Growing Movement of American Jews Speaking Out Against Assault On Gaza
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
GROWING MOVEMENT OF AMERICAN JEWS SPEAKING OUT AGAINST ASSAULT ON GAZA
Jewish Voice for Peace activists across the US demand an end to the assault on Gaza and an end to the occupation of Palestine
August 4, 2014—Unprecedented numbers of Jewish Americans are organizing to call for an end to Israel’s devastating assault on Gaza. In a coordinated effort in dozens of cities across the US, Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) chapters have organized street protests, demonstrations and civil disobedience actions to call for an end to the invasion, an end to the 7-year-old siege, and an end to the 47-year occupation of Palestine. Since the initiation of the most recent assault on Gaza on July 7, upwards of 1822 Palestinians including at least 377 children and 67 Israelis, 3 of them civilians, have been killed.
“Every time Israel engages in high-profile repression of civilians, we get inundated. But we have never seen anything like this. Our mailing list grew by 50,000 in 3 weeks and we can’t keep up with the demand for new chapters. This is the final straw for many Jews, who have decided that their silence implies consent,” Said Rabbi Alissa Wise, JVP Co-Director of Organizing and Chair of the JVP Rabbinical Council.
Activists in Jewish Voice for Peace chapters across the US are targeting American companies that profit from the occupation, Congressional leaders, and Jewish institutions that rally behind Israel’s violence against civilians in Gaza:
JVP activists in Seattle, New York, DC, Boston, and San Francisco have risked arrest in targeted actions against institutions and companies that support the assault.
JVP chapters have organized and taken part in demonstrations in Seattle, Washington DC, Albany, Ithaca, Westchester, Atlanta, San Diego, St. Louis San Francisco, Los Angeles, Portland, Raleigh, Philadelphia, Tacoma, Twin Cities, Santa Cruz, Honolulu, Columbia, Houston, Las Vegas, Madison, Milwaukee, Montpelier, New Haven, Northhampton, Sacramento, Toronto, Asheville, Boston, and New York, among others.
Events are being planned this week in New York, Santa Barbara, Santa Cruz, the Bay Area, Albuquerque, the Twin Cities, Ithaca, White Plains, and Philadelphia, among others.
With the assistance of the Institute for Middle East Understanding, Jewish Voice for Peace also produced a video and photo project— Freedom4Palestine.org— showcasing Jewish luminaries, prominent Palestinians, Nobel Prize laureates, activists and other notables speaking out for Palestinian human rights. Featuring Mandy Patinkin, Jonathan Demme, Gloria Steinem, Tony Kushner, Diana Buttu, Chuck D, Eve Ensler, Brian Eno, Roger Waters, Mira Nair, Wallace Shawn, Naomi Klein, Mira Nair, Raj Patel, and Noura Erakat among others, the heartbreaking video has been watched nearly 175,000 times in its first few days online, and photos continue to be submitted.
Sample of recent actions:
In Seattle, JVP activists shut down the entrance to Boeing’s international headquarters for 3 hours on July 28 in protest against the company’s support for Israel’s assault on Gaza.
In Atlanta, JVP activists held a prayer vigil on July 24 to honor those who have been killed in Operation Protective Edge with 70 attendees in front of the Israel Consulate.
In Boston, JVP activists helped organize a 2,000 person rally in support of the people of Gaza that blocked the streets in front of the Statehouse on July 22.
In New York, nine JVP activists were arrested on July 22 in an act of civil disobedience at the offices of the Friends of the Israeli Defense forces.
In Chicago, 5 JVP activists were arrested in an act of civil disobedience inside the headquarters of Boeing on July 16. The Boeing Company was listed in 2012 as the second biggest arms supplier worldwide. Boeing has sold Israel F-15A fighter jets and Apache AH 64 helicopters currently being used in attacks on Gaza.
In the Bay Area, JVP activists staged a “die-in” at Hewlett-Packard (HP) Headquarters on July 17 to protest HP’s complicity in and profit from the violence being perpetrated by the Israeli government and army against the Palestinian people. Activists read the names of those killed and recited the kaddish, the Jewish prayer for the dead. HP’s information technology administers the Israeli navy’s electronic infrastructure, and provides all PCs used by the Israeli military.
In Washington DC, JVP activists interrupted a speech by Ambassador Ron Dermer on July 20 at the annual Christians United for Israel to call on Israel to be held accountable for the deaths of Palestinian civilians in Gaza.
Jewish Voice for Peace (www.jewishvoiceforpeace.org) is a national, grassroots organization dedicated to achieving a just and lasting peace that recognizes the aspirations of both Israelis and Palestinians for security and self-determination. Jewish Voice for Peace has over 170,000 online supporters, 40 chapters, a youth wing, a Rabbinic Cabinet, and an Advisory Board made up of leading U.S. intellectuals and artists.