JVP Chapters host Chanukah Actions Against Islamophobia and racism in 25 Cities


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 21, 2016
Contact: Naomi Dann| media@jvp.org | 845-377-5745

Fighting Islamophobia & racism, Jewish group & partners rally in 25 cities ahead of Chanukah

Actions highlight opposition to the views and policies of President-Elect Trump, Israeli PM Netanyahu and appointees like David Friedman

December 21, 2016 — Today, Jewish Voice for Peace chapters in 25 cities will lead actions to protest Islamophobia and racism, as part of a national effort ahead of the Jewish holiday of Chanukah. Working with Muslim partners and other community organizations, the actions will take place in small towns and big cities, from Kingston, NY to Chicago, IL. Themed around the Jewish holiday of Chanukah, the goal of the actions are to shine a light on commitments to fighting bigotry, discrimination and state violence, and to build community around fighting injustice in this new political era.

While policies like heightened surveillance of Muslims and U.S. state violence against communities of color, both domestically and internationally, have been a reality for some time, the incoming presidential administration has proposed even more blatantly racist and discriminatory policies, and emboldened disturbing levels of violence against Muslims and those perceived to be Muslim.

“The alarming rise in Islamophobia and racism in the U.S. in past years was exacerbated by the virulent propaganda and rhetoric during the elections cycle and continues to this day,” said Donna Nevel, co-founder of the Network Against Islamophobia, a Jewish Voice for Peace project. “Muslims and other impacted groups have been engaged in powerful organizing in response. It is more important than ever for us at JVP to show up visibly in partnership with Muslim and other communities to stand against Islamophobia and racism in all their forms–from the daily assaults and acts of violence on the streets to state-sanctioned Islamophobia.”

Ahead of the holiday of Chanukah, Jewish Voice for Peace members, partners and allies will come together to commit to challenging the racism, white supremacy, Islamophobia, anti-Semitism and militarism that are increasing in our country and throughout the world.

The 25 actions taking place across the country on Wednesday vary in size and scope, from gatherings on street corners in places like Springfield, Massachusetts, to rallies in places like Sacramento and Miami coordinated with the local chapters of the Council of American-Islamic Relations, which recently recognized JVP with an award for its long term work on these issues. In Chicago, the action will specifically target Governor Rauner for his embrace of a ban on Syrian refugees, while in Washington, DC demonstrators will march from the offices of the Islamophobic hate group The Clarion Project to the White House.

In all of the cities across the country, community members will hold signs in the shape of a menorah listing commitments which include: “We refuse to be silent about anti-Muslim and racist hate speech and hate crimes. We condemn state surveillance of the Muslim community. We fight anti-Muslim profiling and racial profiling in all its forms. We call for an end to racist policing. We protest the use of Islamophobia and anti-Arab racism to justify Israel’s repressive policies against Palestinians.”

As a Jewish organization working towards justice for all people in Israel/Palestine and here in the U.S., JVP is committed to challenging the bigotry, discrimination and state violence both here and there. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, David Friedman, President elect Trump’s newly appointed ambassador to Israel, and many others have laid bare the ways that Islamophobia and racism are central pillars that have been used to uphold and defend Israel’s reprehensible policies towards Palestinians.

Said Rabbi Alissa Wise, deputy director of Jewish Voice for Peace: “We are seeing how Prime Minister Netanyahu and President-elect Trump have found common cause in their demonization of Muslim and Arab communities. This Chanukah, as a Netanyahu-Trump alliance threatens us all, we are strengthened by the light of the menorah that grows each night. Since 2010 JVP has been organizing against Islamophobia and racism in our culture, in deep partnership with Muslim organizations leading the fight. Like the chanukah candles, our commitment to stand with the Muslim community in the US only grows day by day.”

To view information about actions taking place in specific cities, please visit: https://jewishvoiceforpeace.org/network-against-islamophobia/.

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