US Jews occupy Israeli army support office in NY in civil disobedience action

Israel/Palestine
Civil disobedience action today in New York at offices of Friends of the Israeli Defense Forces

Civil disobedience action today in New York at offices of Friends of the Israeli Defense Forces

Update: Police have arrested at least eight Jewish demonstrators who were occupying the offices of the Friends of the Israeli army in New York.

Here are bulletins from Alex Kane’s twitter feed, from the office of the Friends of the Israel Defense Forces offices in New York:

Breaking: over a dozen Jews engaging in civil disobedience at Friends of the IDF office. .Demanding end to Gaza war

Outside, more protesters demonstrating at the Friends of the IDF office, doing a die in. The demand: stop funding the army attacking Gaza

For past 20 minutes, Jewish New Yorkers have occupied the Friends of the IDF office in Manhattan, reading the names of those killed in

Police have arrived:

NYPD is at Friends of the IDF office.

At least 8 protesters arrested by NYPD after occupying Friends of the IDF office

 

Police at demonstration inside Friends of IDF office

Police at demonstration inside Friends of IDF office

Here is the press release from Jews Say No:

Deeply concerned Jews in New York City, as well as Jews across the country, are engaging in acts of civil disobedience to stand against Israel’s current massacre against the Palestinians of Gaza–and to demand that the truth be told about the horrendous violence being perpetrated by the Israeli government and army against 1.8 million Palestinian people in Gaza and the underlying causes of that violence.

In New York City, demonstrators are engaging in civil disobedience at the offices of Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF) today, July 22, at 11 AM ET on Broadway between 40th and 39th (1430 Broadway #1301)

Carolyn Klaasen, a participant in today’s action and member of Jewish Voice for Peace, an organizer of today’s protest, said: “We are engaging in civil disobedience at the Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF) because the IDF and Israeli government are responsible for the systematic and ongoing brutality against the Palestinian people. In this most recent vicious assault alone, the IDF has caused the deaths of upwards of 550 Palestinians, including more than 100 children, as well as over 3000 injured. Calling the IDF a defense force is absurd; it’s an illegally occupying army.”

The group demands that the IDF ends its brutality and is calling on American Jews and all Americans to stand against Israel’s military occupation of Palestine and its ongoing assault against the people of Palestine. The two Jewish groups make clear that, despite claims to the contrary by the Israeli government, they and thousands upon thousands of Jews vehemently oppose Israel’s behavior and stand firmly with the Palestinians of Gaza during this time.

According to Alana Krivo-Kaufman, from Jewish Voice for Peace, an organizer of today’s protest: “This is far from being a defensive operation, as Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu is claiming. It is, in fact, an aggressive operation of destruction, fuelled by the Israeli government’s insatiable desire for Palestinian land. We are demanding an end to funding of Israel’s war crimes, from the US government to so-called charitable organizations like the Friends of the IDF, which fundraises for a foreign military complicit in on-going occupation and a war of destruction against the Palestinian people.”

Participants in the protest point to the hugely disproportionate use of Israeli force in Gaza. Jane Hirschmann, from Jews Say No!, another of the action’s organizing groups, stated: “The Palestinian people, who have been stateless for decades and many of whom who are being held captive as prisoners inside of Gaza, are being bombarded by Israel with some of the most advanced weapons in the world–funded by US dollars. And the Palestinian people have no shelters to run to and no way to leave. While the current violence is out of control, the pattern of Israeli aggression against the Palestinian people is long-standing.”

Maia Ettinger, a daughter of a Holocaust survivor who travelled from Connecticut to participate, also points to one of the fallacies of the Israeli hasbara (propaganda) spin: “The Israelis claim they are not targeting civilians but the destruction of hospitals, schools, and water and electrical lines is clearly intended to create widespread suffering among the entire population.”

The call for an immediate end to Israeli state violence and the call for human rights and justice for the Palestinian people are reverberating across the globe. Calls for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions against Israel and companies that profit from the Israeli occupation of Palestine have intensified and are now more important than ever.
Today’s action was sponsored by two Jewish organizations, Jews Say No! (http://jewssayno.wordpress.com), a group in NYC that stands as a partner in the broader movement for justice in Palestine/Israel and also engages with the Jewish community through street protests and community education, and Jewish Voice for Peace (www.jewishvoiceforpeace.org), a national, grassroots organization dedicated to achieving a just and lasting peace that recognizes the aspirations of both Israelis and Palestinians for security and self-determination. Jewish Voice for Peace has over 130,000 online supporters, 40 chapters, a youth wing, a Rabbinic Cabinet, and an Advisory Board made up of leading U.S. intellectuals and artists.

About Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.

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31 Responses

  1. just
    July 22, 2014, 11:48 am

    Bravo!

  2. crone
    July 22, 2014, 12:31 pm

    Hurray!

    We need to help them get coverage… tweet, tweet…

  3. Taxi
    July 22, 2014, 12:33 pm

    Thank you to all who were involved in the occupation of the IDF shop in NY. Thank you thank you thank you THANK YOU ALL from the bottom of my heart! Thank you for being brave seekers of equality and justice for all.

    *That a foreign army recruitment center is even allowed to operate on USA soil is astounding – let alone an army infamous for infanticide!

  4. a blah chick
    July 22, 2014, 12:36 pm

    I hope Barbra Streisand is watching this.

  5. Bob_Salad
    July 22, 2014, 12:47 pm

    This site really needs a big, I LOVE THIS! button.

  6. Justpassingby
    July 22, 2014, 12:50 pm

    Good job, raiding sect groups in welcome!

  7. AaronAarons
    July 22, 2014, 1:15 pm

    Friends of the IDF is clearly an organization that, applying the standards that the U.S. applies to Muslim groups, gives material support to terrorism. Fortunately for them, so is the U.S. Congress, so there’s not much chance that they have to worry about being prosecuted.

  8. Kay24
    July 22, 2014, 1:15 pm

    These brave people, like Naomi Wolffe and others are the sane voices for Israel.
    They know they may feel their anger of those who disagree with them, and it is not the popular position to take, still, to speak out instead of doing nothing, is admirable.
    I hope others like them do the same. Jewish voices make a better impact on the protests.

    OT Danny Ayalon is desperately trying to explain that the US Airlines should resume flights to Israel, because it is not so dangerous (Ah when their economy is hit, they will say anything). Ideally, the US must threaten to stop our billions going there too.
    Israel will be singing a different tune. The fact that they can rely on US aid and weapons, makes them violent, arrogant, and act stupid.

  9. David Doppler
    July 22, 2014, 1:22 pm

    As a non-Jewish American, one whose ancestors fought for the American Revolution and bled on both sides of the Civil War, I’m reminded by this post of sitting on my grandmother’s stately porch in the seventies and discussing the civil rights movement from the perspective of someone whose schooling had bridged the segregation-integration divide, with gentle, elderly white ladies who had objected originally that it was “led by outside agitators,” and was moving “too far and too fast,” but who came to view it all as just and the rightful direction ultimately (and who had to then adjust their relationship with the “help,” not always successfully, depending on how old they were).

    My very positive view of American Jews and their role in the Civil Rights movement and progressive politics generally, was disturbed by the rise of the neocons and the war on Islamic terror, and AIPAC’s role in it, and my progressive American Jewish friends continued support for AIPAC, despite their horror at the notion of Jewish Republicans. I have to say that I am proud as an American to see these American Jews standing up for American values to their own fascist-enabling neighbors. There is a conjoining of American and Jewish values, which are also Christian values in the old mainstream protestant and Catholic communities. Together they can form the “school of opinion,” similar to that which carried America through the Civil War, that can sustain the American dream through this dark age in Israel’s history, and America’s enabling of it. This school of opinion is not an existential threat to Israel, but to its dark age. Just as Grant believed that the South stood the most to gain from the war to end slavery (and he was right), I believe Israel has the most to gain from ending its illegal and immoral war against the Palestinians, and its wrongheaded effort to set the Western world at war against Islam generally.

  10. Boomer
    July 22, 2014, 2:12 pm

    Until last night, it would have seemed odd to me that there should be such an office. But on NBC news last night, Brian Williams mentioned that an estimated 2,000 Americans are in the “IDF.” So I guess it makes sense that such an office exists. They probably recruit for the “IDF.” It says something about where one’s primary loyalty lies, when one enlists to fight and possibly die in the army of another country rather than in the U.S. military. It also says something about the number of Americans who have such intense loyalty to Israel. After all, each of those 2,000 has family members who, presumably, share that loyalty to some extent. And there must be many other, similar families, who don’t happen to have children of the proper age for military service right now. So when American politicians defer to Israel, maybe it isn’t only about the billionaires. I recall hearing a California politician (Pelosi, I think, but possibly one of the senators . . . they blur together on Israel), who told a cheering audience something to the effect, “we don’t want an even-handed policy when it comes to Israel . . . we want a pro-Israel policy.” I don’t know who was in the audience, but maybe they had children in the “IDF.”

