The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Sonya Meyerson-Knox |

500 American Jews arrested on Capitol Hill demanding ceasefire, end to genocide of Palestinians

Reps Tlaib and Bush join 5,000+ at rally. “It is time for our Jewish community to rise up, to speak out, to bring our grief, fear, pain and outrage — and mobilize with everything we have.”

500 American Jews, including two dozen rabbis, were arrested during prayerful resistance occupying the Cannon House Office Building in Washington D.C., demanding Congress pass the “Ceasefire Now” resolution.

Earlier Wednesday, Representatives Rashida Tlaib and Cori Bush addressed 5,000+ American Jews and allies on the National Mall rallying in support of the “Ceasefire Now” resolution. The massive protest, which was the largest in history of Jews in support of Palestinians, happened while President Biden was in Israel, and came the day after Al-Ahli hospital in Gaza was bombed, killing over 500 people and wounding thousands. The rally was organized by Jewish Voice for Peace and IfNotNow.

“Right now, if we’re not crying, then something is wrong… I truly believe in my heart that Americans want a ceasefire,” said Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib, who introduced the “Ceasefire Now” resolution on Monday.

“It’s crucial that we become huge, become unignorable, and throw all our support behind this brave legislation,” said author and activist Naomi Klein, who also spoke at the rally.

During the sit-in at the Cannon House Office Building, rabbis, students and descendants of Holocaust survivors sang, prayed and chanted, calling for an immediate ceasefire. Capitol police ripped banners reading “ceasefire” out of protesters’ hands, while other protesters blew the shofar and continued praying. Protesters were wearing matching black shirts with “Not in our Name - Jews say ceasefire now.”. Despite numerous police warnings, the 500 protesters refused to leave the building, demanding an end to the Israeli genocide of Palestinians.

“There has not been a moment in my lifetime where it has felt more urgent for our Jewish community to rise up, to speak out, to bring our grief, fear, pain and outrage — and mobilize with everything we have,” said Stefanie Fox, Executive Director of Jewish Voice for Peace.

“We thank our Jewish community for being out here saying ‘Never Again',” said Congresswoman Cori Bush sponsor of the “Ceasefire Now” resolution. Jewish Voice for Peace chapters have held over 20 protests across the country in the past week, demanding an immediate ceasefire. On Monday, over 30 Jewish protesters were arrested at the White House, calling for a ceasefire as well.

On Friday, the Israeli military called for the 1.1 million civilians of Gaza City to relocate within 24 hours, as it amassed tanks for an expected ground invasion. The UN said the evacuation would have “devastating humanitarian consequences.”

“As the descendants of a people who have a survived a genocide, we refuse to stand idly by while a genocide unfolds in real time,” said Jay Saper, one of the hundreds arrested in the historic protest.

“Your silence is complicity. And let me tell you your silence will haunt you,” said Sumaya Awad, director of strategy for Adalah Justice Project, speaking at the rally. “We will not stop until we have a ceasefire.”

Jewish Voice for Peace is a national, grassroots organization inspired by Jewish tradition to work for a just and lasting peace according to principles of human rights, equality, and international law for all the people of Israel and Palestine. JVP has over 200,000 online supporters, over 70 chapters, a youth wing, a Rabbinic Council, an Artist Council, an Academic Advisory Council, and an Advisory Board made up of leading U.S. intellectuals and artists.

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