Pro-Palestine, Pro-Israel Sympathizers Cross Paths at Mikie Sherrill Event

MOUNTAIN LAKES – Mikie Sherrill was delivering a customary political pep talk Thursday night when a protester rose and began shouting about the congresswoman’s support for Israel.

Another quickly followed – and a short time later – yet another protester began reading a critical analysis of Sherrill’s views. All were “escorted” out, but as one of the protesters departed, she repeatedly yelled, “Palestine will be free, Palestine will be free.”

Sherrill kept her composure, telling protester “number one” that she would be willing to discuss the matter with him in a more conducive setting.

The vast schism over American policy toward Israel is hardly novel; just visit a college campus. Still, you have to wonder if yelling from the cheap seats is the best way to make your point.

No matter. That’s reality at the moment.

The venue for all this was the Morris County Democratic Committee Spring Gala at The Mansion at Mountain Lakes banquet hall.

Palestinian supporters also gathered outside, waving the national flag. They were an aggressive bunch, condemning Sherrill and at times calling people exiting “baby killers.”

Eventually, a counter demonstration of Israeli supporters popped up on the other side of the highway, turning Route 46 itself into a sort of neutral zone. There was a large police presence to maintain the peace.

Inside, the guest speaker was not Sherrill, but Rep. Colin Allred of Texas, the Democrat running this year against Republican Senator Ted Cruz. Texas is a traditional “red state” these days, but Democrats are hoping Allred, a one-time NFL linebacker, can pull off what would be a major upset.

Allred lamented – a bit jokingly – about missing Thursday night’s NFL draft. He said he came to New Jersey at Sherrill’s invitation.

So, is visiting the Morris County Dems a key to winning an election in Texas?

Well, Amalia Duarte, the county Democratic chair, noted that Morris knows how to turn a district from “red” to “blue.”

CD-11, which covers most of Morris, had been represented by Republicans until Sherrill won the district in 2018. Since then, she has comfortably won reelection twice.

Sherrill spoke about the Dems’ recent success in gaining control of a number of Morris towns, including both Chathams, Madison and Morris Township.

Allred, in his comments, drew a parallel between politics and football.

He said he was undrafted, but still played four seasons for the Tennessee Titans. He also said that when he first won his Dallas-area House seat in 2018, he defeated Pete Sessions, a long time incumbent. (Sessions has since returned to Congress representing a different district).

Allred’s point is that his career shows his success against long odds, so why can’t he topple Cruz?

“Just watch us,” he said of his developing campaign about 1,600 miles away.

It would not be a political event without a few swipes at your opponent and Allred had one ready for Cruz, noting that during the Jan 6. assault on the Capitol, which some Republicans are now downplaying, Cruz was “hiding in a supply closet.”

The crowd loved it.

As the evening wore on, the crowds outside seemed to grow.

On the pro-Israel side of the street, people said they were energized when they heard about, or saw, the pro-Palestinian demonstration.

They were supporters of Israel, but not necessarily the Democrats congregating inside the hall. One man derisively called Sherrill, “Montclair Mikie.” This dates back to 2018 when her then-opponent, Jay Webber, used it – to no avail – in his campaign. One appreciated the historical touch.

Back on the other side of Route 46, one man spoke about the Israeli “occupation” and said that Hamas “did not attack” Israel last Oct. 7.

Hard to see how talking to some of the Palestinian supporters is going to do much good.


A woman protester at the above event was later identified as Lily Benavides, the Green Party of New Jersey’s endorsed congressional candidate for District 11. This, according to Craig Cayetano, the party’s co-chair.

Cayetano said Benavides was chanting “Free Palestine, Free Palestine” as she exited.




