The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Jay Saper |

500 Jewish New Yorkers take over Statue of Liberty demanding a ceasefire

500 Jewish New Yorkers and allies held sit-in at the iconic symbol of hope and freedom to call attention to the escalating death toll in Gaza and demand a ceasefire now

Five hundred Jewish Voice for Peace-New York City members and allies took over the Statue of Liberty on Monday calling for an immediate ceasefire. The protesters, who included the acclaimed artist Nan Goldin, actor Tavi Gevinson, and RuPaul's Drag Race winner Sasha Velour, as well as State Assembly Members Zohran Mamdani,staged the largest sit-in in Liberty Island history, unfurling banners from the iconic symbol of peace and freedom that read “Ceasefire Now” and “Let Gaza Live.”

“The famous words of our Jewish ancestor Emma Lazarus etched into this very monument compel us to take action supporting the Palestinians of Gaza yearning to breathe free,” said Jay Saper of Jewish Voice for Peace.

The protest occurred after a weekend of historic demonstrations that saw hundreds of thousands take to the streets around the globe to call for a ceasefire as the death toll in Gaza pushes past 10,000. The unprecedented surge in international outcry has led President Biden to caution Israel that it will become increasingly difficult for its military to continue to aggravate the humanitarian crisis.

“As long as the people of Gaza are screaming, we need to yell louder, no matter who attempts to silence us,” said acclaimed artist Nan Goldin.

Rabbis led those gathered on the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty in songs, chants, and prayer. Those gathered wore T-shirts that read “Not in My Name,” which were seen around the world when Jewish protesters shut down Grand Central Terminal on Friday, October 27, calling for a ceasefire.

“My ancestors were greeted by the Statue of Liberty while escaping pogroms. While it is a symbol of refuge for my family, I am hauntingly aware that the US denied entry to Jewish refugees throughout the entirety of the Holocaust. From Ellis Island to Gaza, never again means never again — for anyone,” said Sarah Koshar of Jewish Voice for Peace.

In the last month, over 10,000 Palestinians and 1,400 Israelis have been killed. Every bomb dropped on Gaza threatens the lives of 2.2 million Palestinians blockaded in Gaza and 200 Israeli hostages.

While Congress approved a bill pledging $14.3 billion in additional military funding to Israel last Thursday, polling shows the majority of Americans want 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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