Inauguration day nostalgia: "I Miss Ike"

A bit of unexpected political nostalgia spotted on a car bumper in Berkeley on January 20th — inauguration day:

  The streets of London: January 10, 2009.

On January 10, the war between Israel and Hamas became a global conflict. No longer confined to the Gaza Strip, the fighting spread to cities around the world: what were billed as “anti-war” demonstrations from Los Angeles to Copenhagen and beyond were in fact overtly pro-Hamas demonstrations, and on Saturday, January 10 there was a unprecedented eruption of violence and extremism in dozens of European and American cities, surpassing anything seen at anti-war rallies in recent years:

¤ In London, protesters physically attacked police officers with unrestrained abandon and no fear of arrest;
¤ In Copenhagen, Hamas supporters screamed in public that they want to kill all Jews;
¤ In Calgary, neo-Nazis marched alongside leftists and Muslim extremists, in a grand coalition of anti-Semites;
¤ In Los Angeles, a car full of Israel-supporters barely escaped serious harm when an enraged mob tried to attack them;
¤ In Duisburg (Germany), police broke into a private home and tore down a flag displaying a Star of David, to appease stone-throwing protesters;
¤ In Belfast, an Israel-owned mall kiosk was surrounded and menacingly harrassed;
…to name just a few, as you will see in the reports listed below.

One wonders: Why January 10? Was the aggression somehow coordinated among the various far-left and Islamic groups which organized the protests in each city — an attempt to “Globalize the Intifada“? Or did the simultaneous outbreak of violence and anger in several places occur naturally? We may never know. But for some reason, this particular moment in the seemingly endless battle between Israel and its neighbors has tipped the scales, and the fighting now happens not just in Gaza, but wherever in the world Hamas supporters come face to face with anyone they deem an opponent (whether those be Israel supporters or police officers). The Hamas supporters will claim that the reason for the fresh anger now is that Israel has gone too far this time, allowing too many civilian casualties and unleashing a disproportionately large response. But what seems disproportionate this time around is not the nature of the fighting in Gaza but the extent to which the media buys into the Hamas narrative, and the unchallenged propaganda coming out of the war zone.

In any case, this post is meant to be a comprehensive roundup of the many anti-Israel protests that happened on January 10, 2009. And what makes these reports especially noteworthy is that they were almost all produced by citizen journalists: In just about every city, the mainstream media failed to cover the incidents thoroughly or honestly: As protesters waved Hamas flags and screamed “Long Live Hitler,” bloggers stepped in to do the job the media wouldn’t do.

Below is a list of the outbreaks of protest violence and extremism in each location: A few videos and photos are posted here, but most of the documentation is to be found in the various links provided.

(And if you know of any links I missed, please post them in the comments section.)


January 10: Masked protesters attack hapless and cringing police officers with complete impunity in scene of chaos on the streets of London. (You may want to lower your volume before playing this video due to its loud soundtrack.)

Gateway Pundit published a good overview of the January 10 violent protests in London.

January 10: Azzam Tamimi of the Muslim Association of Britain (and frequent television pundit) screams “Allahu Ackbar! Today, we are all Hamas!…Hamas is our leader to liberation…. Israel has dug its grave!” to wild cheers at a protest in London against the Gaza War. As Harry’s Place noted, “This was a Hamas Rally.” In London.

Photos of the anti-Israel rally that Tamimi was speaking to can be found at this Kodak Gallery page, taken by “J.” Most of those in the audience, it seems, were middle-class Britons — not wild-eyed extremists.

January 3: “Run, you fucking cowards, run!” protesters yelled at fleeing police in this astonishing video showing anti-Israel rioters running rampant in London at a protest the previous week, hurling projectiles and verbal abuse on a woefully unprepared and apparently incompetent police force.

January 3: Later the same day, protesters beseiged the Israeli embassy in London, in what practically amounted to a pitched battle with the police — who were once again defensive and passive.

More raw footage from the January 3 protest can be found here.

After several days of violence and vandalism at various London businesses rumored to be owned by Jews, Harry’s Place began referring to the ongoing outbreak as “Kristallwoche” — a full week of Kristallnachts.


January 10: Ringo’s Pictures has an extensive report about an anti-Israel protest in Los Angeles, which includes this frightening scene of protesters trying to swarm over a car whose passengers were waving an Israeli flag (starting after the first minute of the video); fortunately, security teams were able to hold the crowd back long enough for the car to escape.

This picture by Ringo from the same protest shows a sign declaring “The world must destroy Isreal.”

And this one dredges up the ol’ “Jews killed God” meme with an added twist: Jesus is equated with the Palestinians.

Another video by Ringo from the same protest shows the police surrounded but successfully fending off a hostile crowd. The no-nonsense riot-control tactics of the Los Angeles police are in stark contrast to the ineffectual “law-enforcement” methods seen in London.

