JVP Rabbinical Council condemns Israeli forces killing Palestinian protesters in Gaza

Do not stand idly by while your neighbor’s blood is shed.
– Leviticus 19:16

In a place where no one is human, strive to be human.
– Pirkei Avot 2:5

We, the JVP Rabbinical Council, express our outrage at the Israeli military’s killing and maiming of Palestinian protesters along the buffer zone between Gaza and Israel.

Since Passover eve, March 30, thousands of Palestinians in Gaza have gathered weekly for the Great March of Return – a grassroots, mass protest seeking recognition of their legal right to return to the homes and lands from which they were dispossessed during the Nakba (catastrophe) of 1948/49.

As the world has looked on, these demonstrations have been met with live fire from the Israeli military. To date, 44 Palestinians (including children and journalists) have been killed and over 3000 injured, many severely. No Israelis have been killed or injured.

We fear more violence and bloodshed is ahead as we approach the 70th anniversary of the Nakba, which coincides with both Yom Yerushalayim (the day Israel occupied Jerusalem in 1967) and the opening of the US Embassy in Jerusalem. In years past, Yom Yerushalayim has brought extremist Jews out in mobs terrorizing Palestinian Jerusalemites. The Embassy move violates international law and has been met with condemnation and concern the world over.

During the coming days, there will almost certainly be massive demonstrations in Jerusalem, in Gaza and throughout Israel/Palestine – and we fear demonstrators will continue to met by live ammunition, tear gas and perhaps missile fire.

As we lift our voices, we call upon all people of conscience to speak up now before more lives are lost. Please pick up your phone and call your Member of Congress–JVP has set up an easy way to do so, with all the information you need right here.

Our message is simple: This is not what human beings do to one another. And we will not stand idly by as our neighbor’s blood is shed.



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Huge Palestinian march with text overlaid reading "support the #greatreturnmarch"