A small group of protesters gathered Wednesday night at the Monroe County Courthouse for a “Bloomington Stands with Palestine” protest. The interactions between the protesters and passers-by were tense at times.
One protester held a sign reading, “Free Palestine,” as about half a dozen others gathered.
The protest was planned on Facebook with this in the first paragraph of the event description:
“We cannot accept or ignore the ongoing acts of terror and violence against Palestinians on their homeland by militant Israeli colonizers. Come to the courthouse square Wednesday, May 12 from 6-7pm to stand in solidarity with the victims of these brutal attacks and show your support for Palestinian liberation.”
A few honked their horn in support of the protest, but others expressed their disagreement. One passerby in a vehicle chanted, “Israel, Israel …” and then called the protesters, “anti-Semitic.”
A man stopped to talk to the protesters, then said he didn’t want to be documented on video doing so. Another stopped and said he wanted to have a “respectful dialogue” with the protesters but was rebuffed by the demonstrators who accused him of interrupting their demonstration. A friend convinced him to walk away.
Then finally, a man stopped to ask the protesters if they knew what “apartheid” is, or if they are Middle Eastern. A protester said she isn’t Middle Eastern, but has Middle Eastern friends, and the man said in response, “Yeah, I love my friends, too,” as he walked away.
The political situation in Israel is being reported on news sites based in or covering the region.