Yom Kippur fast in solidarity with political prisoners to take place at Occupy Wall Street this Friday

Israel/Palestine
on 52 Comments

The following announcement has been sent out by the International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network:

From Palestine to Pelican Bay, support the hunger strike today!   

Rally in Support of Palestinian and Californian Prisoner Hunger Strikes @ Occupy Wall Street 

Friday 10/7 at 6:00pm, Liberty Park Square    

Meet us at the southern corner of Zuccotti Park on Broadway – Spread the word!
in conjunction with…

Yom Kippur, 2011 / 5772: Call-to-Action in solidarity with political prisoners
and those facing mass incarceration across Palestine, the US and the world

As we welcome the Jewish new year, we look back at the year behind us to address our complicity in the many injustices of our time by recommitting to our collective responsibility for justice and humanity. In particular, we reflect on the common plight and struggle of political prisoners and the many people across the world whose dignity is denied and liberty is threatened by mass incarceration and military blockades.

We are inspired in our struggle for justice by the sacrifice and courage of so many in the year behind us – the late Troy Anthony Davis, the Georgia prison strikers, Mumia Abu Jamal, Ahmad Sa’adat, Leonard Peltier, the people of Gaza confined to an open-air prison – and in front of us: the Palestinian prisoners and those jailed at Pelican Bay State Prison and other California prisons on hunger strike and carrying out civil disobedience in defense of the most basic of dignity and rights.
 
On September 30, 2011, Palestinians across occupied Palestine – from the West Bank to the State of Israel to Gaza – put out a call for solidarity with Palestinian political prisoners.  On this Yom Kippur, Friday, October 7, we Jews of conscience, in response to this call, intend to extend our fast of atonement and take action to demand:

Israel now holds approximately 6,000 political prisoners, who are subjected to torture, humiliation, and solitary confinement.  Many of these prisoners have never been tried, but are held in “administrative detention,” and many are children under age 16.  Palestinian prisoners in Israeli occupation prisons began an open-ended hunger strike on September 27, 2011, demanding an end to the isolation of Palestinian prisoner and national leader Ahmad Sa’adat, an end to isolation for all Palestinian political prisoners, and an end to the policies of repression and humiliation against visitors to the prisoners, including denial of family visits and visitors being stopped, searched and impeded at Israeli occupation checkpoints.The prisoners are also demanding an end to abuse and humiliation of prisoners while they are transferred from one prison to another, as well as their right to an education.
 
We stand with these political prisoners and prisoners of conscience all around the world who are imprisoned unjustly, and unjustly treated.  
 
We stand with people all over the world whose daily lives are terrorized and unjustly controlled by policing and incarceration. 
 
In recognition of the centrality of the struggles of those confined in Israeli occupation prisons, at Pelican Bay and in Gaza to our collective struggles for liberation, on this Yom Kippur the International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network call on Jews of conscience to commit to fasting for 48 hours, from Thursday October 6 at sundown, to Saturday, October 8 at sundown.  In addition, we invite all those in solidarity with political prisoners, prisoners of conscience and people facing incarceration across the world, to join us to take the following actions:
 

Sign the pledge if you agree to participate in the actions above and to fast for 24 hours (from Thursday evening, October 6 to Friday evening, October 7) or for 48 hours (from Thursday evening, October 6-Saturday evening, October 8).

About Adam Horowitz

Adam Horowitz is Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.

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52 Responses

  1. Les
    October 6, 2011, 10:33 am

    The October 5 rally and march was more than exhilarating especially the crowds gathered at the end at Liberty Park. On Friday, in addition to the above, Haitians and their friends will be marching from Cadman Plaza at 5:PM across the Brooklyn Bridge to Occupy Wall Street. On Saturday New York area religious groups, with at least some of the Evangelical type, will be visiting Occupy Wall Street.

    For those who feel dismayed at the lack of specifics about the underlying demands of Occupy Wall Street, read “Occupy Wall Street: a Reply to Skeptics”
    link to counterpunch.org

  2. DBG
    October 6, 2011, 10:54 am

    I wonder how Muslims and Christians would feel if Easter and Ramadan were hijacked for political purposes?

