Release: Thousands of Jews Shut Down AIPAC HQ Protesting Group’s Opposition to Ceasefire



February 22, 2024

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Thousands of Jews Shut Down AIPAC HQ Protesting Group’s Opposition to Ceasefire, 18 Arrested Staging Sit-In at Offices of AIPAC-Supported Senators Schumer and Gillibrand

Protesters, including rabbis and descendants of Holocaust survivors, called upon elected officials to reject AIPAC and support a ceasefire in Gaza

New York, New York (February 22, 2024) — Thousands of Jews and allies, including rabbis and descendants of Holocaust survivors, shut down the AIPAC headquarters in New York City on Thursday, protesting the organization’s involvement in U.S. politics that threatens to undermine democracy by funneling millions of dollars into swaying members of Congress to oppose a ceasefire in Gaza, which is favored by the vast majority of Americans

Down the block from AIPAC’s Midtown Manhattan headquarters, police arrested 18 protesters inside the offices of AIPAC-supported Senators Schumer and Gillibrand, who oppose a ceasefire and voted last week to send $14.1 billion in military funding to Israel.  

“The American Israel Public Affairs Committee, known as AIPAC, uses millions of dollars and racist smear campaigns to ensure Congressional complicity in the Israeli’s government’s genocide of Palestinians,” said Jay Saper of Jewish Voice for Peace

AIPAC has raised an eye-popping $90 million in the past five months, helping bolster its influence on members of Congress who oppose a ceasefire in Gaza and ramp up aggressive campaigns against those who have spoken out against the Israeli military’s indiscriminate bombing of Gaza that has killed over 30,000 Palestinians in Gaza, over 11,000 of whom are children.

Protesters with Jewish Voice for Peace shut down traffic outside of AIPAC’s headquarters while chanting “Let Gaza Live.” They held held massive cardboard letters that read “Dump AIPAC” and piled up red trash bags emblazoned with that same message in the street, next to a massive mural that said “AIPAC funds genocide.” 

They then marched to the offices of AIPAC-supported Senators Schumer and Gillibrand, who voted last week to send an additional $14.1 billion in military funding to Israel. Observing a Jewish mourning ritual, they placed 30 stones, honoring the 30,000 Palestinians killed by the U.S.-backed bombing, in the lobby of the Senators’ office. After staging a sit-in where they unfurled banners inside the lobby calling on the Senators to “Stop Funding Genocide,” police made 18 arrests; in Jewish tradition, 18 signifies life.

Polls show the vast majority of Americans want the war on Gaza to stop. And yet, because of pro-apartheid lobby groups like AIPAC, most elected officials still refuse to call for a ceasefire,” said Eliza Klein of Jewish Voice for Peace.

AIPAC has endorsed over 100 lawmakers who voted to decertify the results of the 2020 election, allying themselves with those on the far-Right who threaten U.S. democracy in the name of furthering unconditional support for Israel’s oppression of Palestinians.

AIPAC has also given major donations to President Biden, who has expedited weapons sales to Israel, ignored the World Court’s determination that Israel is committing genocide, suspended funding to UNRWA (the UN agency providing essential food and aid to Palestinians), and vetoed three UN ceasefire resolutions

Israeli airstrikes have destroyed 70% of Gaza’s infrastructure, including hospitals and universities, as well as the electricity and water grids. Nearly two million people have been forced to flee their homes. 1.5 million are sheltering in the southern city of Rafah, where the Israeli military has launched airstrikes.

Protesters outside AIPAC on Thursday took inspiration from the historic Garbage Offensive organized by the Young Lords in 1969 to demand NYC divest from war and invest in communities. They called on elected officials to Dump AIPAC as it continues to make Gaza uninhabitable while simultaneously eroding democracy in the U.S. 

As a Palestinian Jew who supported the struggle for the Puerto Rican Studies Department at Brooklyn College, I’ve always been touched by the acts of solidarity between our communities. When the Young Lords led the Garbage Offensive in 1969, their platform also included support for Palestinians. I am honored to carry this legacy of solidarity forward in the streets today,” said Esther Farmer of Jewish Voice for Peace.

“We refuse to let AIPAC speak in our name as Jews. As the number of Palestinians murdered by Israel eclipses 30,000, we call on our government to listen to the will of the people and reject AIPAC as the extremist warmongers they have always been,” said Sarah Koshar of Jewish Voice for Peace.

The protest was the latest in a wave of historic protests led by Jewish Voice for Peace that halted Congress, shut down Grand Central Terminal during rush hour traffic, took over the Statue of Liberty, shut down the Manhattan Bridge, disrupted the President’s Hanukkah Party at the White House, and blockaded President Biden’s motorcade

Audio/visuals available here include

Pictures of Jewish New Yorkers protesting at the AIPAC headquarters in NYC on Thursday, calling on elected officials to reject AIPAC and answer to their constituents. 

Protesters are available for media inquiries

High-resolution stills and video are available upon request


Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) is the largest progressive Jewish anti-Zionist organization in the world. JVP organizes a grassroots, multiracial, cross-class, intergenerational movement of U.S. Jews into solidarity with the Palestinian freedom struggle, guided by a vision of justice, equality and dignity for all people. 


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