The Political Vindication blog also has a photo essay about the same January 10 Los Angeles protest, as does Joi Weaver.

January 6: At an earlier protest in front of the Israeli consulate in L.A, protesters yelled “Long Live Hitler” and “Put Jews in ovens,” as captured in this video uploaded by “ezpose” to LiveLeak (starting at the 1 minute 30 second mark), and first noted by Gateway Pundit.


January 10: The Jewish Odysseus blog has the video and the full story of an incident that was first reported on The Muqata: in a chilling replay of a scene straight out of late-1930s Germany, police in Duisburg broke into a private home and tore down the residents’ Star of David symbol — to appease a braying mob.

Here’s the video, and the original “live-blogging” description of what happened:

Today, 10.000 people demonstrated against Israel here in my hometown Duisburg (Germany) and to express their solidarity with Hamas. So, my girlfriend and me put two Israel flags out of the windows of our flat in the 3rd floor. During the demonstration which went through our street the police broke into our flat and removed the flag of Israel. The statement of the police was to de-escalate the situation, because many youth demonstrators were on the brink of breaking into our apartment house. Before this they threw snowballs, knifes and stones against our windows and the complete building. We both were standing on the other side of the street and were shocked by seeing a police officer standing in our bedroom and opening the window to get the flag. The picture illustrate this situation. The police acquiesced in the demands of the mob.

This German-language TV report briefly shows the same scene of the flag-removal by the police, but from a different angle.

The story was later picked up by The Jerusalem Post.


January 10: Danish blogger Ted Ekeroth posted this video of an anti-Semitic demonstration in Copenhagen’s main square. As also translated at Gateway Pundit, after giving a Nazi salute at 0:41 one of the protesters says in Danish at 1:10, “We want to kill all the Jews, all the Jews should be slain, they have no right to exist!“, among many other offensive statements in Arabic and Danish.

Here’s another video, apparently taken at the same rally by YouTube user “djgreg7″ which shows (starting at 0:32) pro-Palestinian protesters screaming “Hitler! Heil Hitler! Hitler! Hitler!” Later in the video, according to some commenters, one of the protesters yells in Danish, “We must just kill all those Jews, man!”


January 10: Members of the white supremacist neo-Nazi group Aryan Guard participate in the January 10 Gaza War “peace” protest in Calgary, as captured by photographer Robert Thivierge. An article about the incident in the Calgary Herald notes that the protest’s organizers claimed to not be particularly happy with the presence of the neo-Nazis, but basically did nothing to stop them from joining the march. National Post columnist Kevin Libin notes the incredible hypocrisy of the march’s organizers, who at a similar rally eight days earlier had assaulted, harrassed and then called the police to arrest a single protester who had the gall to carry an Israeli flag; and yet those same organizers claim they had no right or ability to stop the Aryan Guard from participating in the January 10 protest. It’s more than just hypocrisy: it shows that the other anti-Israel protesters tacitly accepted the neo-Nazis in their midst.

As Robert Thivierge points out in his roll-over pop-up notations for this photo, the “S”s in “Terrorist State” were made to look like the Nazi SS insignia; and that the Aryan Guard member on the right is wearing the same insignia on his collar.

In this final picture from the set, the Aryan Guard members are shown participating in the march, completely unopposed.
Thivierge’s full series of photos from the protest shows the rest of the protesters who happily marched with neo-Nazis. Also note that the message displayed by the Aryan Guard (calling Israel a “terrorist state”) was identical to the messages displayed at nearly every similar rally.

Ezra Levant has another picture of them later in the rally — giving a Nazi salute.


January 10: This six-minute video shows a compilation of scenes from an anti-Semitic rally in Berlin that is all the more shocking considering where it took place. Could anyone have ever imagined such things would be on the agenda again in Berlin, so soon after WWII? The protesters are speaking German, but certain passages clearly stand out: At 1:33, they chant “Death to Israel”; at 2:51, a Muslim protester yells “Juden raus!” (Jews out) — which is of one the exact phrases that the Nazi mobs yelled in the 1930s; at 2:57, the same protester yells “Death to the Jews”; and from 3:38 to 5:00, the Muslims protesters en masse call for the establishment of a global Islamic caliphate — while feckless Germans blithely show their solidarity.

At 3:18 in the video above, a sign goes by in the Berlin crowd which says “Deutschland erwache” (“Germany awake”) above a monetary symbol pointing to a Star of David. A clear photo of the sign can be seen here. “Deutschland erwache,” however, is not just another random phrase — it was a populist slogan frequently used by the Nazi Party in the 1930s and ’40s.


