Citation Issued at Dueling State Street Protests Over Israel-Gaza War

Dozens of Pro-Palestinian protestors on the corner of State and Las Positas Thursday evening. (Photo by Amy Katz)

A rally in support of the Palestinian people drew a counter-protest at the corner of Las Positas and State Streets on Thursday evening.

The local chapter of Jewish Voice for Peace scheduled a “Vigil to Stop Genocide in Gaza” at 6:00 p.m. in front of the Auto Stereo Shop.

Across the street, closest to the 7-Day Nursery, a group of Pro-Israel demonstrators gathered with the flag of Israel and bulletin board with posters of missing and kidnapped people.

Around 7:00 p.m., Santa Barbara Police Officers arrived at the intersection to monitor the situation after receiving a call about the two groups yelling at each other, according to Assistant Chief of Police Kenneth Kushner.

“The Officers observed the two groups involved in First Amendment-protected activities and remained to provide safety and ensure that Constitutional rights were equally protected,” said Kushner.

An Officer then observed one of the male demonstrators quickly approach the Pro-Israel group, grab a flag, and run. The Officer gave chase and detained the subject.

The victim who had possessed the flag signed for a citizen’s arrest, resulting in a citation being issued, said Kushner.

A Pro-Israel protestor makes a police report to a Santa Barbara Police Officer after a Pro-Palestinian protestor stole his flag in Santa Barbara on October 19, 2023. (Photo: Amy Katz)

Photographer Amy Katz attended the rally and shared her perspective in this Op-Ed posted on edhat. Katz stated the protestor also pushed the man holding the flag. (The full Op-Ed can be read here.)

The Hamas terrorist group attacked Israel on October 7, prompting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to declare war. Israel says at least 1,400 people, mostly civilians, have been killed since Hamas launched the attack from the Gaza Strip, the Palestinian territory it has controlled for years.

The U.S. State Department says 32 Americans are known to have been killed, and 11 U.S. citizens remain unaccounted for, some reportedly taken hostage.

Palestinian health officials say about 3,800 people, including hundreds of children, have been killed by Israel’s retaliatory airstrikes in Gaza, and at least 12,500 more wounded.

Edhat Staff

Written by Edhat Staff

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    • ANON – I hope/wish and think you’re right. Unfortunately though, too many attack any support for Gaza as pro Hamas. Some of the accounts from the rallies last night evidence that. Also, some employers seem to be of that same flawed thinking. A large tech summit was recently cancelled due to one of the organizers simply saying, ““War crimes are war crimes even when committed by allies.”

      • Respectfully, it seems as though these protests in support of Gaza are unique in Santa Barbara. It would lend itself to the conclusion that a Hamas driven incident was the spark as opposed to one led by Israel. I don’t have the answer but surprised that there is a significant deviation of protesting in support of Gaza, suddenly.

        • Ah, I finally figured out what your poorly written comment means. But no, this is not the first time that people in Santa Barbara have demonstrated for Palestinian rights … just because you’re not aware of something doesn’t mean it hasn’t happened. There is of course a lot of media attention right now because of the immensity of what is happening in Israel (which Gaza is part of), but protests supporting Palestinian rights have happened for decades, and enter into the public consciousness around major events like the intifadas (which are uprisings of oppressed people) and now the dropping of 6000 bombs on Gaza and the impending slaughter of tens of thousands of Palestinians (meanwhile in the West Bank, where Hamas does not exist, Israeli settlers are shooting Palestinians and stealing yet more of their lands and possessions).

          Yes the “Hamas driven incident”–that is, the thuggish attack on Israel that killed and injured over 1000 Israelis–was the “spark” for Israel’s murderous and genocidal response that will produce yet more terrorists and yet more deaths of innocents of all varieties. That is what thousands upon thousands of people around the world are protesting against or simply holding vigils about, as in SB.

          Of course the Hamas attack “sparked” these events, but history did not begin with that attack as people like you pretend. It was preceded 75 years ago by the Nabka–the violent expulsion of 750,000 Palestinians and the theft of their land and property, followed by decades of illegal and brutal oppression, theft, and death visited by the state of Israel upon Palestinians. It was entirely predictable–and predicted–that such treatment would result in the existence of terrorist organizations such as Hamas–which BTW Israel nurtured as a counter to Arafat and Fatah.