    Judaism is followed by less than 20 million people world wide why do they feel they need to use our most holy day as a vehicle for their propaganda?

    Where was the fast during Ramadan to open the Rafah Crossing? Israel doesn’t control it, Egypt does.

    • Woody Tanaka
      October 6, 2011, 11:16 am

      What the hell are you babbling about? Yom Kippur is a day of atonement and repentance. These people are Jews who are calling for Jews to take that holiday seriously and to atone and repent for all the evil which they believe is being done by the US and Israel. Far from hijacking anything, it sounds to me like they’re actually doing what the religion says they should be doing.

    • eee
      October 6, 2011, 11:26 am

      DBG,

      Well said. The anti-Zionists organizations are mostly sleaze bags such as Neturei Carta.
      link to ynetnews.com

      • Potsherd2
        October 6, 2011, 1:31 pm

        Neturei Karta is more Jewish than you, e.

      • Chaos4700
        October 6, 2011, 7:32 pm

        Jews who hate Jews. DBG and eee are two peas in a pod.

    • Bumblebye
      October 6, 2011, 11:38 am

      DBG
      What a totally dumb comment!
      It’s Israel, the self-styled ‘Jewish State’ that holds thousands of political prisoners. Easter and Ramadan have no meaning to the ‘Jewish State’. Since Israel is constantly imprisoning people for political purposes, why shouldn’t anti-zionist protesters, many of whom are Jewish (note the source of the letter, dbg) use Yom Kippur?
      And remind yourself – Egypt’s aid is conditional on behaving as Israel demands wrt the Rafah Crossing.

    • Shmuel
      October 6, 2011, 11:42 am

      I wonder how Muslims and Christians would feel if Easter and Ramadan were hijacked for political purposes?

      Ever hear of the Irish Easter Rising? As for Ramadan, a 3-second google search came up with this: “Activists from Egypt to Syria to Libya will use the Muslim holy month to stage protests against hardline regimes” (The Daily Beast).

      Why do you think religious holy days must be detached from real life, of which politics and conscience are an integral part?

      IJAN is a Jewish organisation, which has chosen to use a day of Jewish significance to rally support and get its message across. Religious groups in Israel do it all the time.

      • eee
        October 6, 2011, 12:32 pm

        Shmuel,

        IJAN is a Jewish organization in name only. I read their charter and they do not limit membership or participation to Jews. Furthermore, nowhere on their website can you find who their members are, not ONE name. Can you point me to a list with some members of this organization? Who is on their executive board? Who leads the chapter in the US? In Israel? In Europe?

        Until proven otherwise this is a bunch of antisemites parading as Jews trying to fool people. Shame on you for supporting them.

      • Woody Tanaka
        October 6, 2011, 1:02 pm

        “Until proven otherwise this is a bunch of antisemites parading as Jews trying to fool people.”

        LOL. Yeah, that’s got to be it. It couldn’t have anything to do with the way anti-Zionist Jews are attacked by the Zios. They MUST be PRETEND Jews.

      • Shmuel
        October 6, 2011, 1:02 pm

        3e,

        Please tell me where one can download the forms for a Jew licence and how much it costs (not all of us are rich you know). Is a separate permit required for staging public events on and/or associated with Jewish holidays?

        Thanks in advance.

        Although my licence hasn’t come through yet, I would like to lodge a complaint about your abuse of the term “anti-Semite”. I find it dishonest, offensive and a boon to real anti-Semites (and other racists) everywhere.

        Thanks for nothing.

        Shmuel, Jew (status pending)

      • eee
        October 6, 2011, 1:13 pm

        Shmuel,

        Yeah right, any idiot can say he is a Jew and be correct. By the way, where does one get the license for being human, my dog wants to apply. This is part of your constant attempt to dilute being Jewish to nothingness. If anybody can stand up and say they are Jewish, you have taken out completely the content of what it means to be Jewish. I am not saying that there is one correct definition. But I am saying that yours is categorically wrong.