January 10: The Slugger O’Toole blog captured the moment when anti-Israel protesters surrounded an Israeli-owned kiosk (which sells spa products from the Dead Sea) and screamed “Boycott Israeli goods!” while showering the kiosk with hundreds of leaflets. According to the on-site witness, “The staff of the targeted stall were visibly shaken, one woman and one man reduced to tears.” As well they should be. Because as Harry’s Place notes, one of these same Israeli kiosks in Denmark had been violently attacked eight days earlier by a Palestinian who shot both the employees; the Belfast kiosk employees must have been fearing for their lives.


January 10: As already extensively covered here at zombietime, blatant anti-Semitism was on display at San Francisco’s January 10 “anti-war” rally. This new photo (by a photographer who wishes to remain anonymous) showing the same sign we featured earlier also reveals the little girl carrying a miniature version of her mother’s sign as well.

Another photo from the zombietime report shows a protester calling for all “Zionazis” (code for “Jews who support Israel”) to be violently attacked.

And this video by “juklux” shows San Francisco protesters burning and stomping on Israeli flags.


January 10: Marooned in Marin posted this photo from their report about the Washington D.C. protest which shows a kaffiyeh-wearing woman holding a sign with an approving citation of a conspiracy theory by KKK Grand Wizard and white nationalist anti-Semite David Duke.

These two additional photos from Marooned in Marin show a woman assaulting the photographer with her sign and another guy “flipping off” the camera and yelling “Fuck you!”

This Ain’t Hell also attended the January 10 D.C. protest and took this photo of the protesters praying toward Mecca.


The protests have continued after January 10, as the war between Israel and Hamas escalates.

January 11: For example, Berman Post attended an anti-Israel rally in New York on January 11 and also took a photo of protesters performing an Islamic prayer during the rally.

TigerHawk filed photos from the same event as well, one of many that have taken place in New York over the last two weeks.


January 10: This Turkish-language sign (submitted by reader “Flippowitsch”) appeared at a protest in Dortmund, Germany on January 10, and compared Israel and Zionists to the Devil.

Other Gaza War protests around the world during January, 2009:

OSLO, Jan. 8: The Norwegian capital erupted into riots on January 8 during an anti-Israel demonstration. Videos of the rioting can be seen here and here.

TORONTO, Jan. 2: Near the end of this video recorded on January 2 at a virulent anti-Israel rally in Toronto, a citizen journalist asks a protester why he had said “Hitler didn’t do a good job,” and the protester responds by smashing the photographer in the face. Earlier in the video, starting at 1:14, one of the Palestinians shouts at the Israel supporters, “You are the brothers of pigs! You are the brothers of monkeys!” and so on.

CHICAGO, Jan. 9: Freedom Folks has a report from Chicago about another ANSWER-sponsored rally which featured this sign calling Jews terrorists — just like the similar sign in San Francisco. Also note that “Mossad did 9-11″ and “Yes We Can Free Palestine.”

MONTREAL, Jan. 10: In this video (uploaded by “Technion932″) of a rally in Montreal attended by leading Quebec politicians, protesters burn Israeli flags, chant support for Hezbollah, and (starting at 4:05) chant in Arabic, “Palestine is ours; the Jews are our dogs.”

AMSTERDAM, Jan. 3: In this video, a socialist member of the Dutch Parliament calls for intifada while (starting at 1:05) his fellow protesters chant in Dutch, “Hamas, Hamas, Jews to the gas” in the background.

COLUMBUS, Jan. 5: Hourglass1941 has videos from a small protest in Columbus, Ohio in which a professor at Ohio State University defends Hamas and a local anti-Israel activist goes on a bizarre and disturbing rant.

SASKATOON, Jan. 10: Because No One Asked reports on a small protest in snowbound Saskatoon, Canada in which someone carried a sign saying “Israel kills to satisfy YHWH blood lust.”

TEHRAN, Jan. 13: At a government-sponsored anti-Israel rally in Tehran, protesters burned Israeli and US flags — and burned posters of Obama as well. He hasn’t even taken office yet, and Obama is already the new Bush.

CARACAS, Jan. 8: This picture was taken at an anti-Israel rally in Caracas, Venezuela in front of the Israeli consulate on January 8. Notice the Nazi salute given by the protester on the left.

FT. LAUDERDALE, Jan. 13: In this video taken at an anti-Semitic rally in Ft. Lauderdale on January 13, protesters (at around the 2:25 mark) begin chanting offensive Arabic slogans about Jews, and at 3:05 begin giving the Nazi salute. Then at 3:10 they start to yell, “Go, go Hitler! He should have finished you off! He should have finished you off!” Similar antics continue for the full ten-minute video. This film proves that the notorious Ft. Lauderdale rally on December 30 in which a protester shouted “Go back to the oven” and “You need a big oven, that’s what you need,” while other protesters called for Israel to be nuked and exterminated, was no fluke.

