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Activist disrupts Jewish conference
A conference on how to combat the growing boycott, divestment and sanctions movement was held at Temple Beth-El, in Northbrook, a suburb of Chicago.
During a panel discussion, Michael Deheeger, a 32-year-old member of Jewish Voice for Peace-Chicago, interrupted the speakers, expressing his support for Palestinian rights. The mostly older audience responded with a staggering degree of hostility.
Deheeger compared the audience to racist whites in the Jim Crow South. “It was a throwback to pictures I’ve seen of white protesters in the South trying to uphold segregation,” he told The Electronic Intifada. Three other activists had disrupted the conference before Deheeger. “If there had been one person after me, I don’t know what would have happened,”
Deheeger, who is filming, can be heard repeatedly declaring, “I am Jewish, I support Palestinian human rights.” As Deheeger is carted out by police, camera in hand, one enraged person after another jumps out of their seat to taunt and curse at him. “You support killing Jews!” says one man. “Get the fuck out of here!” says another. Near the end, a woman shouts, “Hitler! Hitler!” “They were so unhinged,” Deheeger said. “One guy even came up and punched me in the arm.”