        IJAN is an organization that calls itself Jewish and is not willing to divulge its members? Are you not in the least suspicious? Why are you protecting them?

      • tree
        October 6, 2011, 1:18 pm

        You failed to read eee’s fine print, Shmuel:

        Until proven otherwise this is a bunch of antisemites parading as Jews trying to fool people.

        You should have signed it:

        Shmuel, anti-semite (Jewish status pending)

        to comply with eee’s official status as judge of all alleged Jews. A fitting job for a professed atheist, don’t you think?

      • tree
        October 6, 2011, 1:26 pm

        Yeah right, any idiot can say he is a Jew and be correct.

        That seems to apply in your case, Mr. Atheist.

      • LeaNder
        October 6, 2011, 1:26 pm

        Shmuel, this is really amazing:

        By the way, where does one get the license for being human, my dog wants to apply.

      • Shmuel
        October 6, 2011, 1:30 pm

        This is part of your constant attempt to dilute being Jewish to nothingness.

        No, it is part of your constant attempt to administer a Zionist litmus test to each and every form of Jewish identity. Those who fail your little test are automatically presumed to be impostors and anti-Semites, until proven otherwise.

        If you have any questions about IJAN, I suggest you ask them. You might want to rethink the phrasing ‘prove you’re not a bunch of anti-Semites posing as Jews’ though. I take their Statement of Purpose – link to ijsn.net – at face value.

        BTW, exactly how “Jewish” does one have to be to associate an event with Yom Kippur, or is it an all or nothing deal?

      • Hostage
        October 6, 2011, 1:30 pm

        Yeah right, any idiot can say he is a Jew and be correct.

        In your case, truer words have never been spoken.

      • kapok
        October 6, 2011, 2:10 pm

        Who? As if questions from the proper authorities to IJAN’s host won’t reveal any names they care to be told.

      • eee
        October 6, 2011, 2:21 pm

        Shmuel,

        Yeah, right. I have already said that I view Neturei Carta as Jews. They at least don’t hide their names. One does not have to be a Zionist to be a Jew.

        Why would you take at face value a declaration by an anonymous group of people? Why won’t they say who is a member of this organization? What have they got to hide except the fact that they are mostly not Jews? Why are you so determined to take away any meaning from being Jewish?

        As for Yom Kippur, one can do whatever one pleases with that day. I wonder though what you would say if Muslim holidays were used to highlight atrocities by Muslims: We invite people to a special iftar to commemorate the victims of Muslim terrorists, you are all welcome to the Deerborn Michigan main square for this special occasion organized by Muslims against Muslim nationalism (though we really can’t show you who our members are).

        If that were to happen, it would take you one minute to get on your high horse and denounce it.

      • Keith
        October 6, 2011, 2:33 pm

        EEE- “By the way, where does one get the license for being human, my dog wants to apply.”

        Is your dog aware that if his application is approved it will then become illegal for him to lick his you-know-what (or, at the very least, in extremely bad taste)?

      • kapok
        October 6, 2011, 2:42 pm

        And we’re the conspirotards?

      • Shmuel
        October 6, 2011, 2:44 pm

        this is really amazing

        Yes it is.

      • eee
        October 6, 2011, 4:27 pm

        Sure it is amazing, the point being that my dog can declare he is human, and even get a license, but that does not make him so. Just saying you are a Jew doesn’t make you one.

      • tree
        October 6, 2011, 5:07 pm

        Why would you take at face value a declaration by an anonymous group of people?

        As eee furiously throws stones from his Israeli glass house, we can pause to laugh at the anonymous eee’s utter obliviousness to what his own words mean about how much we should trust what he says.

      • Chaos4700
        October 6, 2011, 7:30 pm

        That last statement speaks VOLUMES about the method behind your attitude toward Palestinian human rights, eee.

      • Hostage
        October 6, 2011, 10:25 pm

        Sure it is amazing, the point being that my dog can declare he is human, and even get a license, but that does not make him so. Just saying you are a Jew doesn’t make you one.