MELBOURNE, Jan. 18: As noted by Tim Blair, a protest in Melbourne, Australia featured a young Muslim girl holding up this sign.

Also see:
Buuuuurrrrning Hot: The Violence of Hamas-Supporting Protestors Worldwide, for another roundup which includes many Gaza War protests not mentioned here.

If you know of any additional citizen journalist reports from protests in other cities on January 10, please post the links in the comments section below.

A new report up at zombietime looks at a Gaza War protest and anti-Israel rally that played out in San Francisco on January 9, 2009.

Here are a few pictures to whet your appetite:

If you would like to comment on this event, you may do so here.

Yesterday I found this mysterious button on the street in Oakland:

“Allah Is Good. Allah Is Gay,” it says.

Hmmmmm. Who made this button, and for what purpose? And who would dare wear it in public? Are there out-of-the-closet gay Muslim activists in Oakland?

For nearly every day of the last week, San Francisco has seen street protests about the fighting in Gaza between Israel and Hamas. Hundreds of Palestinians, as well as left-wing activists organized by ANSWER, have marched and chanted in and around downtown San Francisco starting on December 30, and continuing (with a break on New Year’s Day) every day since, with no end in sight.

I have been unable to attend and document these protests in person, but KTVU Channel 2 filmed the protest on January 2, 2009 and made some of the raw video available on its site. Because the KTVU video page does not display or load properly on many computers, I have downloaded the raw video and, after editing out a section at the beginning where not much happens, uploaded it to YouTube so more people can get a flavor of what these protests are like.

Here is the YouTube version of the KTVU video of the January 2 protest:

Note in particular the moment at the 0.22 mark in the video when the Palestinian protesters reach across the barricades to attack the five pro-Israel protesters, and have to be restrained by police. At the end, one of the pro-Israel protesters, who were vastly outnumbered, declined to be interviewed by the cameraman, saying, “I’m a little spooked.” After watching this video, I think we’re all a little spooked! It’s as if the battle in Gaza has come to San Francisco.

If you want to watch the full five-minute video, you can see it either here on the KTVU site, or (if that doesn’t work) here directly on its own page (which may display more easily for most users).

This full KTVU video shows how, after this incident, the police were forced to escort the pro-Israel protesters inside a building — to keep them safe from the Palestinian protesters, who could not be controlled.

(Thanks to Joo-Liz and Eclectic Infidel for technical help with this video.)

Meanwhile, at an earlier San Francisco Gaza protest on December 30, the Palestinian protesters (according to this post at the “At the Back of the Hill” blog) chanted the following slogans in Arabic:

Itbach al Yahud” (slaughter the Jews)
Falastin balad’na w’al Yahud qalab’na” (Palestine is our land and the Jews are our dogs)
ba ruh, ba dam, nafdeek ya Falastin” (with our soul, with our blood, we will cleanse you oh Palestine),
al mawt al Yahud” (death to the Jews),
Khaybar Khaybar ya Yahud, jaish-Muhammad saya’ud” (Khaybar Khaybar oh Jews, the army of Muhammad will return).

At the Back of the Hill noted,

While the Arabs screamed their desire to exterminate Jews, the English-monolingualists simply stood there happily smiling their approbation.

On today’s “Hard Knock Radio” program on KPFA in Berkeley, a speech by Hunter College Professor Marimba Ani was broadcast in which she claims Obama is controlled by the Jews.

Click on this link to hear the audio clip (mp3):

Two-minute excerpt of Marimba Ani on KPFA’s “Hard Knock Radio, December 23, 2008.

Below is the transcript of the audio clip, which pretty much speaks for itself. The first minute or so is simply context: introducing the show, including a comical promotional announcement for the program by, of all people, Dan Rather.

In the transcript below, ellipses indicate portions of the original hour-long show that were left out — only the crucial section is included. See the end of this post for a link to the full show on the KPFA site, if you’re interested.

Radio announcer: “Welcome to Hard Knock Radio. My name is Mike Biggs here at the controls. Today on the program we bring you highlights of the great Harlem Obama Debate that took place December 14th at the St. Mary’s Church in Harlem, New York, posing the question, ‘Is the Obama Election Good for the Black Community?’”

Dan Rather: “Hello, I’m Dan Rather. When I’m in the Bay, I keep it locked to Hard Knock Radio: news, views and hip-hop. Peace.”
Fenny: “What’s up folks, this is your girl Fenny representing the whole Bay Area. I’m here on Hard Knock Radio: news, views and hip-hop. Stay tuned.”

