A group of Canadian Israel supporters who were violently beaten last week by a crowd shouting anti-Semitic slurs said they continue to be bullied on the Internet and in the media by those who claim that they were looking for a fight.
A family of six pro-Israel supporters demonstrating in downtown Calgary was assaulted late Friday by a crowd of around 100 protestors who were demonstrating against Israel’s military action in the Gaza Strip.
Recent Stories in National Security
The victims said they were just trying to express their support for Israel when an angry mob of pro-Palestinian demonstrators surrounded them, began shouting anti-Semitic slogans, and then proceeded to aggressively beat the family, which included a 22-year-old girl and a 52-year-old woman who had recently had stomach surgery.
The victims, who spoke to the Free Beacon Monday about the attack, said that their ordeal has persisted since Friday’s violence due to media reports and Internet comments claiming that the Israel supporters deserved what happened.
There are also indications that the Calgary police were not prepared to deal with the violence and protect those who came under attack.
Samantha Hamilton, the 22-year-old victim, said that she and her family just wanted to "go out and show our support."
Events turned violent when a contingent of pro-Palestinian protestors broke off from a larger rally of some 800 to confront the Israel supporters.
"We wanted to show Israel has supporters in Canada," Hamilton said. "But within two minutes, approximately 100 people had crossed over from the other side of the road where the pro-Palestinians were protesting, and we were swarmed and pretty much segregated so we couldn’t see, even each other."
The pro-Palestinian protestors shoved flags into Hamilton’s face and taunted her with shouts of, "kill Jews, "Hitler should finish you off," and "baby killers."
"I heard my mother screaming because six or seven guys had jumped on my brother," who is 19 years old, Hamilton recalled. "He had a Star of David on his shirt and they were ripping it off, biting him, and scratching him, and stomping on him on the ground."
Hamilton says her brother suffered a concussion during the attack.
Hamilton’s mother, who had recently gotten out of surgery for a hernia, was spit on, "punched in the stomach, and knocked down as well," she recalled.
The 120-pound Hamilton says she was punched in the face while "trying to get the people off my brother. I was screaming and crying and some guy there decided he wanted to punch me in the face. I also got punched in the back of the head by a man. Then, somebody came up behind me and pulled my hair to pull me to the ground so they could run over and stomp on me."
Hamilton’s cousin, 20-year-old Jake Birrell, also came under attack by men who attempted to choke him with an Israeli flag that was draped across his shoulders.
"It got pretty violent fast," Birrell recalled. "I was wearing an Israeli flag around my neck. When I was trying to separate people from attacking [his cousin], men came and punched me, and then a bunch of other men punched me."
"It got to the point where they grabbed me by my Israeli flag and pinned it around my neck and pulled me to the ground and kept kicking me," Birrell recalled. "Then they even drug me down the street very briefly, dragging me by the neck by my Israeli flag."
Birrell was eventually able to break away from the mob.
"I ran for my life because I had probably 25 to 30 men chasing me through traffic," he said.
Both Birrell and Hamilton maintain that they did all they could to defuse the tension before hostilities erupted, but that the attackers were looking for a fight.
"When they saw the Israeli flags and Stars of David, it was on. There was no chance, even if we tried to run or exit," Hamilton said. "If anyone would have pulled out a knife we would have been gone."
Calgary police eventually arrived on the scene, but there is no evidence that anyone had been apprehended or charged in the attack. A Calgary Police Service spokesman did not immediately respond to a Free Beacon request for information on the incident.
"Our freedom was taken away for us but there’s been no repercussions for the people who took our freedom from us," said Birrell, who claimed that one police officer implied that he was to blame for the attack
"One of the cops told me, I asked him if he could help us after we just got attacked and they showed up, and I had the Israeli flag draped around my neck. The only thing he said was, ‘What do you expect coming here wearing that flag?’" Birrell said.
Tensions have remained since the attack due to media reports and video of the incident that has been posted on the Internet.
Some commenters and writers have implied that the pro-Israel faction had been seeking a fight, a claim that both Birrell and Hamilton denied.
"Why would six people attack 600 anti-Zionists?" Birrell responded when asked about the negative media attention.
Hamilton says that she has already attempted to correct one report in the Calgary Herald that claimed she was being confrontational.
"I emailed them to say, ‘This isn’t right. I didn’t start I confrontation.’" Hamilton said.
However, the paper sent her back a photograph from the event in which she appears to be arguing with the pro-Palestinian protestors.
The paper claimed, "This is a confrontational pose," she said. "But I had five men attack me and it reminds me of the argument that the girl who wears the short skirt and then a men rapes her, that she asked for it."
"We were six people. To anyone who thinks we wanted that type of altercation that put all of our lives at risk, it’s embarrassing," Birrell added.