Volume 80, Number 3 | June 16 - 22, 2010
West and East Village, Chelsea, Soho, Noho, Little Italy, Chinatown and Lower East Side, Since 1933

Villager photo by Lincoln Anderson

Hyman Silverglad outside Judson Church.

Flotilla event doesn’t float

By Lincoln Anderson

An event planned at Judson Church featuring survivors of the Mavi Marmara from the Gaza flotilla failed to sail. Late last Sunday afternoon, the church doors were locked. There were signs posted for “Flash Mob Rehearsal,” a Narcotics Anonymous meeting and a Korean church group, but nothing about the flotilla.

The only people who showed up were two protesters, Hyman Silverglad and his friend Fran, who withheld her last name, both of the group the East Village in Solidarity With Israel, and a Villager reporter. Silverglad said he learned about the event by reading about it in The Villager last week.

The event, which had been publicized on Facebook, was to feature a keynote address by George Galloway, a former British Parliament member, as well as survivors from the attack on the ship, on which nine civilians were killed on May 31 during a violent clash with Israeli commandos.

Jennifer Roesch, an organizer of the canceled Judson event, said Monday in an e-mail, “I am so sorry. We tried to get the word out as widely as possible that it was canceled. Galloway was unable to arrange his travel schedule to come, and getting the Turkish speakers meant a delay in visa processing.”

Roesch said the event has been rescheduled for Thurs., June 17, at a Brooklyn location.

However, Donna Schaper, Judson’s senior minister, said her understanding was that Sunday’s event had been moved to a church uptown “because we didn’t really have the space for it.”

Silverglad and Fran handed out fliers to passersbys and occasionally engaged in debate with people who held opposing views on the Israeli-Palestinian situation. One of their handouts noted that the former grand mufti of Jerusalem was tight with Hitler and “used Nazi funds” to finance terrorist activities to chase Jews out of Israel. Silverglad also hung an Israeli flag on the church fence.

He said he would have loved the chance to “razz” Galloway.

“I ran all the way over here…,” he said. “How do they announce George Galloway, a former member of the British Parliament, is going to be here and he doesn’t show up?

“More than a million Jews have been expelled from the Arab lands, and have now become museum pieces,” Silverglad stated. “I have compassion for the Palestinian Arabs; they have suffered. If they had accepted the U.N. partition — two states — maybe they could have lived in harmony.”

“In Saudi Arabia they’re stoning women to death,” added Fran. “Why don’t they talk about that?”

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