Radio announcer: “Today on the show we bring you highlights of a debate that went down a couple weeks ago in Harlem, New York, asking the question, ‘Is the Obama Election Good for the Black Community?’ … Up first we bring you Dr. Leonard Jeffries, who feels Obama is good for the black community, followed by Dr. Marimba Ani who feels Obama is not. This is Hard Knock Radio — stay tuned.”

Event MC: “Culture scientist, former head of the black sequence at Hunter College, Dr. Marimba Ani….”

Marimba Ani [speaking about Obama's campaign]: “…Who did the financing? … They had a long history, in Chicago. Which brings me to the next warning, the next what I see as implication of this, and that is the Jewish connection, which must be understood. Because we fought that in the Civil Rights movement. And I was a part of the Southern student movement in Mississippi and all the time we had to fight for control of our own movement. Now what has happened is that he has allowed that control to come into play. Because he was picked and chosen, and I could give you the list of names. I don’t have time to now, but you’re gonna have to find these things out. You’re gonna have to now get on the Net, read things. Think, don’t just listen to rhetoric about how wonderful it is to have these beautiful people there. See where they came from. See what they represent.

If it isn’t already obvious just from hearing it, Ani’s thesis is that the Jews control Obama, just as they wrested control of the Civil Rights movement and so much else — one of the classic anti-Semitic conspiracy theories.

Here is a link to a streaming broadcast of the full hour-long show, on KPFA’s own site:

Hard Knock Radio broadcast, December 23, 2008.

You can also download the mp3 podcast of the full show (10mb) by right-clicking (or control-clicking) here.

If you’re curious about who Marimba Ani is, more info about her can be found here.

And, finally, if you’re not familiar with KPFA: It’s the leading far-left “progressive” radio station in the San Francisco Bay Area, part of the Pacifica network.


R.I.P. Dan Kliman

Latest Updates:

[All new updates regarding Dan Kliman's death will now be added at the top of this post, to keep track of the latest developments. The original post begins below.]

Dec. 10, 1:00pm: The “Thoughts by Steve” blog has posted an important open letter from Allan Lavigne that says:

For those who may be reading this who are not familiar with me or my work in the community I am the Bay Area Director of Security for the Jewish Community Relations Council and the Jewish Community Federation and Liaison to the FBI Terrorist Task Force and San Francisco Police Departments Special Investigations. Personally I have 35 years of investigative experience, having been involved in many both high profile homicide cases as well as those deaths resulting from accidental causes.

I both knew and worked with Dan who was very helpful to our office. I was the first to contact and speak with investigators from both the SFPD and FBI concerning Dan’s death and the circumstances surrounding it, as well as his work in the community.

Although the official SFPD written report has not been concluded at the writing of this open letter, I have met with the investigators, spoken with friends of Dan as well as security at the building where the incident occurred and I personally examined the scene. And to that end I can say that the evidence that I have reviewed suggests that Dan’s passing was purely accidental in nature and not the result of foul play. This is supported by both video and physical evidence recovered at the scene that will be laid out in the final San Francisco report.

Dec. 10, 9:00am: Perpetua of Carthage has a new post with an email from a colleague of Dan’s who claims he always took the stairs when possible.

Dec. 9, 8:00pm: Joe Eskenazi of the S.F. Weekly has two new pieces about Dan and the investigation into his death, but both say essentially the same thing: that the trickle of information from the police has now stopped entirely, and that as a result everyone has resorted to speculation and guesswork about what might have happened. There are no longer any firm deadlines about when the investigation might be concluded, so everyone following the case — from reporters to activists — has no choice but to wait, and wonder.

Dec. 7, 1:00pm: An article in the San Francisco Examiner has another photo of the elevator, and conflicting statements from elevator experts, with some saying that it’s “impossible” to pry open the inner doors and fall down a shaft, and others saying that it does occasionally happen. Most importantly, the article states,

Cal-OSHA inspectors annually test elevators on their compliance with the law, and on Nov. 4 [just three weeks before Dan fell], workers inspected the elevators at the Sharon Building, Fryer said. During that test, inspectors stopped the elevators between every floor in the building, and at no time where they able to pry open the doors from the inside, beyond the mandated 4-inch gap.
“These doors should never open if they are between floors,” Fryer said.

Dec. 7, 11:30am: The JTA article about Dan’s death has now been reprinted in the Jerusalem Post, bringing more international attention to the case.

Dec. 7, 10:00am: The Zennie62 blog has posted videos of Dan being interviewed in Oakland a year ago; and also lists a memorial service being held for Dan on Sunday , Dec 14, 7:30pm at the Beth Jacob Congregation, 3778 Park Blvd., Oakland.

Dec. 5, 4:42pm: There is now a Facebook group called “Remembering Dan Kliman” where friends of Dan can share memories and photos of him. One of the commenters gives a description of Dan’s funeral in Schenectady, NY, on Sunday, Dec. 7.

