Jewish solidarity activists remember Gaza one year later in NY

Activism
on 3 Comments

At 4 pm yesterday, the NYC chapter of Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) rallied outside the Museum of Natural History to call attention to the destruction wrought by Israel upon Palestinians in Gaza. On this date last year, Israel and Hamas signed a ceasefire following 50 days of bombardment, during which over 2,200 Palestinians were murdered — including over 500 children. Though life has returned to normal for Israelis, the destruction from the assault and continued blockade force Palestinians in Gaza to live in conditions that can only be described as criminal. Accountability and justice remain elusive for Palestinians.

JVP demonstration commemorating Gaza a year later, in NY, August 26, 2015

JVP demonstration commemorating Gaza a year later, in NY, August 26, 2015

While activists remember the deaths of last summer, the rally was a call to action: Jewish Voice for Peace demands an immediate end to the blockade of Gaza and all military aid to Israel.   “Gaza is out of the news, but the blockade continues,” said Lana Povitz, a Jewish Voice for Peace member.  “Even as we mourn, Israel’s current policies are only compounding the destruction.”

JVP recognizes that the siege of Gaza exists within a system of occupation, dispossession and racism.  Last month, JVP hosted Siam Nawara, who spoke about how his son, Nadeem, was shot and killed by an Israeli soldier last year. “Israeli forces killed 11 Palestinian children with live ammunition in the West Bank in 2014, but Nadeem’s is the only case that resulted in an investigation,” said Beth Miller, a member of Jewish Voice for Peace. “If we want to change the reality on the ground, we have to challenge systemic impunity for Israeli forces throughout the occupied territories.”
Central to the protest was a recognition of the complicity of the United States in Israeli policies, and international military and policing cooperation between the countries.  “Many activists in the #BlackLivesMatter movement have been making connections with the Palestinian resistance,” said Robyn Spencer, an assistant professor of history at Lehman College who spoke about the issue at a JVP event last year.  “It’s not just that certain weapons appear in both places.  We have to acknowledge the ways that Black bodies pose a problem for the United States, and the way Palestinian bodies pose a problem for the Israeli state, and connect the dots, so to speak, of the racist ideologies at the root of Israeli and U.S. society.”
 
After the rally at the Museum of Natural History, the group of around 100 demonstrators marched to Columbus Circle, where members of the Granny Peace Brigade then read aloud the names of Palestinian children who were murdered last summer.

 

About Candace Graff

Candace Graff is a member of the NY chapter of Jewish Voice for Peace

Other posts by .


Posted In:

3 Responses

  1. Kris
    August 27, 2015, 11:12 am

    This leaped out at me:

    “Many activists in the #BlackLivesMatter movement have been making connections with the Palestinian resistance,” said Robyn Spencer, an assistant professor of history at Lehman College who spoke about the issue at a JVP event last year.

    For an assistant professor to speak out like this, even if just stating a fact, is extremely courageous. Let us pray that Zionist Jews don’t destroy this brave woman’s academic career.

    • lysias
      August 27, 2015, 11:33 am

      Lehman College is a part of the City University of New York. (I believe it’s the current name of the Bronx campus of Hunter College, which my family used to live near to.) As such, it may well be subject to grandstanding by politicians.

      However, Robyn Spencer is black, so it might be difficult for politicians and/or administrators to go after her.

  2. eGuard
    August 28, 2015, 9:20 am

    Central to the protest was a recognition of the complicity of the United States in Israeli policies

    JVP only started supporting BDS (partly at that) after the attacks on Gaza (three major ones in six years). JVP only wants “recognition” of the 48, ’67 Palestinian refugees’ rights (instead of materialising say a Right of Return). And, of course, JVP assumes the prerogative to decide & smear that you are anti-Semitic because you have contact with people they don’t like.

    I get the impression that Robyn Spencer is not brave, but is being vetted & used.

Leave a Reply