          • My comments always get deleted until the staff reinstates them so I’m going to stop commenting until (if ever) they fix the software. But one last one before I go: Anonymous refuted nothing that I wrote, offering instead insults and unoriginal whatabouting falsehoods (my accusations of sophistry directed at VoR are specific and accurate; the claim that my reasoning is sophistic is completely baseless), claimed to be neutral while admitting to being one-sided (supposedly to correct some imbalance, which is absurd given the general treatment of I/P issues), and claims that it is pointless to look at links to factual information. There is no reason to engage with such a person and I won’t knowingly do so in the future. (Of course that’s harder when they hide behind anonymity–another reason why I’m not interested in engaging with them.) I’m a Jew, which is why I have taken a personal interest in these issues for decades–since 1967 and the Six Day war. My only “side” is truth and ethics–and thus the deep pain of seeing many of my people treat others in ways much like we have been treated.

          • It is evident from Anonymous’s comments in which they say “Please educate yourself on all sides of an issue” that they actually know absolutely nothing about the history and are just throwing around general denials and making baseless personal attacks.

          • ANON – I never said I was “an expert.” I’m just providing information that is clearly lacking in many peoples’ account of this crisis.

            “Israel has no interest in “stealing” more land, especially THAT land, and only took what they did after the war in order to have buffer to protect themselves” – That is exactly the concern of millions of Arabs worldwide. It’s been done in the past, look at the 1948 Arab-Israeli War.,ethnic%20and%20multi%2Dcultural%20society.

            “Israelis also pride themselves on not “attacking” anyone unless first attacked” – They can “pride themselves” in that all they want, but it’s not true. Read about the 6 Day War in 1967 ( Also read about again about Nakba cited above. Furthermore, to insist on this faulty claim that Israel has never provoked or attacked first is to ignore thousands of years of history of this conflict. BOTH sides have had their share of provoking.

            No, Jews did not “own” that land “thousands of years ago. Both Arabs and Jews have lived in the region for thousands of years. You ignore the massive land grabs in history (see 1948 again) and the current settlement issues.

            “You make some real dramatic imagery describing Israeli’s constant “stealing and killing.” ” – That’s in YOUR head, don’t blame me.

            Sorry you’re nauseated by facts, but again, that’s on you. You bash me for being “one sided” yet respond with some of the most one-sided claims I’ve seen in a while.

            • Sac, your reading of the 67 war is extremely limited. The state dept. summary which you provide is so superficial as to fail to provide a complete picture.

              The reality is that the preparations by Egypt, Syria and Jordan and their mobilizations to fight on three fronts simultaneously put Israel into a very difficult position. They could wait and hope that everything going on was a bluff and risk that it wasn’t and be caught by those three powers’ far more numerous military assets, which could have absolutely overwhelmed Israel, or they could believe what they were seeing and launch a pre-emptive attack to take out the air power that was the greatest threat.

              They chose to do that. In looking at the events one can hardly blame them. If someone has convinced you that they are about to attack you it would be foolish to allow them to do so. Was they Israeli attack pre-emptive? Yes. That being said, the reality was such that preparation for an attack gets to the point that it is in and of itself an “attack”, i.e., an attempt to achieve a goal by projecting military power.

              It’s not so black and white as you would like it to be.

          • Please educate yourself on all sides of an issue before purporting to be an expert. Your “history lesson” here is just as one-sided as the “other side’s!” Ha ha. This is anything but objective. Other interpretations of “history” include that Israel has no interest in “stealing” more land, especially THAT land, and only took what they did after the war in order to have buffer to protect themselves. In other words, had they not been attacked, which started a war, they would have left the land alone. From all accounts, Israelis also pride themselves on not “attacking” anyone unless first attacked. You make some real dramatic imagery describing Israeli’s constant “stealing and killing.” This conjures up an image of some wild eyed barbarians running around shooting anything that moves with zero provocation and stealing anything that isn’t nailed down. “Hey citizens, better hang onto your hats, or those barbarians will steal them too!” I doubt most Israelis would agree this is proper “history.” If you really want to get “historical” the Jews owned all that land thousands of years ago. I actually am pretty neutral on these issues, myself, seeing trouble on both sides. But your SOPHISTIC arguments and the subsequent fawning of your acolyte were just too nauseating.

          • DALGORF – it’s refreshing to see someone with a working knowledge of this conflict.

            I’d like to add, the goal of killing “all of Hamas,” is not viable without the deaths of thousands more innocent civilians. Even if they were able to kill every single Hamas member, do they really think Israel would be then free of terrorism? The childish logic of those who think the War on Terror can be won is absurd. Let’s say they do somehow manage to kill each and every CURRENT Hamas member, soldier, leader, whatever. OK cool, but the surviving relatives, friends, lovers, of the thousands and thousands of innocent civilians you just killed in order to kill each and every Hamas member are now, guess what? The next Hamas.