        Obviously. In Israel the decisions of the State Conversion Authority and Rabbi Druckman have been legally challenged and overturned long after-the-fact. Here is a link to an early report about the dubious procedures used by Druckman & Co.
        link to jewishmediaresources.com

      • Shmuel
        October 7, 2011, 2:28 am

        the point being that my dog can declare he is human, and even get a license

        No, the point is that you know that your dog is a dog, incapable of being anything else, whereas you presume (based on the fact that it is anti-Zionist and has not posted its membership for your perusal) that IJAN is a group of “dogs” posing as “humans”.

        LeaNder’s point was that your analogy is offensive, perhaps all the more so as a result of your complete lack of self-awareness.

      • LeaNder
        October 7, 2011, 8:10 am

        Just saying you are a Jew doesn’t make you one.

        was the comparison inspired by the “dogs and apes”, eee?

      • RoHa
        October 6, 2011, 7:34 pm

        “3-second google search came up with … ”

        You’re asking a lot of DBG.

    • Les
      October 6, 2011, 1:12 pm

      On Yom Kippur, for a rabbi to read off all the Palestinians killed by Israel in the last year for the sake of Judaism, along with the names of congregants who had died during the year, that might be considered putting Judaism back on track.

      • eee
        October 6, 2011, 1:36 pm

        So I understand that Christianity and Islam are on track because in these communities the the list of the names of people from other denominations killed by Christians and Muslims is always read. Good for them!

        Do you know what people that hold Jews to different standards are called?

      • kapok
        October 6, 2011, 2:50 pm

        Hey, maybe Christianity and Islam are actual improvements on the Jewish Model. Look into it. Whatever you decide, it won’t make you, or anyone like you, less Jewish.

      • richb
        October 6, 2011, 3:04 pm

        When the Two Saints Church in Alexandria was bombed on Christmas Day (January 6) Muslims attended as human shields. link to english.ahram.org.eg

        During the Tahrir protests Christians created a cordon around Muslim prayers on Friday. On Sunday when Christians were having a mass in Tahrir Square the Muslims returned the favor.

        Yes, there are some Christians and Muslims who promote violence. But, both of those traditions hold their adherents to a higher standard not merely to read names but to put their lives on the line for peace and justice as part of living out their faith. I guess Judaism is different and that you are correct and they are held to a different (lower) standard. Thank God for sites like this that demonstrates that there are Jews that hold themselves to a higher standard instead and that you are not at all representative of your fellow Jews.

      • tree
        October 6, 2011, 3:34 pm

        Do you know what people that hold Jews to different standards are called?

        Zionists. Most particularly Zionist idiots on Mondoweiss.

        Christian and Muslim groups may gather, if they wish, and they sometimes do, to memtion those of other religions who have been killed in their name and so far no idiots have come forward to claim that they aren’t really Christian or Muslim if they do so, and that they must really be religious bigots falsely claiming the religion if they do. Too bad we can’t say the same thing about Jews in this instance, isn’t it, eee?

      • Hostage
        October 6, 2011, 3:43 pm

        Do you know what people that hold Jews to different standards are called?

        In Israel they usually just call them members of the Knesset, officers of the Court, or government bureaucrats.

      • eee
        October 6, 2011, 4:37 pm

        Richb,

        “Yes, there are some Christians and Muslims who promote violence. But, both of those traditions hold their adherents to a higher standard not merely to read names but to put their lives on the line for peace and justice as part of living out their faith.”

        When the number of Christians and Muslims killed by practicing Jews approaches 1% of the Jews killed by practicing Christians and Muslims, then you may have a leg to peddle your BS on. The Jews that “hold themselves to a higher standard” that you like so much are undoubtedly those that you have succeeded in converting. Who are you to determine what standard the Jews should aspire to and what is in their best interest? You are a remnant of the middle ages.

      • RoHa
        October 6, 2011, 8:48 pm

        “Who are you to determine what standard the Jews should aspire to … ?”

