On Monday, January 5, about 30 Jewish activists participated in a 1 p.m. press conference at Union Square to condemn the Israeli massacres in Gaza. They called for an immediate end to all U.S. aid to Israel, and expressed support for the overall campaign to Boycott, Divest and Sanction Israel.
On behalf of the protesters, Marty Goodman, Adalah–NY; former Executive Board member of Transit Workers Union Local 100, read the statement below.*
Other speakers included:
–Michael Kramer, an Israeli army veteran and member of Veterans for Peace.
–Michael Letwin, Co-Convener of New York City Labor Against the War (NYCLAW); Labor for Palestine; and former President of the Association of Legal Aid Attorneys/UAW Local 2325.
—Aaron Levitt of Jews Against the Occupation.
–Michael Gimbel, Local 375, DC 37 AFSCME and Delegate to the New York City Central Labor Council.
ISRAEL DOES NOT SPEAK FOR US!
January 4, 2009
“For the sake of the hundreds of thousands trembling under our violence, I cannot be silent.”
Dr. Martin Luther King, Riverside Church, 1967
As Jews, we join millions around the world in condemning Israel’s ongoing murder and maiming of hundreds of Palestinians in Gaza. Israel does not speak for us!
The dead in Gaza represent a greater portion of Gaza’s population than the percentage of New Yorkers who died on 9/11.
This is the “bigger Shoah” against Gaza threatened by Israel’s Deputy Defense Minister Matan Valnai on Feb. 29, 2008. The U.S. stands behind Israel’s war on Gaza, providing weapons and political support.
By carrying out indiscriminate bombing that targets civilians, Israel is practicing collective punishment on the 1.5 million Palestinians in Gaza. This war crime violates the Fourth Geneva Convention. It is part of a US-Israeli campaign to punish Gazans for democratically electing Hamas.
Long before these attacks, Israel had turned Gaza into the world’s largest open-air prison and shooting gallery, assassinating activists, and cutting-off essential goods, jobs and services. Conditions have brought Gaza to the brink of mass starvation.
Only as a result did Hamas abandon a unilateral two-year ceasefire and subsequent truce. Since that time, it has repeatedly offered to cease all rocket fire in exchange for an end to U.S.-Israel blockade and other military attacks.
In the past ten years alone, U.S. military aid to Israel was $17 billion; over the next decade, it will be $30 billion. As in Afghanistan and Iraq, it is U.S. aircraft, cluster bombs and bullets that kill and maim on behalf of the occupiers.
As a result, violence is overwhelmingly one-sided against the Palestinians, who — as an occupied people — have no aircraft, artillery, tanks or ships. While rockets launched from Gaza since 2000 have killed 17 Israelis, Israel’s modern arsenal has killed more than 400 Palestinians — including many children — since December 27 alone.
We are against Israeli military occupation, for the right of Palestinian refugees to return, and for the elimination of apartheid throughout historic Palestine.
We say: End the massacre in Gaza, end the siege now, and end all U.S. Aid to Israel, and support Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel.
Please join us as many Jewish New York City activists gather to speak out against the crimes that are being carried out in our name.