The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Sonya Meyerson-Knox |

Jewish Americans hold a wave of protests, arrests across the country calling for ceasefire in Gaza — pledge more protests to come

Jews of all ages, including rabbis, students and elders, held mass protests and sit-ins in Congressional offices in 25+ cities across the country in the last two weeks. Tens of thousands demonstrated and almost 1,000 have been arrested.


Jewish people all throughout the United States are protesting in unprecedented numbers against Israel’s destruction of Gaza and the United States’ unwavering support. From Albuquerque to Minneapolis, Seattle to Miami, Washington DC to Detroit, students, elders, faith leaders, and activists, many of whom are affiliated with the group Jewish Voice for Peace, are organizing sit-ins in Congressional offices and blocking streets as they demand an immediate ceasefire in Gaza.

These demonstrations were held in over 25 cities, including Washington D.C., New York City, Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, New Orleans, Albuquerque, Denver, Philadelphia, Detroit, Minneapolis, and Miami. This is the largest Jewish mobilization in support of Palestinians in American history, and many people who have never before taken action are pouring into the streets.
“For decades, tens of thousands of Jewish Americans have said that the Israeli government does not represent all Jewish people.

For decades, Jewish Americans have criticized the Israeli occupation of Palestine. American Jews are no longer willing to be silent — they are speaking up louder than ever before and taking to the streets to demand an immediate ceasefire. We will not sit by as a genocide is waged in our name, ” says Liv Kunins-Berkowitz, Media Coordinator for Jewish Voice for Peace. The demonstrations have included peaceful marches and prayerful sit-ins at district Congressional offices and in the Capitol. Protesters across the country sang Jewish peace songs, prayed, chanted, and carried banners saying “Ceasefire Now” and “Never Again.”

In Minneapolis on Oct. 16th, hundreds of Jews demanded that Sen. Klobuchar call for a ceasefire in Gaza. After gathering to pray, the group delivered a letter signed by 300 Minnesotans calling for a ceasefire and humanitarian aid. The protesters carried banners in English and Hebrew with slogans that read, “Every life is sacred.”

On Oct. 17th In Miami, police arrested four Jewish protesters who carried signs that said “Ceasefire Now” while blocking the entrance to Sen. Rick Scott’s office. Dozens more protesters outside held signs saying, “Not in My Name” and “Stop the Genocide of Palestinians.”

In Chicago, on Oct. 23rd, dozens of Jewish people affiliated with Jewish Voice for Peace and If Not Now blocked the streets in front of Sen. Tammy Duckworth and Sen. Dick Durbin’s offices. They held a massive banner that read “Mourn the Dead — Fight Like Hell for the Living” and sang Jewish songs of peace. The Chicago police issued citations to several protesters.

In New Orleans on Oct. 24th, hundreds rallied outside of Rep. Troy Carter’s office as a dozen Jewish Americans wearing shirts that said “Jews for Palestinian Liberation. End the Occupation Now” occupied Rep. Troy Carter’s office building. Speakers at the rally included an Arab Jewish speaker who clearly stated, “Our safety lies in standing with each other. It always has.” Rep. Troy Carter ultimately refused to meet with the protesters and threatened protesters with arrest.

In Philadelphia on Oct. 25th, over thirty people blocked the street in front of Sen. John Fetterman’s Philadelphia office, refusing to move until the Senator announced his support for a ceasefire in Gaza. Protesters were joined by hundreds more in the street, who carried a giant puppet of Fetterman wearing a hoodie reading “Silent on Genocide.” Later that same day, protests were also held outside of Fetterman’s district offices in Pittsburgh, Harrisburg, and Wilkes Barre.

Since October 7th, the Israeli government has killed more than 8,000 Palestinian people including over 3,000 children. The United States government gives $3.8 billion in aid to Israel each year and President Biden and many other politicians promise more weapons and more funding to Israel. At the same time, many American members of congress are calling for a ceasefire and are endorsing the Ceasefire Now Resolution, put forth by Rep. Rashida Tlaib and Rep. Cori Bush.

Audio/visuals upon request include: Pictures and video of Jewish people singing, praying, chanting, Pictures and videos of protestors holding signs and banners that say “Ceasefire Now,” “Never Again is Now,” and “Not in Our Name,” Pictures and videos of protestors blocking streets, entrances to congressional offices, chaining themselves together, and getting arrested.

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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