peace protesters demand a Gaza cease-fire outside the White House

Protesters demand an immediate cease-fire in Palestine during an October 16, 2023 demonstration outside the White House in Washington, D.C.

(Photo: IfNotNow)

"The 'Never Again' of Our Lifetimes Is Underway in Gaza": Another Jewish-Led Protest Set for DC

"Since we were children, so many of us have told ourselves that we would not stand by if we were ever witnesses to genocidal violence," explained author Naomi Klein.

As Israel continues to perpetrate what one of the country's leading Holocaust scholars called a "textbook case of genocide" in Gaza, Jewish Americans and allies on Tuesday prepared to hold their third major demonstration in Washington, D.C., this time to urge Congress to demand an immediate cease-fire in Palestine.

Members of Jewish Voice for Peace and other demonstrators are set to rally Wednesday outside Congress at noon local time. Organizers say activists will speak in support of a resolution introduced Monday by Rep. Cori Bush (D-Mo.) and other House progressives urging the Biden administration to advocate an immediate cease-fire to "save Israeli and Palestinian lives."

The protesters will also demand that humanitarian assistance be allowed into Gaza, where electricity, food, and fuel have been cut off amid intensifying Israeli bombardment that has killed more than 3,000 people—including more than 1,000 children—in one of the world's most densely populated areas.

"Since we were children, so many of us have told ourselves that we would not stand by if we were ever witnesses to genocidal violence," author and activist Naomi Klein said in a statement. "We told ourselves that we would raise our voices. We told ourselves we would put our bodies on the line. We pledged that such horrors would never again happen on our watch."

"The 'never again' of our lifetimes is underway in Gaza right now," Klein added. "And we refuse to stand by and watch."

Jay Saper of Jewish Voice for Peace said that "it has never been more important for Jews and all people in the U.S. to rise up with literally everything we have, the way that we would have wanted others to rise up for our ancestors."

In addition to the relentless bombardment, Israeli authorities have also ordered 1.1 million Palestinians to flee their homes in what some observers have called an act of ethnic cleansing comparable to the Nakba, when more than 750,000 Arabs were forced from Palestine during the establishment of the modern state of Israel.

As Gazans fled or braced for what's expected to be a major ground invasion, news of a possible Israeli airstrike on a Gaza City hospital packed with thousands of civilians seeking treatment for their wounds and shelter from constant bombing underscored the imperative for a cease-fire.

"What we know from past Israeli state atrocities against Palestinians is that the bombs only stop once there is a sufficient mass outcry from the international community," said Eliza Klein of Jewish Voice for Peace. "It's on us to build that outcry as fast as we possibly can."

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