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Jewish Protests Against The Occupation

Jews around the world defy the Zionist governement's demand for blind support, step out of their homes today to say NO! We won't keep quiet! We reject Israel's brutal violations of Human Rights and International Law. Reports from NYC, London, Sydney, Montreal, Toronto, Paris, Boston, Edinburgh, Berne

oznik-news

11 Dec. 2000

Berkeley:

We held banners (in the rain!) in berkeley and oakland (california) during morning and evening rush hour at major intersections (on monday), with slogans like JEWS FOR JUSTICE SAY STOP AID TO ISRAEL, JEWS FOR JUSTICE CALL FOR PROTECTION FOR PALESTINIANS, JEWS FOR JUSTICE SAY END THE OCCUPATION!

in solidarity--

penny rosenwasser, Middle East Children's Alliance

London: Dead Take Over Kensington Court

On Sunday 10 December, Jews against the Occupation held a die-in at the Israeli Embassy in London to protest against the continued Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands and the killing of more than 300 Palestinians since 28 September.

In a moving tribute to the Palestinians killed in the last two months, a Mizrahi Israeli Jew read out the names of each of those killed. It took more than 40 minutes to read the names of the dead. Their simple bio-data and a photograph commemorated their deaths as Jewish sympathizers lay down in Kensington Court in symbolic support of the sacrifice of Palestinians in the face of the Israeli occupation.

At the end of the role call, the names and photographs of the victims were laid out on the ground as testimony to the scale of the tragedy, and the shear number of Palestinians who have lost their life.

Christmas shoppers in Kensington High Street, paused to look at the tribute and commented on the number of deaths and their youth: many of those commemorated at the event were only in their early teens when they were killed.

Jews against the Occupation used the UN International Human Rights Day to release a petition calling for an immediate end to the Israeli occupation, for recognition of the Palestinians right to self-determination, to return and to compensation, and for the implementation of steps towards these rights. The petition also calls for the abolition of all discriminatory laws in Israel, and for the introduction of full legal equality between Jews and non-Jews. To date the petition has been signed by Jews from more than 18 countries world wide.

Israeli participants in the London protest also emphasised that the current killings were not the result of a breakdown in peace negotiations, but were the result of Israel’s determination to secure its illegal occupation of Palestinian land.

-- Sarah Cave

NYC:

A coresponding group of Jews in New York, Not In Our Name, is holding its protest today, Monday, outside the Israeli Consulate in the city. This event will include the lighting of candles, and poetry readings. Organizers of this event chose to also read out the names of Israelis killed in the uprising, viewing them as victims of the occupation policy.

Monteral:

Robert Silverman, organizer of Monday's vigil outside the Israeli Consulate in Monteral, writes: As Jews, we can no longer remain silent against the daily violation of Palestinian rights by the Israeli state or allow that state to speak in our name. The Israeli government claims to be the representative of the Jewish people everywhere, but, instead of pride in the achievements of Israel, many Jews around the world have now become so "ashamed and appalled" that more and more of us are now prepared to make our opinions known publicly--often for the first time. Ehud Barak and Ariel Sharon do not speak for us, nor does the "official" leadership of the Canadian Jewish community.

Boston: Brookline, MA

On Sunday, December 10th Jewish Women for Justice in Israel/Palestine organized a candlelight vigil on the commercial streets of a well known Jewish neighborhood in Boston. The event was held from 3-5pm.

What began as an action to have a moving sidewalk vigil turned into a busy informational, educational and leafleting campaign. We concentrated ourselves at a very busy corner intersection and we handed out our statement, a one page flyer addressing the Israeli Human Rights abuses (see attached) and a two sided flyer giving people an update on current groups and activities going on in Boston addressing the Israeli occupation. We all wore placards that stated various sentiments, i.e. "Another Jewish Person for Peace with Justice in Israel/Palestine," "End the Israeli Occupation NOW!," "I Am A Jewish Woman Who Can No Longer Be Terrified by History but Will Be Empowered by It!." In addition, we had a verse entitled "IMAGINE" that was posted to placards (also attached). The action ended with participants holding lit candles, standing on the corner and singing Yiddish songs.

At any given time that afternoon, we had between 15 and 35 people attending. Those who came to participate in the event, not knowing our group, also began a focussed effort to hand out information and talk to people on the street.

The reception was rather positive, and many passerbys stopped to read our placards, our information sheets and to talk. Many thanked us for our efforts and stated that they too were furious about Israel's military actions and asked how they could get involved.

Some of course told us we were too "one-sided" in our portrayal and information and worried about the Jewish people being killed. We sympathized with their concerns and reiterated that if the Israeli government would end the occupation and negotiate peace with justice, there would not be Jewish deaths either.

Coresponding actions:

  • In Sydney, supporters of the petition carried a banner in a major human rights demonstration.
  • In Toronto, a rally was held at the University of Toronto. The rally was co-sponsored by the Jewish Women's Committee to end the Occupation, the United Jewish People's Order (Toronto) and the Toronto Jewish Network for Social Justice.
  • In Switzerland, supporters of the petition took part in pickets for "a just peace in Palestine and Israel" in Bern and Zurich.
  • In Edinburgh, supporters of the petition took part in activities organized by the Edinburgh Palestine Solidarity Campaign, including petitioning and leafletting on Princes Street.