For Immediate Release
One year after the Israeli military assault on Gaza
WASHINGTON - Available for interviews: One year after Operation Protective Edge, Israel’s military assault on Gaza, Jewish Voice for Peace members reflect on Jewish opposition to the war, and the growth of the movement for Palestinian freedom and equality.
Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) was the only major Jewish organization to unequivocally oppose the Israeli assault on the Gaza Strip during the summer of 2014. Between July 7th and August 26th, 2014, Israel’s vastly disproportionate military campaign in Gaza killed over 2,250 Palestinians, including over 500 children and over 1400 civilians (73 Israelis also lost their lives, including 1 child and 6 civilians). In the coming weeks, Jewish Voice for Peace chapters across the country will hold memorial events to honor all the victims of last summer’s violence.
Rabbi Brant Rosen is currently the midwest regional director of the American Friends Service Committee, and the co-chair of the JVP Rabbinical Council. He is the author of Wrestling in the Daylight, a Rabbi’s Path to Palestine Solidarity to and the author of the blog Shalom Rav.
“On this one year anniversary of Israel's military assault on Gaza, we honor the memory of those who lost their lives by re-dedicating ourselves to justice. Israel's crushing blockade of Gaza still continues: homes have not been rebuilt, tens of thousands remain homeless, unemployed and lacking access to basic food, water and electricity resources. This is not a humanitarian crisis - this is politically instigated collective punishment of a population. We must certainly act to help those who are suffering in Gaza - but we must do more. The best way we can observe this tragic milestone is intensify our advocacy to pressure Israel to lift the blockade and pursue diplomacy over militarism."
Ariana Katz is a rabbinical student at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, youth educator, and organizer with JVP in Philadelphia.
“After the collapse of peace talks last spring, the assault on the people of Gaza last summer, and the recent re-election of the most right-wing government in Israeli history, it is clearer than ever that outside pressure will be needed to create change in Israel. More and more students, churches and especially young Jews, are turning to the nonviolent Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement as a way to take action for justice.”
Cecilie Surasky is the deputy director of Jewish Voice for Peace. A videomaker, former newspaper columnist and talk radio host, Cecilie's analyses of Israel-Palestine politics have appeared in numerous media outlets around the world.
"There is no question that Israel is literally dividing the Jewish community, and that more and more young US Jews are actively opposing the Israeli government. This last year, JVP experienced the biggest growth in our history as new members found a political home to oppose Israel’s destructive actions and reconnect with a Jewish community that stands for justice.”
Last summer, Jewish Voice for Peace collaborated with activists, artists, celebrities and thought leaders to release a video expressing support for Palestinian freedom, equality and justice. The video, which The Nation magazine named “Most Valuable Video” of 2014, featured celebrities such as Chuck D, Jonathan Demme, Gloria Steinem, Wallace Shawn, Tony Kushner, Mira Nair, Roger Waters, Brian Eno, and others holding signs with the names and ages of Palestinian civilians killed by the Israeli military in Gaza.
This week also marks the 10 year anniversary of the call from Palestinian civil society for boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel until it complies with international law. Jewish Voice for Peace has fully endorsed this call, and participates in campaigns that use nonviolent tactics to pressure Israel to change its policies towards Palestinians.
Jewish Voice for Peace members are inspired by Jewish tradition to work together for peace, social justice, equality, human rights, respect for international law, and a U.S. foreign policy based on these ideals.
JVP opposes anti-Jewish, anti-Muslim, and anti-Arab bigotry and oppression. JVP seeks an end to the Israeli occupation of the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and East Jerusalem; security and self-determination for Israelis and Palestinians; a just solution for Palestinian refugees based on principles established in international law; an end to violence against civilians; and peace and justice for all peoples of the Middle East.