Jewish Activists Arrested in Sit in at Friends of Israel Defense Forces NYC Office
Following is a letter I received this morning from The Jewish Voice of Peace
Yesterday, I was part of a delegation of activists from Jewish Voice for Peace and Jews Say No! who took over the Friends of the IDF headquarters in New York. Until we were arrested, we read the names and ages of the dead and sang songs of mourning, often with our voices breaking and tears rolling down our faces. We stood there for an hour, reading the names steadily, and still did not read them all.
As I was taken out in handcuffs to face a sea of about 30 police officers, I asked a staff member of the Friends of the IDF standing nearby, “Did you hear the names we read? Did you see that we read them for an hour and didn’t reach the end? Is this what you support? Are these the Jewish values you grew up with?”
As Jews, so many of us have been brought up on stories of our families’ lives hanging in the balance based on the courage of someone who had the choice to speak up or remain silent.
We are in that kind of moment now. And that is why I, and so many other people like me, are taking action. And why we need you to stand up with us.
Over 600 people in Gaza killed in the last three weeks. Thousands of homes destroyed, another 4,000 people wounded. US tax dollars have helped pay for that army, and Israel claims to act in the name of all the Jews the world over.
But you can do something about it. We all must do something about it.
The glimmer of hope I have in these very dark days comes from you – our members, supporters, and allies who are standing up, all over the world.
In Washington, D.C., Jewish Voice for Peace members, alongside members of CodePink, interrupted a Christians United for Israel conference while Israeli Ambassador Ron Dermer was speaking. Despite being violently attacked, they continued their protest.
In Boston, over a thousand people, JVP’ers and a large coalition of allied organizations rallied in front of the state house and blocked traffic for several hours.
In Chicago, five activists from JVP and AFSC were arrested protesting at Hewlett Packard, and in the Bay Area JVP’ers conducted a die-in at HP to protest its profiting from Israel’s war crimes. Seattle members did the same at Boeing.
I could go on and on: protests in Ithaca; Portland, OR; Portland, ME; St. Louis, Jersey City. There are more places than I can count, and more to come. Everywhere we—you—are getting our pro-peace, pro-justice, pro-equality message out. We are taking a stand.
All over the world, you’ve signed Open Letters, gone to rallies, contacted elected officials, written Letters to the Editor, shared educational materials, and dared difficult conversations with your family and friends.
But the attack continues. The siege continues. We’re going to have to continue to step it up.
I hope you’ll join us in action, as long as it takes. Click here for a listing of actions nationwide JVP is participating in.
It is our shared responsibility to end this bloodshed. And I know we can.
And here you can see a debate between Ali Abunimah and J.J. Goldberg, editor-at-large and columnist at the newspaper The Jewish Daily Forward. The topic, needless to say is the war on Gaza …..