Pace Davis, co-chair of the Palestine Solidarity Committee, the organization that held the protest, said that this was another episode in a trend of framing responsive actions of Palestinians as unprovoked violence.
These presentations garner uncritical support of Israel, Davis said. We want to draw attention to the narrative of the suffering in Gaza and other Palestinian territories; suffering that is often ignored.
Bedein, an Israeli native, served for three years in the Israeli Defense Forces as a sergeant for an artillery scout unit along the Lebanese border and later as an emissary for The Jewish Agency in Boston. After returning to Israel, Bedein started the Sderot Media Center, where he provides briefings in Sderot and the Western Negev for foreign diplomats, government officials and student groups.
The world doesnt know the story, said Zach Garber, president of Texans for Israel, who sponsored Bedeins talk. You never hear what people in Israel have to deal with. We want to raise awareness of the tragedies that take place in the city of Sderot that borders Gaza. People have died and the economy is horrible.
Before the event, members of the pro-Israeli group handed out fliers countering the sentiments of the protesters.
We dont talk to incite anything, Garber said. We just want to open up dialogue about what is happening in the Middle East.
Every year, the pro-Palestine group protests the Israel Block Party, a fair held in the spring on the South Mall that celebrates Israeli culture and accomplishments.
We need to look at Israels role. We have to see [Palestinian violence] as a product of their occupation, said Dickie Fischer, co-chair of the pro-Palestine group.
This event was organized by The Palestine Solidarity Committee http://mideastsolidarity.wordpress.com
This is a zgraphix production.
Produced by Jeff Zavala.