        Does that mean that you, too, think that Jews don’t have to meet the same standards as the rest of us?

      • LeaNder
        October 7, 2011, 8:59 am

        When the number of Christians and Muslims killed by practicing Jews approaches 1% of the Jews killed by practicing Christians and Muslims, then you may have a leg to peddle your BS on.

        This is a really peculiar argument. What makes you feel that wars and the resulting victims should always be attributed to religious denominations? Sure there was a time when religion was a part of the power struggles. But was the War against Iraq ultimately a Christian crusade. What does the fact that Israel supported it to a rather high degree mean in this context. Was it about religion, oil or power, domination?

        The Jews that “hold themselves to a higher standard” that you like so much are undoubtedly those that you have succeeded in converting. Who are you to determine what standard the Jews should aspire to and what is in their best interest? You are a remnant of the middle ages.

        In what century are you living yourself? Can you give us examples of forced conversion during the last centuries? Was that in fact the biggest threat? The reason Zionism was created?

      • MHughes976
        October 7, 2011, 9:56 am

        It’s reasonable, perhaps, for all of us to aspire to do slightly better than our society expects of its members and to hope that our own society will set a good example in the world. Some overall moral progress may be achieved.
        This idea is expressed quite powerfully in the Biblical (Isianic) ‘Light to the Nations’ theme – or ‘Salt of the Earth’ if you prefer New Testament phrases. Catholics have adopted this theme – ‘Lumen Gentium’ playing its part in the Second Vatican Council.
        Many strands of Jewish theology have, I think, adopted the idea that there are two moral standards, Noachite and Mosaic. Everyone is bound by the first set, the Seven Laws (Genesis 9) but only Jewish people by the second, more demanding (so in some sense higher) laws, based on the Ten Commandments and developed therefrom. The Jewish adhesion to the higher standard brings blessings on us all in the end. I understand that this is a widespread view – Shmuel might correct me – but I don’t know where the authors of the King’s Torah would stand.
        Of course a conspicuous effort to be better than the ordinary brings with it a danger of bad results in the form of overbearing and arrogance. But without it moral progress maybe would not occur.
        Forced conversion of Jewish people lost its appeal in the high days of the Spanish Inquisition, which fostered the idea that the stubbornness of the Jews makes genuine conversion impossible – they were all pretending, so the time had come for expulsion. Intra-Christian forced conversion remained popular, though. Louis XIV had his successes. The Balkan conflicts of WW2, which are still quite recent, represented the last serious attempt.

      • Shmuel
        October 7, 2011, 10:27 am

        Good observations, MHughes. An interesting 19th-century Jewish thinker by the name of Zvi Hirsch Chajes wrote that all human beings have an inborn ethical “instinct”, and that the good fortune of the Jews was to have been given precise – albeit not always comprehensible – instructions regarding ethical behaviour. The downside is that a Jew who fails to adhere to divine (and hence objective) ethical standards not only falls short of his ethical potential, but betrays his covenant and disobeys his Creator. Non-Jews, on the other hand, must rely on their own human understanding, but are not punished for their failures – beyond the basic principles of the Noahide laws. Those who succeed in attaining a high level of ethical behaviour are thus virtuosi, whose achievements are entirely their own.

        What Chajes would appear to have overlooked is the fact that interpretations of the 613 commandments may vary to such an extent that their supposed ethical purposes may be completely reversed. I would say that is what the author of “The King’s Torah” has done but, of course, he would say the same of my interpretations of the prophetic injunctions and exhortations. So are we any better off with 613 rather than 7? I don’t think so.

        Chajes himself probably did have some insight into this problem, having been a vocal opponent of both Jewish Reform (with its emphasis on universal ethics) and nascent Ultra-Orthodoxy (with its isolationist and wholly inward-looking perspective).

      • RoHa
        October 9, 2011, 2:05 am

        “An interesting 19th-century Jewish thinker by the name of Zvi Hirsch Chajes wrote that all human beings have an inborn ethical “instinct”,”

        Mengzi (Mencius, 391 – 308 BCE) argued this long before Zvi Hirsch Chajes. Similar views were developed by Western moral philosophers from the Classical Period onwards.