    • Citizen
      July 22, 2014, 10:49 pm

      @ Boomer

      Here’s a Feb 9 2011 article about the 37 Jewish Americans who died as of that time wearing the US military uniform while fighting the war on terror in Iraq & Afghanistan:
      link to forward.com?

      At that time The Department of Defense reported that, as of February 7 2011, 5,775 members of the U.S. armed forces have been killed in these theaters of war.

  11. Robert Brooks
    July 22, 2014, 2:13 pm

    Great item! It is people like these who keep this anti-Israeli guy (me) from being anti-Semitic. They represent the very best in Jewish humanism, a force for enlightenment and justice.

    • Mooser
      July 22, 2014, 8:23 pm

      “It is people like these who keep this anti-Israeli guy (me) from being anti-Semitic.”

      I suggest that if you know the history of Zionism, and how it interacts with Jews, as well as the other people Zionism victimizes, almost nothing Israel could do would make you anti-Semitic.

  12. Marnie
    July 22, 2014, 2:25 pm

    That’s great!

  13. Giles
    July 22, 2014, 2:32 pm

    With some extremely brave exceptions, I do have to wonder where all these Jews protesting Israel were for the first 60 years of the Occupation.

    It seems they did not appear until after criticism of Israel began to breakthrough with the advent of Social Media, the disastrous assault on Lebanon in 2006, and the publishing of the Walt Mearsheimer book.

    • DICKERSON3870
      July 22, 2014, 3:13 pm

      How would you know if Jews were protesting Israel before the internet? From the mainstream/corporate media?

      ● Alfred Lilienthal – link to en.wikipedia.org

      • Giles
        July 22, 2014, 3:35 pm

        Dickerson. As I noted, there were some brave exceptions. None better than Lilienthal and today, Glenn Greenwald and Max Blumenthal are two of the most effective voices for real justice.

        What did not exist is any Jewish Orgs or movement to oppose Likud prior to the dates mentioned.

        Hence Orgs like J Street and Jewish Voice for Peace may in reality be little more than an attempt to control the opposition.

        In fact, I think it is clear that is exactly what J Street is.

        Voice for Peace is far better — but still backs continued US aid to Israel if they behave. Why? Why should this tiny, relatively wealthy nation so far away get so much aid from the USA when so many Americans are suffering? Still about the group instead of humanity.

      • Nevada Ned
        July 23, 2014, 1:01 am

        Giles, I think you’re right about J street but wrong about JVP.

        J Street got a lot of good publicity when they were first established, but they turned out to be “AIPAC lite”, a way of getting support for Israel from American Jews who can’t stand AIPAC because of AIPAC’s extremism. J Street co-sponsored the “Stand With Israel” rally a few days ago, but the latest news is the J Street is backpeddling furiously.

        On the other hand, Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) is a fine organization. They’ve got the right values, they just don’t have enough clout! I just sent JVP some money. (I’m not Jewish). It’s important for Jews who are opposed to Israel’s racism to be heard.

        I should add that some of the sharpest and most perceptive critics of Israel are Jewish: Noam Chomsky, Norman Finkelstein, Uri Avery, Amira Haas, Gideon Levy, Glenn Greenwald, Max Blumenthal, and many others not as well known. Check out the Electronic Intifada for other examples. Consider Norman Solomon, Jeff Cohen (FAIR) and Amy Goodman (Democracy Now) as examples of Jewish left activists who are active on a number of issues besides I/P.

        American Jews in the 20th century made a huge contribution to liberal and left-wing causes. Many American Jews unfortunately had a blind spot about Israel. (Why? Because American Jews were fed a bunch of lies about Israel, and a lot of American Jews believed the pleasant lies over the unpleasant truth. For a long time, pro-palestinian activists were absolutely no match for the Israel Lobby).
        That blind spot is now being removed. And that’s good news.

      • Nevada Ned
        July 23, 2014, 1:04 am

        Giles, I think you’re right about J street but wrong about JVP.

        J Street got a lot of good publicity when they were first established, but they turned out to be “AIPAC lite”, a way of getting support for Israel from American Jews who can’t stand AIPAC because of AIPAC’s extremism. J Street co-sponsored the “Stand With Israel” rally a few days ago, but the latest news is the J Street is backpeddling furiously.

        On the other hand, Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) is a fine organization. They’ve got the right values, they just don’t have enough clout! I just sent JVP some money. (I’m not Jewish). It’s important for Jews who are opposed to Israel’s racism to be heard.