            Now, let’s say they’re not, for some reason, upset at all about the thousands and thousands of innocent Palestinians that Israel would have to kill to destroy each member of Hamas. OK, great! Now what about ISIS? Palestinian Jihad? Hezbollah? Any other number of terrorist groups in the region? Does Israel truly think they’ll be safe? The other groups will just throw their arms up and say, “Well, all the Hamas guys are dead and the Palestinians still have no place to live freely and without fear of death, let’s just stop attacking Israel and find something else to work on.”

            It’s ridiculous to think murdering thousands of civilians in the effort to kill “all of Hamas” will result in peace and safety. Even if Hamas is eradicated with no more civilian casualties, the hate remains. It’s ignorant of the underlying cause of Arab anger in the region. It’s ignorant of the nature of terrorism. It won’t make Israel much safer.

            Now, before I get yelled at for saying “Sac doesn’t want Israel to fight Hamas,” I will say: FIGHT HAMAS. Get the hostages back. Hamas needs to be dismantled. BUT….. dropping over 6000 bombs on Gaza, killing thousands of children is not the way. A ground assault is not the way.

            Palestinians need a home and need a true and accepted government. Bombing and (likely) occupying and taking away more of the little land they have and still refusing a two state solution will do absolutely nothing to advance peace. It will fuel the already burning flames of hate and war for generations to come.

        • > War crimes are war crimes even when committed by the United States. We shouldn’t condemn other countries for not upholding standards we can’t uphold ourselves.

          This is self contradictory and oh so typical of your irrational sophism. War crimes should be condemned no matter who commits them. If the U.S. has committed war crimes, that’s no reason at all not to condemn both those war crimes and the war crimes committed by others.

          • > Dalgorf, we absolutely have committed many many war crimes.

            So typical of you and your dishonest sophistic deflection. Of course we have and I didn’t say otherwise.

            What YOU said, dishonestly as always, was that because the U.S. has committed war crimes, therefore “we”, meaning me and others posting here, should not condemn the war crimes of others. That makes no sense, it’s gross, stupid, offensive, dishonest, ridiculous nonsense. And when I called you out on it you ignored what I wrote and simply deflected with the above true, uncontested, strawman statement.

            I’ve encountered a lot of grossly dishonest fallacy-wielding sophists in my life, but I can honestly say there is not a single one of them who is *more* contemptible.

          • Dalgorf, we absolutely have committed many many war crimes. Asange is still in exile for leaking evidence of war crimes, people have been tortured and Obama even admitted it, drone strikes targeting specific people are still assassinations, bombing hospitals and weddings are all war crimes. The US has been responsible for a million + civilian deaths in the Middle East and is the Middle East better of for it !?!?

  1. One would hope these two sides would share the same appreciation and nationalism for the country that currently houses them (United States). While we don’t have to agree whether political decisions are right or wrong, the United States is such a diverse population of religions and ethnicities I love that my country is truly made from people all around the world.

  2. One of the essential lessons that fighting children need for a civil society/world : “Say it with words.” People who are never taught that lesson will forever erupt into physical violence. Gandhi and MLK,Jr. understood this. It’s a tragic aspect of human nature to want to control others. We are blessed to be in a system of government where the enlightened reason of the law, not a religion, receives our allegiance. But even here, there are many who do not understand this.

  3. Given recent moves by Prime Minister Netanyahu and his far-right, pro-settler, coalition partners to turn Israel into an illiberal democracy (e.g. weakening of Israel’s Supreme Court with no national constitution as a backstop), I fear some of these possibilities may come true:

    “There was panic and fear and anger after 9/11, and you’re seeing a lot of the same thing now in Israel, and in the US government, and in the American Jewish community at large. In the context of that panic and fear, and there are significant factions in Israel, including serving in Netanyahu’s government, and in the American Jewish community that I think want to expel Palestinians from their homes in even larger numbers, and to annex and settle their land.”

    “This is the explicit goal of some of Netanyahu’s cabinet ministers. For them, I think that their horror of the attack is matched with a sense of opportunism, which is somewhat analogous to how, for instance, neoconservatives in the wake of the 9/11 attack who had already been planning a US invasion of Iraq as their imperial fantasy suddenly had the chance to make it real, and did. Iraqis and the whole world suffered consequences from that.”

    Brook Gladstone, as usual, did a fantastic job bringing on informed voices to discuss these important events.

