Boston Jews to Protest “Rally to Support Israel”, Call for Inclusive, Compassionate Jewish Community
Jews to Protest “Rally to Support Israel”, Call for Inclusive, Compassionate Jewish Community
When: Monday, November 19th, 4:30 - 6:00 PM
Where: Congregation Mishkan Tefilah, 300 Hammond Pond Parkway, Chestnut Hill.
Contact: Marjorie Corbman: firstname.lastname@example.org, Liza Behrendt: email@example.com
(Nov 9, 2012) - Members of Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP), a national organization of Jews which advocates for a just peace in Israel and Palestine, will protest in response to the “Rally to Support Israel: Freedom from Fear” organized by Combined Jewish Philanthropies (CJP) and the Jewish Communiy Relations Council (JCRC) and attended by Governor Deval Patrick. The rally claims to be a gathering for peace and the safety of the people and children of Israel, but JVP calls out this event for what it truly is: a pro-war rally that falsely aims to represent the Jewish community.
“Killing children in Gaza will not protect children in Sderot,” said Liza Behrendt, an organizer with JVP Boston. “Now is a time to call for a cessation of all violence, not to support the cycle of violence with a one-sided rally. We know that this ‘Rally to Support Israel’ is a rally not for peace, but for war.”
Israeli occupation and the bombing of Gaza continues to put Southern Israel at risk. JVP calls on Jewish leaders within the organizations that sponsored this rally, as well as Governor Patrick, to join the international voices of compassion and reason in demanding an immediate ceasefire. It is time for Israel to take real steps towards a policy of peace, to “beat their swords into ploughshares and their spears into pruning hooks” in the words of the prophet Isaiah (2:4). The balance of power is tipped disproportionately in Israel’s favor, and Gaza faces a desperate humanitarian situation.
“We stand here because while we grieve the loss of Israeli life, our hearts are also with the people of Gaza,” explained Rabbi Joseph Berman, a JVP Boston leader. “We stand here because our Jewish tradition teaches us the equal value of every life, all made in the image of G-d. Not so long ago it was Jewish deaths that were discounted and ignored.”
A growing segment of the Jewish community opposes the violent policies of Israel and its occupation of Palestine, yet CJP and the JCRC aim to speak with a monolithic Jewish voice. But they do not speak for us. JVP asks our fellow Jews to speak out in the best tradition of our people in calling for real justice for the besieged and bombarded people of Gaza. Then, and only then, will there be freedom from fear in Israel and Palestine.
Jewish Voice for Peace is a national grassroots peace organization dedicated to promoting a US foreign policy in the Middle East based on peace, democracy, human rights and respect for international law. With over 115,000 online supporters, 35 chapters and a Rabbi's Council, JVP’s board of advisors includes Tony Kushner, Ed Asner, Naomi Klein, Noam Chomsky, Eve Ensler and others.