        I should add that some of the sharpest and most perceptive critics of Israel are Jewish: Noam Chomsky, Norman Finkelstein, Uri Avery, Amira Haas, Gideon Levy, Glenn Greenwald, Max Blumenthal, and many others not as well known. Check out the Electronic Intifada for other examples. Consider Norman Solomon, Jeff Cohen (FAIR) and Amy Goodman (Democracy Now) as examples of Jewish left activists who are active on a number of issues besides I/P.

        American Jews in the 20th century made a huge contribution to liberal and left-wing causes. Many American Jews unfortunately had a blind spot about Israel. (Why? Because American Jews were fed a bunch of lies about Israel, and a lot of American Jews believed the pleasant lies over the unpleasant truth. For a long time, pro-palestinian activists were absolutely no match for the Israel Lobby).
        That blind spot is now being removed. And that’s good news!

      • tree
        July 22, 2014, 4:27 pm

        Elmer Berger also, very early on, and there were many who followed and got shoved down the rabbit hole into herem. The problem preventing more objections to Israeli actions on the part of Jews and non-Jews alike is the censorship and blacklisting of those who opposed, as well as the overwhelmingly biased Zionist narrative that downright lied about nearly everything.

        Back in 1948, the Palestinians were “evil” because they fled when the sweet and humane Haganah begged them to stay, now they are “evil” because the sweet and humane IDF begs them to leave and instead they stay. Its such f*cking shameless and hideous propaganda. They aren’t content with just killing Palestinians, they have to blame them for being human and for dying. Anyone who does that is a complete moral midget.

  14. Palikari
    July 22, 2014, 3:20 pm

    They are a bunch of traitors!

    • just
      July 22, 2014, 4:47 pm

      To whom, “Palikari”?

      • Palikari
        July 22, 2014, 5:14 pm

        To the Jewish people.

      • marc b.
        July 23, 2014, 8:10 am

        s/he means, traitors to their ‘race’, that wonderfully elastic scientific category, the definition of which expands and contracts based on political exigencies.

        tell us, parikari, what should be done with these traitors? what tribunal should they face?

    • Bumblebye
      July 22, 2014, 5:28 pm

      I guess Palikaka can say that because s/he considers not their faith (some may have none) but their nationality to be Jewish. Since the only nationality in Israel is not ‘Israeli’ but ‘Jewish’, Palikaka is confused, and like many raised on ziopoop, is unable to see or understand, fellow Jews as nationals of other nations. To him/her, they all automatically belong to Israel above all others.

      • Mooser
        July 22, 2014, 6:32 pm

        “To him/her, they all automatically belong to Israel above all others.”

        But the poor bastard isn’t home free when he get to Israel, is he? Once he gets there Israel is going to handle him based on what kind of Jew Israel thinks he is.

    • Mooser
      July 22, 2014, 6:30 pm

      “They are a bunch of traitors!”

      Palikari knows (like all Zionists) that there are just too many Jews!! So we need to get rid of the traitors, the disloyal, the kapos the mosers!
      Yup, that’s one thing you will always find in a Zionist, the fervent desire to get rid of Jews who don’t meet their standards. And of course, with being a Zionist comes both the capability to and the necessity for judging every other Jew.
      Why, I shouldn’t wonder if Zionists hate insufficiently Zionist Jews more than they hate Gentiles! Oh, except they don’t hate Gentiles, that isn’t part of Zionism, is it?

      • Citizen
        July 22, 2014, 11:11 pm

        @ Mooser
        Seems some Zionists love Gentiles, the shiksas from Russia especially… ask David ‏(Dudi‏) Digmi. He loves that kind of traffic.

      • Mooser
        July 23, 2014, 11:31 am

        Citizen, you shock me sometimes! But you know me, I’m PC all the way. Anyway, girls from Russia aren’t “shicksas” they’re ‘comrades’.

    • eljay
      July 22, 2014, 8:37 pm

      >> Palikari: They are a bunch of traitors!

      They have betrayed neither their country nor their faith. Your devotion to Zio-supremacism appears to have addled your brain.

      • Mooser
        July 23, 2014, 11:44 am

        “Your devotion to Zio-supremacism appears to have addled your brain.”

        Okay, when I was young, my Dad told it to me like this: “Look, yitzchok for a thousand years or more there has been no advantage, and sometimes mortal danger in declaring you are Jewish. It could cost you your life. So if a person is willing to say ‘I am a Jew’ he is. And here, boychik, (whack) is a good klopf on the head so you’ll remember. “

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