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How did I spend my birthday? Protesting for Israel, of course

in Peter/The Bay and the 'Burg by
A couple of years ago, I learned that one or more of my maternal grandmother’s ancestors were Jewish. I guess her family hid this fact out of anti-semitism or embarrassment or the false assumption that it would just be easier to ignore the truth.
The rumor of my family’s history has yet to be fully confirmed, but since I found out about this story, I’ve been increasingly interested in the affairs of Israel. As a matter of fact, I was always interested in the Jewish struggle. I loved reading about the formation of the nation, about Golda Meir, about the battles. So when I first heard about my grandmother’s story, it just confirmed for me something I had felt for a while.
Honestly, being in New York City for a year, where Jewish culture is celebrated more, was really exciting. It was kinda cool to actually be off for the Jewish holidays so you could think for a moment where the traditions originated. It was intellectually stimulating to be able to ask questions about Israel and have them answered by people who had just visited the country.
I’ll always remain a devout Roman Catholic, but I’ll always feel some sort of kindred spirit for the people of Israel. So when I read that there was going to be a pro-Gaza demonstration outside of Baywalk, I felt an obligation to not let this protest go unanswered. So I joined with a handful of counter-protesters, out-numbered twenty to one, and defended Israel’s actions in Gaza. You can see the coverage here (it’s not letting me embed), where I got into it with a pro-Palestinians demonstrator that was just completely full of shit. (Israel broke the ceasefire? Are you kidding me?)
Our side of the street was walled off from the hundred or so Palestinian supporters by at least ten cops, who sensed there could have been trouble without their presence. And they were probably right; both sides were fired-up. I actually stayed until the end, the last defender of Israel. One of the cops in charge had asked me how long I intended to keep it up, to which I replied, I’ll give it fifteen minutes, get everything really fired up and then I’m going to watch the football game.
So I kept yelling “Long live Israel” and I really wasn’t drowned out by the other side because they atually would pause to hear what I would say. So at the end I got a little cute: there were some rather attractive protesters out there, so I yelled out: “I didn’t know Hamas had such hot protesters.” That didn’t go over so well. In fact, one of the cops that was basically standing between me and my imminent ass-whipping turned around and looked at me as if to say ‘You’re on your own on that one.’
I decided then that I had made my point. I yelled out one final chant: “Goodnight. I am going to watch the Colts game.” The other side of the street laughed at that one. They must know that there are few causes more important than the Israeli-Palestinian struggle and one of them is the NFL playoffs.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including,,, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.

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