    • EASTBEACH – yes, exactly. The panic and fear is causing this impenetrable opposition to anything considered “pro-Palestinians.” That same panic and fear may spread even more to the West Bank, where the illegal settlers have been killing indigenous people and taking land that doesn’t belong to them. Using this attack to further any illegal occupation in Gaza and land grabs in the West Bank as justification for the defense of Israel would not only be tragic and in violation of international law, it would only increase the risk of terrorist attacks or all out regional war in the Middle East. This cannot happen.

      • Sacjon, of course my comment was one sided! That was the point! People seem to have already done an excellent job of representing the other side, to an extreme, so what more could I possibly add on that side? And I wasn’t even replying to you, but to someone else. The reply order is a bit mixed up. It is pointless for me to look at your links I think. You must have noticed, as did I, that on this issue, both sides have internet “info” that appears to be the “facts,” but are opposite “facts” depending on which link you click. The real truth is not easy to find on this complex issue. So you and the person I was replying to present one side’s facts, but both sides are needed for people to understand more. But just for one of your points, here is an excerpt in direct opposition to your supposition that Israel did not own the land first “From a purely historical perspective, “Israel” predates “Palestine” by more than a millennium. But, with the Jewish people then dispersed from their homeland, “Palestine” became home to a substantial Arab population.” Also, there’s the firm belief by Jews that God gave them Israel and there’s this, “Israel’s origins can be traced back to Abraham, who is considered the father of both Judaism (through his son Isaac) and Islam (through his son Ishmael).” In regard to the 6 day war, the Israeli side is that the Arab world had mobilized against them and attack was imminent so they had to do a preemptive strike to defend themselves. These issues are very complex and that is why seeing just one side presented simplistically does not seem to me, to allow people a fair understanding. There is much done wrong on both sides and I wonder if some day both could try to see the other’s side and just agree to find a way to move forward leaving the past behind.

        • ANON – yes, with the limited replies allowed per comment it can get confusing. I really wish you (and others) would click the links to learn unbiased accounting and actual facts about the history of the ongoing conflict. One is from the UN, the other from the US State Dept., so they’re reliable and pretty critical to understanding the history of this region.

          Now, for your quote about “owning” the land, that’s unusable. Religious belief doesn’t grant title to land. Again, the Jewish people did not “own” the and, they, like the Arab Muslims, just believed their God “gave” it to them. So, when you say thousands of years ago Palestinians took land that the Jewish people “owned,” it’s just not true. What IS true though, is that the Palestinians were actually granted land through a series of treaties over the past 80 years and that land is now, today, currently, being taken from them by illegal Israeli settlement policies. That’s what I was referring to.

          As for the 6 Day war, you said it – “preemptive.” That means attacking first.

          Yes, this IS a very complex situation with a lot of historical context that needs to be understood. There is no innocent party here. Hamas has a bloody history of killing Israeli civilians while Israel has a bloody history of killing Palestinian civilians.

          Just like the Hamas attack on 10/7 was and should be condemned, so too should this constant bombing (over 1000 children dead) and siege of Gaza. Like our buddy VOICE likes to say, “two wrongs don’t make a right.”

  4. DALGORF – My comments are also going straight to the penalty box, as are some others I’ve noticed. Don’t let it stop you from commenting. Your input is valuable and I do find it interesting to hear from a Jewish person who they feel about this conflict. Please, keep it up!

    • Palestinians are constantly under the thumb of the Israeli government and being subjected to all sorts of apartheid abuses. Israel brings these problems of Hamas to itself as a result, then Israel destroys the very existence of Palestinians. Pray and advocate for justice for the Palestinian people. Work to see that rich Israelis no longer control the U.S. Government.

      • Ah, yes, “rich Israelis” controlling the U.S. government. Wow, I wonder what that really means? Can you explain more, Dr. Rolfe?

        Not happening pal. I don’t know man, hearing from people like you who only seem to care about the suffering of your favored group of people is starting to cause me to lose my compassion for your pet people.

        • VOR–correct. Hamas is an Iranian controlled band of religious fanatics whose ultimate goal is a global Islamic state. Period, end of story.

          That being said, the Israeli government has done a very good job of creating the perfect conditions for Hamas to become…Hamas. Israeli is slowly being taken over by their own religious fanatics whose ultimate goal is a cleansed greater Israel. We all know this is the case.

          The Israeli state failed on many occasions to deal with the issue at hand of Palestinians living in conditions which would inevitably radicalize any group. They thought that they could wall off Gaza and then it would be someone else’s problem. That was both a moral and practical failure. In the end, these people need a pathway to a peaceful and sustainable life that is more attractive than continuing to be slaves of Hamas. No one, absolutely no one, and that includes Israel, the U.S., the Arab regional powers, the U.N. and the international community at large has made any real effort to solve this problem.

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