What does this picture say to you? Zoe Goorman made it for an action held outside Marin County’s Dining for Democrats Gala in Corte Madera, California, last Saturday night. And it represents the kind of actions going on at a local level all across the country by citizens fed up with their municipalities tax dollars being funneled to support Israel’s inhumane occupation of Palestine.
How’d she get the idea? Organizer Esther Riley read about the upcoming VIP gala in the local fish wrap and sent out an action alert last week.
The Democratic Party says it’s for human rights, so why do our elected officials help to suppress Palestinian rights? Why do Democrats keep funding Israel’s wars and the occupation instead of using economic leverage to get Israel to grant equality to everyone under its control? Why do Democrats send military aid to Israel while cutting our own military budget? Why did [Northern California Congressman] Jared Huffman vote to put us in debt for another $225 million to give Israel spare parts for Iron Dome when there were millions of unexpended dollars in the Iron Dome account and when another $351 million was slated to be put into that account on October 1? And why give money to save Jewish lives but not Palestinian lives? Why is [state assemblyman] Marc Levine willing to suppress free speech on California campuses for the sake of “campus climate”?–do the feelings of Zionists over here matter more than the feelings of Palestinians living under occupation and military assault? Why is Israel the elephant in the room that no one can talk about?
Good questions! Goorman spent all Saturday afternoon making this incredible sign and met up with other local activist who responded to the call. But Goorman says she didn’t think people “got it”. What do you think? I get it! I love her elephant. She sent out an email to some friends asking what words could be added to her sign to make it clearer, but I don’t think it needs anything else. Here’s an idea Esther Riley sent to me this morning:
A variation of the poster that Zoe did could be a back view of an elephant inside the voting room of Congress with the word “Israel” written on its rear end. The elephant could be drawn with it trunk up so that it would not be mistaken for another animal and perhaps less mistaken as the symbol of the GOP, which is usually a side view.
I don’t think it matters that the elephant also represents Republicans. The elephant in the room in American politics– the elephant so many people don’t mention or criticize for fear of being labeled anti Semitic– that’s Israel. I hope Goorman’s sign catches on. The next time you attend a local event in your town, don’t just talk about the elephant in the room, make it a symbol.
(Hat tip Karen Platt)