An estimated 250 Israelis took to the streets in Jerusalem Wednesday, chanting "No you can't!" in protest of growing American pressure to halt expansion of West Bank settlements, on the eve of President Obama's major address to Muslims on Thursday.
The protests are but one indication of the strong political reaction in Israel to the settlement issue, as well as a growing unease over President Obama's support for the Arab nations vis-à-vis Israel.
According to the Jerusalem Post, speakers at the rally included Knesset member Michael Ben-Ari, the wife of convicted Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard, and activist-rabbi Shalom Gold.
"Mr. Obama… be a friend of Israel… but even if you won't be, we have the greatest ally in the world," Rabbi Gold said pointing skyward to heaven, the newspaper reported.
Israeli sources tell Newsmax the protest is only the beginning of a much larger campaign that will apparently go so far as to portray Obama as anti-Semitic.
Israeli Web sites are already showing images of campaign posters depicting Obama wearing a keffiyah, the traditional Arab scarf favored by the late Yasser Arafat and other Arab leaders.
The Jerusalem Post, which reports the Jewish National Front is backing the campaign, says the posters of Obama will be "flanked by the words, 'anti-Semite,' and 'Jew-hater,'" written in both English and Hebrew.
A left-wing activist group, Peace Now, immediately demanded that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu renounce the anti-Obama campaign.
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