A pro-Israel conference held in Washington, D.C. on Monday was repeatedly interrupted by heckling activists who dressed as Bibles and held signs that read "who would Jesus bomb?"
Members of the anti-war activist group Code Pink used Twitter to announce their intention to heckle the Christians United for Israel Washington Summit event, held at the convention center in Washington D.C, on Monday. The activist group encouraged fellow protesters to wear a "Bible" costume and tout signs that questioned "who would Jesus bomb?"
During Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Ron Dermer's speech on Monday evening, members of Code Pink reportedly began to heckle the diplomat, interrupting his speech to shout their support for Palestinians and the Gaza Strip, and to characterize Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as a "war criminal."
In response to the continued interruptions of his talk, Dermer reportedly told the audience that there was a "section of moral idiots at the back of the room," according to a transcript of his speech, posted on his Facebook page.
"[…] the truth is that the Israeli Defense Forces should be given the Nobel Peace Prize […] the Nobel Peace Prize for fighting with unimaginable restraint," Dermer added.
Code Pink describes itself as a "grassroots peace and social justice movement working to end U.S.-funded wars and occupations, to challenge militarism globally, and to redirect our resources into health care, education, green jobs and other life-affirming activities." According to its Twitter page, the group greatly supports Palestinians in its ongoing battle with Israel. Both Code Pink activists and members of the Jewish Voice for Peace group protested the two-day CUFI conference in D.C.
Israel and the militant group Hamas have been involved in an intensive 15-day missile and battle exchange that has seen death tolls on both sides. Palestinian authorities have confirmed that 630 Palestinians, the majority of them civilians, have been killed in the recent conflict, while 28 Israeli soldiers and two Israeli civilians have also been killed.
President Barack Obama has demanded that there be an "immediate cessation of hostilities" between the two areas, prompting Secretary of State John Kerry to meet with Egyptian officials on Tuesday, according to CNN.
After a Hamas rocket hit near Israel's main airport on Tuesday, the Federal Aviation Administration made the rare decision to ban all flights from the U.S. to Israel for 24 hours, citing security reasons.