May 8, 2008
JEWISH ‘SCHLOCKETTES’ DENOUNCE ZIONISM WITH SONG AND DANCE AT RADIO CITY SALUTE TO ISRAEL
Photos by Bran Ali Fenner
A small group of anti-Zionist Jews calling themselves “Schlockettes” and their giant Handala puppet provoked stares, anger and intense conversations at Israel’s 60th Anniversary Celebration at Radio City Music Hall last night with a high-kicking musical protest. The group of fifteen sang, danced and performed a cheerleading routine in front and at times in the midst of crowds of attendees waiting in line to enter the event while across the street a separate Palestinian solidarity rally was held. The event was the beginning of two weeks of events through out New York City that Jewish activists have pledged to disrupt under the banner of “It’s No Time To Celebrate.”
“People forget that there was no consensus among Jews that ethno-nationalism would save them in 1897, there was no consensus in 1948, and there sure as hell isn’t a consensus now,” said Louisa Solomon, one of the organizers.
“A shonda! A shame! No occupation in our name!” shouted the activists, dressed in matching black, as they led a banner reading “Jews Honor Palestinian Resistance” and an 8-foot tall puppet of Handala through sometimes hostile crowds. Handala is a cartoon character representing Palestinian refugee children created by cartoonist Najy al-Ali, and shonda is Yiddish for shame.
The New York protests mirror other events taking place across the nation. Hundreds of Jews and allies have signed an on-line pledge called “No Time To Celebrate” calling for peaceful demonstrations and alternative events demonstrating opposition to Zionism and solidarity with Palestinian communities.
“Sixty years ago, Zionist militias destroyed over 500 Palestinian villages and made more than 800,000 Palestinian people refugees in order to create a Jewish state in a land where the majority was not Jewish,” reads the on-line pledge, which has over 500 signatures. “This does not deserve to be celebrated.”
Or as the New York activists cheered as part of a choreographed dance routine:
“We’re gonna shake off, shake off this racist occupation!
All people deserve self-determination”