Shuja’iyya, Gaza City, April 6, 2018. (Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Jewish Voice for Peace Horrified by Israel’s Disproportionate Violent Response to Peaceful Protest


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 6, 2018
Contact: Sonya E Meyerson-Knox | sonya@jvp.org | 929-290-0317

As the death count grows higher – at time of writing 26 Palestinians have been killed and over 1,600 injured over the last two Fridays- Jewish Voice for Peace offers our updated statement from last Friday.

“Yearning to be freed from imprisonment and for basic rights simply cannot be stopped by violent force – our own age-old stories, which we recounted again during Passover, tell us so”

March 13, 2018 – Jewish Voice for Peace is horrified by the Israeli response to the #GreatReturnMarch, in which tens of thousands of Palestinian refugees continue to march peacefully from inside Gaza. At the time of this writing, at least 26 Palestinians have been killed and over 1,600 injured over the past two weeks.

As Jews across the world gathered at Passover seders this week to remember our own story as a people questing for a homeland, Jewish Voice for Peace honors and recognizes the yearning for homeland propelling the #GreatReturnMarch protests.

“In the U.S., many of us are participating in mass protests against repressive government policies. More than ever we all should understand the power of gathering publicly to say “enough!” Yearning to be freed from imprisonment and for basic rights simply cannot be stopped by violent force – our own age-old stories, which we again recounted during Passover, tell us so”

– Rebecca Vilkomerson, Executive Director of Jewish Voice for Peace

The Israeli military has yet again unleashed disproportionate violence against Palestinians demonstrating, the latest in a long series of deadly responses to popular protests by Palestinians.

The Great March of Return was explicitly planned as a peaceful march along the border of Gaza and Israel, where tent cities are erected, from Land Day on March 30 to Nakba Day on May 15. Land Day commemorates Israel’s crushing of a general strike and mass protest by Palestinian citizens of Israel. Land Day protests, like the upcoming 70th anniversary of the Nakba protests, are held annually, part of long history of palestinian mass popular resistance to Israeli aggression. Organizers of the Great March of Return have clearly called this a nonviolent march affiliated with no political parties.

Much of the media coverage thus far refers to “clashes” at the Gazan border, an inaccurate and biased description of the Israeli military’s violent response to nonviolent protest. We call upon the media to accurately portray the lopsided reality of thousands of unarmed protesters on their own land facing a military force armed to the teeth and explicitly permitted to use lethal force.

Executive Director Rebecca Vilkomerson is available to speak with the media.

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Jewish Voice for Peace is a national, grassroots organization inspired by Jewish tradition to work for a just and lasting peace according to principles of human rights, equality, and international law for all the people of Israel and Palestine. JVP has over 200,000 online supporters, over 70 chapters, a youth wing, a Rabbinic Council, an Artist Council, an Academic Advisory Council, and an Advisory Board made up of leading U.S. intellectuals and artists.



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