Whatsupic.com Sun., April 29, 2018
Fourteen American Jews were arrested by the New York Police Department after blocking the entrance to US Senator Chuck Schumer’s New York office on Thursday, the latest Jewish-led civil disobedience action aimed at pushing members of Congress to condemn Israel’s killing of Palestinian protesters in Gaza.
Chanting “Free, Free Gaza” and singing Jewish prayers while wearing black, the protesters, all members of Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP), sat in front of Schumer’s office building, locked arms and unfurled a banner that read: “Schumer, your silence is shameful. NYC Jews stand with Gaza. Palestinians should be free.”
The 14 who were arrested were joined by at least 40 other JVP members there to support the protest and push Schumer, the Democratic majority leader, to speak out against Israeli actions in Gaza. The demonstrators wore signs around their necks with the names of the 41 Palestinians killed by Israeli forces since 30 March, when Gazans began the Great March of Return.
The Gaza protest is a weeks-long encampment near Israel’s self-imposed militarised barrier with Gaza, calling for the right of return to lands Palestinians and their descendants were expelled from in 1948, when Israel was founded. The Palestinian demonstrators have been met with sniper fire and tear gas fired by Israeli soldiers.
As a Jew, I have a responsibility to speak out publicly when violence is committed in my name – Audrey Bruner, Jewish Voice for Peace
“We’re here today to call on Senator Schumer to condemn the murder of 41 people in Gaza,” said MJ Edery, a member of JVP’s New York City chapter. “Everyone should have the right to peacefully protest for their rights without being murdered.”
Schumer has been one of Israel’s most steadfast backers in the US Congress.
But JVP said it hopes to use this protest to pressure other US senators to urge Israel to stop using sniper fire on unarmed Palestinian protesters in Gaza.
The sit-in is the first in a series of JVP-led demonstrations to be held in front of the offices of US politicians across the country to press for enforcement of the Leahy Law, a US provision that prohibits American military aid from going to foreign army units that violate human rights. The US provides Israel with more than $3bn in annual military aid.
There have been several indicators, including these latest sit-ins at politicians’ offices, of a growing split in the American Jewish community over Israel’s decades-long occupation of Palestinians.
Since 30 March, at least 51 American Jews have been arrested protesting against Israel’s lethal response to the Great March of Return.
Full article here: http://whatsupic.com/index/us-jewish-protests-israel-highlight-growing-schism/