Pro-Palestinian protesters crash Democrat Christmas party

Violence breaks out as anti-Israel demonstrators attack revelers and Democratic party Christmas event in Detroit.

Susan Tawil, World Israel News

A private holiday party for Detroit Democrats was rudely interrupted by a group of 20-30 anti-Israel demonstrators, ending in violent altercations and a decided lack of good cheer.

About 200 representatives of Detroit’s Congressional District 13 had gathered on Saturday, December 16 to celebrate at the Common Pub, near the city’s Wayne State University, when the protesters arrived.

The agitators, members of the Palestinian Youth Movement and the Party for Socialism and Liberation, first chanted and banged on the windows, then stormed into the bar, disrupting the event. They were repeatedly asked to leave, but refused, and started physically confronting the party attendees.

Pushing and shoving began, with protesters shouting at the revelers.

Democrat party activist Bobbie Johnson was punched in the face and hospitalized with two black eyes. “They came in here – they bust me in my head!” she said.

Ninety-one-year-old Bernice Smith, a former Detroit police commissioner, was filmed hitting protesters with her cane to defend herself.

Wayne County Commissioner Jonathan Kinloch said that there was no security at the event because it was a holiday party and they didn’t expect any protests or violence. What he called “the rioters” were asked to leave, but they refused, Kinloch said. “They had no business or legal right to be (there).”

Detroit Police Department spokesman Jordan Hall said that the incident is still under investigation and that no arrests have been made.

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The Metro-Detroit area of Michigan is home to 90,000 Jews and over 300,000 Muslims.

The city of Dearborn, a Detroit suburb, holds the largest Muslim population in America.

Its representative, Rashida Tlaib (D), who has been censured for her support of Hamas, is the only Palestinian-American in Congress. Dearborn’s mayor, Abdullah Hammoud, is the country’s first Muslim and Arab-American mayor.

The protesters who crashed the party confronted Michigan Representative Shri Thanedar, who recently renounced his membership of the Democratic Socialists of America over its support of what he viewed as the “antisemitic’’ Times Square rally.

Although Thanedar previously voted in favor of a resolution labeling Israel an “apartheid state” and calling to end U.S. military funding to Israel, he is now a staunch proponent of the Jewish state. The Congressman visited Israel this year, and since the October 7 Hamas massacre of thousands of Israeli civilians in towns bordering Gaza, Thanedar now says that “Hamas need to be eliminated from the face of this Earth.”

Following the disrupted holiday party, the anti-Israel protesters drove to Thanedar’s house in the middle of the night and woke him by loudly honking horns, chanting, and yelling. Neighbors called police, but the group left before officers arrived.

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Thanedar said that he is open to discussion of his position with his Muslim constituents, and would like to hold a town hall meeting with them in 2024. As to the behavior he recently experienced, Thanedar said: “This is not going to give you support for your cause.”