        “and that the good fortune of the Jews was to have been given precise – albeit not always comprehensible – instructions regarding ethical behaviour.”

        The Confucian instructions are less precise, but usually a lot more ethical.

      • Shmuel
        October 9, 2011, 2:59 am

        Mengzi (Mencius, 391 – 308 BCE) argued this long before Zvi Hirsch Chajes.

        This view is not the reason I cited Chajes.

        The Confucian instructions are less precise, but usually a lot more ethical.

        Undoubtedly.

    • MarkF
      October 6, 2011, 1:38 pm

      David,

      Israel uses the occasion every year to come into our synagogue and beg us to buy bonds. Safe assumption they do this in your synagogue as well? A guy gets up on the podium, talks about the Iranian president, wipe Israel off the map, blah. blah. blah, buy a bond during this most holiest of days to keep Israel safe from the threat from Iran, Iraq, etc.

      They politicize the high holidays big time. Bill Kristol used Passover to support his point in an op-ed to stay strong and keep the course in Iraq, war on terror, sacrifice in military service, etc.

      The holidays were hi-jacked long before this my friend.

      • eee
        October 6, 2011, 2:24 pm

        Yeah, right. When are most Jews in the synagogue? The High Holidays. That is the only reason that is the time those appeals are made.

      • Hostage
        October 6, 2011, 9:38 pm

        Yeah, right. When are most Jews in the synagogue?

        Answer: Never. In Israel the largest groups are Jews that describe themselves as either secular (43%) or non-religious-traditionalists (25%).

      • DBG
        October 6, 2011, 3:04 pm

        That is new to me, my current synagogue and those I have attended previous hardly ever mention Israel and never on the Day of Atonement.

  3. Richard Witty
    October 6, 2011, 11:37 am

    Don’t fast for political solidarity.

    If you are going to fast, do it for the purposes of what Yom Kippur is about. It includes both individual and collective self-inquiry, purification, catharsis, atonement, change in behavior.

    If militancy turns out to be a smaller view than the holistic, all-encompassing spiritual/religious approach, then the militancy is the obstacle. It will end up hindering change.

    If you genuinely feel that you are part of the “we” that does wrong, and endeavor to change how we act, then include that in your atonement.

    Don’t use religion opportunistically though. It is deceptive and confuses everything subsequently.

    • anonymouscomments
      October 6, 2011, 12:21 pm

      Don’t try to dictate how people mark their holiday…. It’s personal and I support them.

      You must be itching for a theocracy so the rules can be laid out in line with your narrow vision. Jewish Taliban light, but in some towns you really can find Jewish Taliban like practices, in NY and Israel. Morality police thugs and all.

    • tree
      October 6, 2011, 1:29 pm

      Don’t use religion opportunistically though.

      Unless of course you are the State of Israel, or one of its defenders. Then go right ahead and such the religion dry. Its expected.

      • Chaos4700
        October 6, 2011, 7:31 pm

        Wittypocrisy at its most intense. How often does he cite Jewish scriptures at us when defending Israel?

      • Richard Witty
        October 7, 2011, 4:47 am

        Deception never serves any movement well.

        If you are conveying to the world that you are fasting for atonement, but really fasting as propaganda, you are lying.

        Please retain the importance of the holiday, so that individuals that might come to sincerely relent their participation in oppression, can do so from their own actual self-inquiry.

      • LeaNder
        October 7, 2011, 10:36 am

        Don’t use religion opportunistically though. It is deceptive and confuses everything subsequently.

        How would you know your use of religion is righteous and not deceptive?

        If you are conveying to the world that you are fasting for atonement, but really fasting as propaganda, you are lying.

        What does tell you it is propaganda, and not their own reading of the meaning of the holiday?

        But the goat, on which the lot fell for Azazel, shall be set alive before the LORD, to make atonement over him, to send him away for Azazel into the wilderness.

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