On February 13 at 9 am, Jews Say No, wrapped up 24 hours protesting in front of the World Zionist Organization and Jewish Agency to say “Not in Our Name” to the Israeli government and to these US-based organizations that promote and defend its policies. Close to 900 people participated in the protest, some for one hour, some for 24 hours! In the wake of the election of a far right wing majority in Israel, these concerned Jews mobilized to build on the wave of increasingly public Jewish solidarity with the 1.5 million Palestinians who continue to live under siege in Gaza.
The protest was held for 24 hours to highlight the reality endured by the people of Gaza who are forced to live under inhuman conditions without reprieve, 24 hours a day. The demonstrators wanted to show the devastating impact of the Israeli occupation, the ongoing violence, bombings, and home demolitions by the Israeli government, and the effects of Israel’s blockade, which denies the people of Gaza food, water, medical supplies, and other humanitarian aid. The day was marked by three periods–morning, afternoon, and night–in the life of a child in Gaza. Readings depicted what life should be like for children but what, instead, as a result of the Israeli government’s actions, their daily conditions are like.
Protesters from many different Jewish backgrounds- long time civil rights and peace activists, Holocaust survivors, children of survivors, as well as first time participants- came together to speak out against the ongoing Israeli siege on Gaza. Testimonies from participants about why they were there and letters of solidarity from around the world with today’s action were read throughout the day. Dr. Ruchama Marton, President and Founder of Physicians for Human Rights, Israel, wrote “We, Israelis, Jews, and Palestinians, need your voice that says NO clearly and loudly as a tool for creating change in Israeli and American policy”. Nabila Espanioly, Director of the Al-Tufula Center for Women and Children, declared, “As a Palestinian citizen of Israel I join you in your demand: not in my name, not with my tax money. After the election in Israel, I believe today it is more important than ever to sound your voice.”
See photographs by Daniel McCabe below, and more photographs and video to be posted soon.
Photographs by I-Witness Video at http://tinyurl.com/dhej94