Unfortunately, Israel and Palestine are in the news daily with reports (as of Monday morning) of over 10 Palestinians dead and rockets going to and from Gaza. On Saturday, I, with my colleagues from the local chapter of Jewish Voice for Peace, stood outside the Farmers Market to let people know that we care about the Palestinian people who are dying and the Israelis who are also living in fear. The most painful words people told me over and over was that they were shocked that Jews would care about what happens to the Palestinian people.
We, as American Jews, oppose Israel’s war on the Palestinian people. We must hold Israel accountable. This is a one-sided war of destruction, driven by the Israeli government’s hunger for land and fueled by the corporate desire for profit.
The 1.8 million Palestinians have been stateless for decades and are being held captive as prisoners inside of Gaza. They are being bombarded by Israel with some of the most advanced weapons in the world; they have no shelters to run to and no way to leave.
We of Jewish Voice for Peace say no to collective punishment. Over 77 percent of those killed in Gaza have been civilians; 30 percent have been children, reports the UN. Over 1,000 have been wounded, and hospitals, handicap care facilities, geriatric facilities, and family homes have been targeted. Gaza has been under siege for seven years. The Palestinians have lived under occupation for three generations.
We want Americans to know that $8.5 million a day of American tax dollars go to the Israeli war machine. Calls for boycott, divestment, and sanctions against Israel and companies that profit from the Israeli occupation of Palestine have intensified and are now more important than ever.
Jewish Voice for Peace is a national, grassroots organization dedicated to achieving a just and lasting peace that recognizes the aspirations of both Israelis and Palestinians for security and self-determination.