Dec. 5, 3:40pm: The Times Union of Albany, New York published an article with details Dan’s youth on the East Coast, with a quote from his mother and information about his education and early activism.

Dec. 5, 2:00pm: j. the Jewish News Weekly of Northern California has published an article with quotes from some of Dan’s colleagues expressing doubt that his death was an accident.

Dec. 5, 11.24am: Cinnamon Stillwell has written a memorial post for Dan, accurately noting that “Dan would often hold aloft an Israeli flag and a rainbow flag side-by-side.” Which makes me wonder: Why have we heard so little from the gay community about the death of such a prominent gay activist?

Dec. 5, 9:00am: San Francisco Voice for Israel now has a memorial for Dan on their Web site.

Dec. 5, 1:10am: The Oy Bay! blog has now posted “The Unfolding Story of the Death of Dan Kliman,” with an extensive list of links related to Dan’s case, and noting some details that have gotten little attention thus far, such as that Dan “dated one of the instructors” at PARS, the Arabic language school in the building where his body was found.

Dec. 4, 1:00pm: CFS Warrior has now posted a description of a disturbing incident that happened to Dan shortly before his death:

Dr. Kliman shared with me that he had been to the Israeli consulate the week prior to 11/20. I don’t know what day it was. He said that as he pulled up on his bike a man suddenly came up to him put his face next to Dr. Kliman’s and said “Dan?” Dr. Kliman didnt’ know who the guy was, said he looked American, and when he said yes I’m Dan, the guy broke out in fluent Hebrew or Arabic (I can’t remember). Dr. Kliman said he’s been to the consulate many, many times and this had never occurred before. He was a little rattled that the man knew who he was but Dan didn’t recognize him. This occurred outside the consulate. When Dr. Kliman entered the consulate he was searched and his computer, ipod, cell phone were all put in a secured area. He was very surprised this and said this had never happened before. I was a little surprised at his response. He wasn’t so concerned about what occurred at the consolute-very puzzled by it since it was something that had never occurred before but he was rattled by the man who approached him outside the consulate. Dr. Kliman was not easily rattled by anything. A little red flag went up about his safety.

Dec. 4, 11:01am: Joe Eskenazi at the SFWeekly‘s blog “The Snitch” notes that “a task force of hate crime and homicide inspectors was formed only hours” after the police had definitively told Eskenazi that Dan’s death was an accident. Why? Eskenazi thinks either new evidence was found, or the police are trying to protect their reputation by appearing to be thorough.

Dec. 2, 5:00pm: The San Francisco Examiner published this article on December 2 which has the only known photograph of the ground-floor lobby and elevator doors of the Sharon Building, as well as a few extra details about the building’s security.

Here’s a video showing part of an interview with Dan conducted in November, 2007 at a counter-protest in Oakland against the anti-Israel group Women in Black. It shows how erudite and informed Dan was when it came to Israel.

[Original post:]

We’ve just learned that Dan Kliman, a dedicated pro-Israel activist in San Francisco, and occasional zombietime contributor, was found dead yesterday at the bottom of an elevator shaft:

The gruesome discovery Monday of a man’s body in the elevator shaft of a historic San Francisco high-rise has investigators and the property manager scratching their heads trying to figure out how the man got there.

The victim was identified early this morning by the San Francisco Medical Examiner’s office as Daniel J. Kliman, 38, of Oakland. Kliman is believed to have fallen down the shaft at the historic Sharon Building, at 55 New Montgomery St., last Tuesday evening, according to Brad Bernheim, the building manager.

Bernheim said the elevator was not working last week and had been secured so that no one could enter it. Workers showed up Monday to repair the elevator and discovered the body.

Last Tuesday, a surveillance camera recorded Kliman waiting for the elevator in the lobby. It wasn’t clear, however, how he ended up in the elevator shaft or whether he fell from that floor or higher, Bernheim said.

He said the victim was a student at the Pacific Arabic Resources School on the seventh floor of the building. He said there were no classes last week.

“I don’t know why he was there. That’s what we’re investigating,

UPDATE: A commenter on this post claims (in comments #36, 47 and 48 below) that the Arabic language school was not actually closed on Tuesday night, and that Dan interacted normally with people there on the 7th floor just minutes or even seconds before he entered the elevator or shaft; and also that the police are in fact interviewing these witnesses:

#36 Anonymous
There are THREE elevators next to each other in the building.
The man fell down the shaft from six flights. He fell on the way down from Pars [the school], not on his way up. the elevator was “supposedly” locked. and it may have been blocked off in the lobby. However it was not barricaded on the upper floors. And obviously, it accidentally opened on the seventh floor for Dan to have entered it. It subsequently got stuck and he pried the doors open and tried to climb out of it and jump down to the lower landing below him but slipped into the shaft.

