"About 20 protesters demanding rights for Palestinians picketed Tuesday outside the Portland launch of an organization formed to boost business between Oregon and Israel.
Former Gov. Ted Kulongoski spoke to more than twice that number at theOregon-Israel Business Alliancekickoff inside the University of Oregon White Stag Building in Old Town. Kulongoski, who led a trade mission to Israel last year near the end of his term, favors increased dealings with Israel.
Outside, protester Steve Kerpen held a sign that said "Stop funding Israeli apartheid." Kerpen, of Portland, said he saw Israelis mistreating Palestinians during a visit to the West Bank in May. "I'm Jewish, but I've seen what's happening," Kerpen said. "It just seems a horrible thing to support a country that does this to its citizens."