Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Jewish Peace Activists Condemn Massacre of Palestinians in Gaza

There are many Jewish peace activists who have always been very vocal about Israel's crimes against humanity.  In New York City, a group of demonstrators recently blocked traffic by laying down in the streets outside Israel’s Mission to the United Nations. Twenty-six people were arrested after refusing police orders to disperse. The action was organized by the author and scholar Norman Finkelstein.
Norman Finkelstein: "Well, I’ve been sitting in front of my computer for the past 21 days, morning and night, watching the horror unfold, and I felt I wasn’t doing enough, I wasn’t rising to the occasion, I wasn’t acting commensurate to the horror. So I decide it’s time to do something more, time to go past the computer, remove myself from the computer and get arrested." 
Tuesday’s act of civil disobedience comes one day after nine Jewish peace activists were arrested protesting the Israeli assault outside the office of the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations. The group of mostly young activists are calling themselves "If Not Now, When?" In Seattle, peace activists held a "die-in" outside the headquarters of Boeing, which manufactures weapons supplied to the Israeli military.

Many of the Jewish peace activists carried posters that said, "Jews for Justice in Palestine," "Not in our name." You can read more by clicking here.

Ilan Pappé is a professor of history and the director of the European Centre for Palestine Studies at the University of Exeter. He is the author of several books, including most recently, "The Idea of Israel: A History of Power and Knowledge." He said, "I think Israel in 2014 made a decision that it prefers to be a racist apartheid state and not a democracy." Pappé said,"It still hopes that the United States will license this decision and provide it with the immunity to continue, with the necessary implication of such a policy vis-à-vis the Palestinians wherever they are."

You can read more by clicking here.

From 1978 to 1994, American Jewish leader Henry Siegman served as executive director of the American Jewish Congress, long described as one of the nation’s "big three" Jewish organizations along with the American Jewish Committee and the Anti-Defamation League. He now serves as president of the U.S./Middle East Project and is a vocal critic of Israel’s policies in the Occupied Territories. In his recent interview with Democracy Now, he said, "When one thinks that this is what is necessary for Israel to survive, that the Zionist dream is based on the repeated slaughter of innocents on a scale that we’re watching these days on television, that is really a profound, profound crisis — and should be a profound crisis in the thinking of all of us who were committed to the establishment of the state and to its success," Siegman says. Responding to Israel’s U.S.-backed claim that its assault on Gaza is necessary because no country would tolerate the rocket fire from militants in Gaza, Siegman says: "What undermines this principle is that no country and no people would live the way that Gazans have been made to live. … The question of the morality of Israel’s action depends, in the first instance, on the question, couldn’t Israel be doing something [to prevent] this disaster that is playing out now, in terms of the destruction of human life? Couldn’t they have done something that did not require that cost? And the answer is, sure, they could have ended the occupation."

In this interview Siegman mentioned how Israeli leaders like Ben Gurion had instructed his generals to kill Palestinian civilians in Israel's so-called War of Independence. They were ordered to line the Palestinians up against the wall and shoot them, in order to help to encourage the exodus, that in fact resulted, of 700,000 Palestinians, who were driven out of their homes, and their towns and villages were destroyed. [Ref: Righteous Victims by Benny Morris; My Promised Land by Ari Shavit]

You can read the full interview by clicking here.

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