It is not possible that someone or ones had a scuffle with Dan on the seventh floor, since there were a few students still on the seventh floor, despite the fact that there were no official classes. An instructor had spoken to him before he was leaving. There is less than twenty yards between where the elevator is and where the door to PARS is, and the door to Pars is wide open when people are there. Dan had contact with other people at Pars before he left. This happened to him on his way out, not on his way in. Although, perhaps he was stuck in that elevator a long time before deciding to attempt an escape from it. …

#47 Anonymous
…I am a student at Pars and I heard those details from other people who were at the school on the night that he was last seen. I don’t know ALL the details, but I know that he was not the only one who was at the school that evening. And he was not the last person to leave, although, how many people were around, I cannot say. Also, the building in general is very empty at night. …

#48 Anonymous
…Do you think this information was not conveyed to the police? They are interviewing everyone who was there on the night of this tragedy. And, of course, they are not publicizing every detail that they have not confirmed yet, i am sure. …

As of this writing, neither the police nor the media have verified any of these details.

UPDATE: The San Francisco Chronicle has a new article published on December 4 stating that “a task force including officers from the [police] department’s hate crimes and homicide units has been formed to look into Kliman’s death,” and that the police are promising a full and thorough investigation.

The Jewish Telegraphic Agency also has published an article about Dan:

Police probing death of Israel activist

A prominent Israel activist was found dead at the bottom of an elevator shaft.

Daniel J. Kliman, 38, was the co-founder of San Francisco Voice for Israel, an affiliate of the national Israel advocacy group StandWithUs, and a well-known pro-Israel activist in the San Francisco Bay area.

His body was found Monday in a San Francisco building where he was taking Arabic classes. It had been at the bottom of the elevator shaft since Nov. 25, building manager Brad Bernheim told the San Francisco Chronicle. There were no classes held last week, and the elevator supposedly was closed for repairs.

Police are investigating his death.

Kliman was scheduled to fly to Israel on Thanksgiving Day as part of the Honest Reporting mission, a pro-Israel media initiative.

“He was the public face of grass-roots Israel advocacy in the San Francisco Bay area,” said Mike Harris, his colleague at Voice for Israel. “He was passionate about standing up for Israel, literally — standing up in public with flags and signs.”

Kliman, also known as a fervent environmentalist, often was seen bicycling around the Bay Area instead of taking rides to reduce his carbon footprint, friends said.

More info here and here.

The “At the back of the hill” blog has some personal details:

Daniel J. Kliman was found dead yesterday at the bottom of an elevator shaft in the building where he was taking Arabic classes. He is believed to have fallen down the elevator shaft on Tuesday evening 11/25/08.
There were no classes last week. There were very few people in the building at the time. The defective elevator was “secure”.

It is still unclear how this happened.

Dan was supposed to fly to Israel last Thursday.


Dan was a founding member of San Francisco Voice for Israel, who tirelessly worked to promote a fair and balanced image for Israel in the Bay Area, regularly facing the threats and insults of anti-Semites and anti-Israel activists for several years.

Dan was a friend, a leader, and an inspiration. And Dan was a colleague, companion, and comrade in so many protests on behalf of Israel.

We, his friends and community, are going to miss him. May his memory be a blessing to all who knew him.

While many of Dan’s friends and acquaintances think there may be something suspicious about Dan’s death, the SFWeekly blog claims to have heard second-hand that the police have evidence that his death was entirely accidental — they say he fell while trying to climb out of a stuck elevator. If so, it’s not explained why this purported evidence was never mentioned publicly or to the press. On the other hand, the SFWeekly‘s version of events is contradicted by a new story in the S.F. Chronicle, which claims Dan stepped directly into an open shaft — and was not trying to escape from a stuck elevator car. Both stories insist it was an accident, and yet they give two completely different causes of the fall. Still other sites, such as Really Clear Politics, are already calling his death a “murder.” We may have to wait for further investigations to get the full story.

Perpetua of Carthage has a post featuring one of two pictures taken by “David” of the 7th story exterior elevator doors in the Sharon Building, where Dan was found; “David” originally posted the images here and provided this caption:

…Why is it that there are signs of scuffle on the 7th floor external elevator door? I took these photos this morning:

There are clear signs of struggle. I went to two other floors and saw no such signs. Remember that these are on the EXTERNAL doors that are ONLY on the 7th floor, not on other floors. In other words, the only way that those marks could have gotten there is that if there was some kind of struggle on the 7th floor (the floor of the PAR Arabic School where Dan was going for class), NOT any where else where the elevator car may have been stuck. The police are claiming that Dan tried to get out of a stuck elevator car, but the doors that you see on these pictures are the external doors on the 7th floor, which are stationary and do not move up and down with the car.

