Below is a news report from the May 8 action at the JCRC — we’re “breaking news” about 40 seconds into the segment
Below is a short video about Thursday’s action in San Francisco, the No Time To Celebrate Campaign, and why we do this work.
20 JEWS ARRESTED IN PROTEST OF 60TH ANNIVERSARY EVENT
Yesterday 20 of us were arrested in the lobby of the San Francisco Jewish Community Center at an event organized by the Jewish Community Relations Council’s “Israel @ 60” Educational Symposium. Many other Jews and allies joined us inside as well as outside to voice our opposition to an organization that continually claims to speak in our name as it supports the continued project of Israeli colonialism. By staging the action inside the lobby, we hoped to move our action from a binary of Jews/inside and protestors/outside, to recognize that indeed we are dissent from within the Jewish community
Below is our press release (click here to download PDF), as well as some links to photos and media gathered so far. Check back for more.
20 Jewish Activists Arrested, Disrupting Jewish Community Relations Council’s (JCRC) 60th Anniversary of Israel Celebration
Jewish Activists Draw Attention to 60 years of Palestinian Forced Exile and Dispossession
San Francisco—In response to Israel’s 60th anniversary celebrations, 20 Jewish activists were arrested, demonstrating Jewish opposition to Israel’s 60-year-old policy of dispossession, and highlighting the often-silenced struggle of Palestinian refugees. For over two hours, 30 Jewish activists and supporters disrupted San Francisco’s anniversary event, bunkering against the main atrium of the Jewish Community Center (JCC). In conjunction, over thirty Jewish and Palestinian supporters held a rally outside the center to call attention to ongoing Israeli policy of apartheid against the Palestinian population. With banners reading, “Jews in Solidarity with 60+ years of Palestinian Resistance,” activists declared anniversary, “No Time to Celebrate.”
“As Jews of conscience, acting in solidarity with 60-plus years of Palestinian resistance, we’re here today to promote an “Independence” that does not depend on an ethnically or religiously exclusive state or on the displacement of indigenous people,” said Eric Romann, International Jewish Solidarity Network (IJSN) organizer. “We want is joint liberation, not isolation.”
The action in San Francisco, organized by the local IJSN, is part of “No Time to Celebrate,” a national Jewish campaign opposing Israel’s 60th Anniversary celebrations, while simultaneously amplifying the American Jewish community’s critique of Israeli policy. The Israeli Consulate and the Jewish Community and Relations Council (JCRC), who have attempted to silence any and all criticism of Israeli policy, were the sponsors of this event.
The activists presented the JCRC with a statement, with the following demands:
- To stop the targeting of non-Jewish organizations, particularly of organizations serving communities of color in the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond, that criticize Israel and/or express solidarity with Palestine
- To stop claiming that anti-Zionism and criticism of Israel are anti-Semitic
- To acknowledge that they do not speak for the full organized Jewish community—that Jewish voices that criticize Israel and Zionism are legitimate voices of dissent within Jewish communities
- To criticize Israeli Deputy Defense Minister, Matan Vilnai threat of a “shoah” against the people of Gaza and demand a public apology for the exploitation of the Nazi genocide against the Jewish people for the continued ethnic cleansing of Palestinians.
Some coverage generated so far (support our work by leaving comments!):
- San Francisco Bay Guardian Politics Blog
- KCBS (click for audio)
- The Arabist (Hossam el-Hamalawy) (recently added!)
- Flickr photoset
- KPFA Radio (recently added!)
- KGO Radio (recently added!)
- Baltimore Jewish Times (recently added!)
- On Digg! (recently added!)
- My Direct Democracy (recently added!)
- What Really Happened Blog (recently added!)
- Daily Kos (recently recently added!)
- KRON 4 (video!)
- check back for more!
BAY AREA LIBERATION SEDER A SUCCESS!
Over 100 Jews, Palestinians, and other allies came together on April 20, 2008 for the International Jewish Solidarity Network’s Bay Area Liberation Seder in Solidarity with 60 Years of Palestinian Resistence, held at the Lake Merritt United Methodist Church. The event served as a benefit for IJSN’s 1st North American Anti-Zionist Jewish Forum (scheduled for Winter ’08 ) and the Palestinian Popular Conference (Aug 8-10, 2008 in Chicago).
In addition to great food and a warm sense of community, the IJSN haggadah (incorporating the NTTC haggadah supplement) provided a structure for thoughtful reflection on Jewish histories of resistance and liberation, alongside the histories and stories of current struggles of Palestinian resistance. It also provided an opportunity for bringing new (and returning) folks into the struggle, and a platform for announcing upcoming actions.
The haggadah supplement offers the following answer to the question of “why is this passover different from all other passovers?”:
Tonight we acknowledge al-Nakba as part of Jewish history, and fuse our history of struggle and liberation with the histories of Palestinian struggle and liberation. We also acknowledge that it is our responsibility as Jews to work for justice and to be in solidarity with Palestinian liberation struggles. Just as our history of Jewish culture has been shaped by our experience of oppression, it is now also shaped by experience as oppressors. Through this seder, we continue the Jewish tradition of standing against injustice and commit to ending the recent legacy of apartheid and ethnic cleansing.
This seder, following in the footsteps of similar seders organized by Jews For a Free Palestine and others, was another step in continuing this work.
Check out the flyer of the event after the jump.