatred on the backdrop of the rising wave of Islamophobia in the West.”

Sana blamed “Zionist forces” for the intensifying the hatred of Islam for political purposes. “The person behind this abomination,” Sana said, “does not realize the place held by the prophet Mohammad in the identity and the dignity of Muslims.” He further blamed the West for encouraging the demonization of Muslims and of Islam.


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