I have no way of verifying if the marks and stains on the door are the result of a “scuffle” or of something else that happened during the investigation itself (e.g. police investigators pulling at the doors to test if they could be opened manually; or perhaps the visible marks are left over graphite powder from the police “fingerprint dusting” the doors; etc.). Look at David’s images and come to your own conclusions.

UPDATE: The SFWeekly blog has a statement from a San Francisco Police Inspector who absolutely insists Dan’s death was accidental:

“He gets into the elevator car. For some inexplicable reason, the elevator gets stuck between floors — we think between the sixth and seventh. He is somehow able to open the doors from inside and sees that he’s between floors,” said [San Francisco Police Department Inspector Matt] Krimsky, who is investigating the death. “We know he got into the elevator … and ended up in the elevator well. How he did that is under investigation.”

Krimsky claimed the SFPD had “evidence” placing Kliman within the elevator car, but would not go into further detail. “All I can tell you is we have physical evidence he forced his way out of the elevator. Beyond that I cannot compromise the integrity of this investigation.”

“We’ve got forensic evidence pointing toward a tragic accident. There is no evidence of foul play whatsoever. Underscore that, bold it and print it with an exclamation point.”

A new article in the S.F. Chronicle confirms this narrative, quoting a friend of Dan’s who says the police are sure he climbed out from inside a stalled elevator car.

Meanwhile, the Israel Jewish News blog thinks his death was not accidental and may have been politically motivated. Debbie Schlussel agrees, stating that there seem to be too many convenient coincidences surrounding what happened for it to be a random accident. At the back of the hill now has a new post discussing how intensely hated Dan was by his political enemies, providing ample motive for an attack. The Associated Press reports that Cal/OSHA investigators are inspecting the elevator to ensure public safety, to see if it opened somehow by itself or if it was forced open. Perhaps this investigation will shed light on what actually happened.

Dan was also politically active in other areas, including cycling, vegetarianism and gay rights. The Bicycle Blog has a memorial post about Dan from the cycling community’s point of view, and includes a photo of Dan’s bike still parked outside the building where he was found, overlooked by the police. The “heeb’n’vegan” blog has a very informative post about Dan’s deeply moral insights about the ethics of being an observant Jew who is also cares about animal rights. The “With the Misnagdim” blog has a memorial post discussing Dan’s activities in Orthodox Judaism. Dan’s Facebook page also lists some of his other political interests. Smooth Stone blog has a memorial page for Dan, as does the ADL.

Dan was a doctor as well, and many of his patients and colleagues have expressed their condolences and feelings of loss in the comments sections here and on other blogs. CFS Warrior was one of Dan’s patients, and in a long post praising Dan’s medical abilities, made this unsettling statement:

It was also during our last visit that he shared some information with me that leads me to the conclusion that his death was not an accident. Something had occurred a week prior that he was puzzled and a bit rattled about. He shared it with me. I commented how it sounded like a spy novel and was puzzled as well. 

What happened to Dan the week before that made him “rattled” and “sounded like a spy novel”? The blogger does not say. [Note: See update above near top of page.]

Although I did not know Dan personally, we communicated often via email, always in relation to protests in which he was participating as a representative of San Francisco Voice for Israel.

One thing I know for sure is that Dan was a great photographer, and I featured many of his photos in my reports over the years. You can see some of his outstanding work here and here.

Dan, you will be greatly missed.


Here is a short tribute to the Dan I knew — Dan the Photographer:

Photo by Dan Kliman of pro-Israel protesters.

Photo by Dan Kliman of anti-Israel protesters.

Dan the Photographer.

Photo by “Dusty” of Dan at this year’s Pride Parade in San Francisco.

Operation First Casualty anti-war protest

New at zombietime:

Operation First Casualty anti-war protest, which happened in San Francisco on November 28, 2008.

Victory in Iraq


On this November 22, 2008, join us in observing Victory in Iraq Day.

Let us honor the sacrifice, dedication and sheer determination of American, coalition and Iraqi troops who have brought freedom to the nation and people of Iraq.

Although our governments have chosen to not name any official day marking the end of this war, we the people have taken it upon ourselves to commemorate November 22, 2008 as the day of victory over the forces of tyranny, oppression and terror in Iraq.

Join fellow bloggers and other members of the public in this virtual ticker-tape parade for our brave troops, to celebrate their success, to remember the fallen, and to declare, in the words of President John F. Kennedy (RIP):

“Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty.”

You may comment on VI Day here.

Victory in Iraq Day: November 22, 2008

The latest essay at zombietime announces Victory in Iraq Day on November 22, 2008.

Post all feedback, comments and ideas here.