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7 responses to “Pro-Palestine, Pro-Israel Sympathizers Cross Paths at Mikie Sherrill Event”

  1. I was at the rally. So, we, 40 or 50 or so of us, who were there to stand against genocide, were “aggressive,” while those supporting genocide were “energized.” This is why the public has stopped following mainstream, corporate media. Having spoken to pretty much everyone who was at the rally, and having heard from 3 friends, at the rally, how this reporter badgered them and attempted to put words in their mouth, I doubt very much the quote that he is attributing to one of the activists opposing the genocide—a genocide that the US is complicit in. What a poor excuse for a reporter. I’d suggest that the readers of this rag toss it aside, and start following real journalists. I’m Jewish, by the way, and my sign identified me as such. But, this fake reporter was not interested in asking me for a statement, to find out why Jews of conscience stand with Palestine, and 100% against Israel and Zionism. He walked past me at least twice, and did not ask me anything. My response would not have suited his agenda. And he clearly had one.

  2. Fred, I believe I am the man you allegedly quote in the second to last paragraph above. Here is the truth of that encounter.
    You approached me and introduced yourself as a reporter for InsiderNJ. You are not a reporter sir – you are an opinion columnist. Not that I think there is much difference in corporate media, but you clearly tried to misrepresent yourself.
    You spoke to me as the one guy at that protest that looked more like you than most of the rest of our contingent. The first thing I said to you was that you should be talking to one of our group that is from the Palestinian community, not me. I’m the white guy who looked like he was old enough to be “a Vietnam era guy” as you put it. You clearly didn’t want to engage others tho.
    I remarked that I was there because Mikie Sherrill supports genocide and the occupation and we were there to make sure she knew that is not ok and will not be forgotten.
    At that point you said “but all Hamas are terrorists” and I knew right away you were not who you said you were. I said to you that our conversation was over and that I was not here to debate you. As I moved away you said again Hamas were terrrorists to which I asked “do you really believe this all started on October 7?
    From that I guess you somehow concluded I denied anything happened on 10/7.
    You make a point in your piece to put the word occupation in quotes. Are you trying to say there is not forcible occupation of Palestinian lands occurring and that is started in 1948?
    You make the same intentional error that so many others make – writing and making it seem as if 10/7 happened in a vacuum. If you cannot give accurate context to what has and is taking place in Palestine, stop committing the disservice of sharing your writings with the public.

  3. Based on the comments above, I am wondering about the editorial quality of this online paper. It seems pretty weak to allow junk like this to get published.

  4. Your bias is embarrassing. Ppl are using their free speech to protest against a genocide and your condescending attitude is palpable.

  5. Mr. Snowflack: Upon completion of reading your poorly written article, I came to the conclusion your “reporting” of the rally is biased. The language you use to describe the rallies held on opposite sides of route 46 is prejudicial. You write that the folks on the pro-Israeli side of the highway were “energized” but then conversely state it wouldn’t do much good speaking to the folks on the pro-Palestinian side because you described them as “aggressive” and “yelling from the cheap seats”. I question your ethics as a journalist and would suggest you perhaps consider “putting down the pen” and retiring.

  6. Pro-Palestinians continue with the fraudulent propaganda that Palestinians are suffering “genocide” at the hands of the Israelis. Who attacked Israel first and murdered over 1,000 Israelis, raped and murdered Israeli women, burned Israeli men to death, and beheaded Israeli babies FIRST???????

    What did the Palestinians expect when 90% of them voted for the Hamas government and then the criminal terrorist group shut down all future elections???? Why is it that Palestinians are raised from children to hate Israelis????? Do Palestinians even know the history of Israel being 4,000 years old, and the Palestine Gaza state being about 50 years old???? Do Palestinians understand that the Nazis, in concert with Muslims, murdered over 6,000,000 Jews in the 1930s and 1940s?????? I want to know what “genocide” means to Palestinians, who have NO historical roots to claim such a term. I want to know why Palestinians continue to support Hamas and why they haven’t fought back to overthrow the Hamas criminal enterprise run by a few billionaire oligarchs.

    Anything else coming out of the mouths of Palestinians tends to be fake, phoney and fraudulent.

  7. Fred Snowflack where do you get your information?

    You put the term occupation in quotes as though it is not the term used throughout the world to describe the occupation by Israel of the West Bank and Gaza.

    Please clarify are you a supporter of the Greater Israel concept – that’s the logical conclusion for someone who puts occupation in quotes.

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