Media Roundup: An Exodus from Zionism — and towards collective liberation.

palestine is everywhere

Nearly seven months into the Israeli government’s genocide of Palestinians in Gaza, we are heartbroken and overwhelmed with rage. While Palestinians unearth their loved ones in mass graves, the Biden administration has approved billions in additional military funding to Israel.

But we must remain steadfast — not just because we have a moral imperative to do everything in our power to stop this genocide, which is being carried out in our names and funded with our tax dollars, but because we know the tide is turning. In a matter of days, over a hundred solidarity encampments have sprung up at college campuses across the country to demand divestment from Israeli apartheid and genocide. It’s the biggest student movement since the protests against the Vietnam War.

These peaceful student protesters have been portrayed in the mainstream media as violent, antisemitic mobs, even though it’s clear that the only violence happening on campuses is being perpetrated by Zionist agitators and cops. These smears are a distraction from the urgent work at hand. Now more than ever, we must stay focused.

From Providence to New York City, Berkeley to Minneapolis, we’re taking to the streets. During Passover, we held Seders in the Streets to protest U.S. complicity in genocide, refusing to let our traditions, our histories, and our identities be used to justify the mass slaughter of Palestinians. On college campuses, student chapters of Jewish Voice for Peace have been involved in organizing dozens of encampments.

“The train to Auschwitz does not start and stop in one instant,” said Rabbi Arthur Waskow, a 90-year-old veteran of the civil rights movement who organized the Freedom Seder in 1969. “It must gather speed – unless it is stopped before it gets there, just so with the train to Rafah. We are here to stop it.”

At Brooklyn Seder Protest, Jewish New Yorkers Target Schumer Over Aid, The New York Times, April 23, 2024

“Everything in our tradition compels us to bring everything we have to stopping these historic atrocities being done in our names and with our tax dollars”

– Stefanie Fox, Executive Director, Jewish Voice for Peace

‘Not like other Passovers’: hundreds of Jewish demonstrators arrested after New York protest seder, The Guardian, April 24, 2024

“We as American Jews will not be used, we will not be complicit and we will not be silent. Judaism is a beautiful, thousands-year-old tradition, and Israel is a 76-year-old colonial apartheid state”

– Morgan Bassichis, JVP-NYC

Passover protest in Brooklyn harkens back to 1969 Freedom Seder, Reuters, April 24, 2024

“What are the issues of freedom in our day? There is none more salient than what is happening to Palestinians right now.”

– Stefanie Fox, Executive Director, Jewish Voice for Peace

UC Berkeley’s pro-Palestinian tent camp joins others across nation, J Weekly, April 25, 2024

“We had our first-night seder at the encampment, which was amazing. It was beautiful.”

– Student member of JVP

Undoing Zionism: “A way to honor my ancestors”, Salon, April 21, 2024

“There is Judaism beyond Zionism, and it’s beautiful. It is so much more expansive and holy and sacred”

– Arielle, JVP-NYC

Jewish Students Are Bringing Their Faith to University Pro-Palestine Protests, Teen Vogue, April 26, 2024

“Since JVP has started at [the University of] Michigan, I’ve been the most religious I’ve ever been. I’ve done more Shabbats in the past couple months than I have in my entire life.”

– Annabel Bean

Jewish Organizing at Columbia’s Encampment, On the Nose: A Jewish Currents Podcast, April 25, 2024

We need an exodus from Zionism, The Guardian, April 24, 2024

“What are we? We, in these streets for months and months, are the exodus. The exodus from Zionism.”

– Naomi Klein, JVP Advisory Board 

At ‘Seder in the Streets,’ protesters in Brooklyn denounce US support to Israel, RNS, April 24, 2024

“We’re creating many other communal spaces where people can bring their full Jewish, anti-Zionist selves”

– Beth Miller, Political Director, JVP/A

How the War in Gaza Mobilized the American Left, The New York Times, April 12, 2024

“Some left-leaning Jews have found a home in the protest movement, embracing organizations including the anti-Zionist group Jewish Voice for Peace as well as IfNotNow, another Jewish group strongly critical of Israel. Both have helped organize antiwar demonstrations and say they have seen a surge in membership since the war broke out.”

How Gaza Protesters Are Challenging Democratic Leaders, The New York Times, April 7, 2024

Inside the Pro-Palestine Movement Bird-Dogging Biden Everywhere He Goes, Rolling Stone, April 9, 2024

“Excuse me, Mr. President. For people who are watching at home on the feed, you may not be able to hear, but there’s some protesters here. There are some protesters here who are no doubt related to the protests we saw across the street”

– Stephen Colbert  

Israeli Firms Are Working Overtime to Sell Stolen Palestinian Land to US Jews, Truthout, April 13, 2024

“We come from a Jewish tradition that has for millennia opposed empire, colonization and nationalism, that values every human life, and is rooted in social justice…. As Jews, we oppose all displacement and genocide of Palestinians. We say never again for anyone.”

– Cassidy Cohen, JVP-Baltimore

Minneapolis protesters occupy intersection for Palestinian Land Day, Fight Back News, April 1, 2024

“I felt in my core that I had inherited a tradition that honored life and interconnectedness, and that Zionism was a manipulation of our trauma and oppression, and a system of supremacy that at its core was not Jewish.”

– Rabbi Jessica Rosenberg, JVP Rabbinical Council 

Obama to Protester Interrupting: ‘Can’t Just Talk and Not Listen’, Rolling Stone, March 29, 2024

“We are outraged, we are heartbroken, and we are demanding that President Biden stop funding and arming Israel’s genocide of Palestinians”

– Elena Stein, Organizing Director, Jewish Voice for Peace

‘Blood Is on Your Hands!’ Activists Disrupt $26 Million Biden Fundraiser, Common Dreams, March 29, 2024

“We will continue to raise our voices of dissent until Palestinians are free.”

– Jay Saper, JVP-NYC

How local organizers for Palestine are holding onto hope, Pittsburgh City Paper, April 2, 2024

“A ceasefire is what we need, but a ceasefire is not going to be the end of our organizing

– Alexandra Weiner, JVP-Pittsburgh 

AIPAC-Funded Challenger to Jamaal Bowman Has a Very Narrow Definition of Genocide, Commons Dreams, March 29, 2024

“The Genocide Convention was created to describe and prevent the intentional destruction of a group of people. Atrocities too awful to fathom. To say otherwise denies the horrors of genocide inflicted upon peoples across the world.”

– Jewish Voice for Peace

Phyllis Bennis on Gaza Ceasefire Resolution, FAIR, March 29, 2024

“The U.S. army is arming and financing a genocide”

– Phyllis Bennis, International Advisor, Jewish Voice for Peace

I’m Jewish, and I’ve covered wars. I know war crimes when I see them., The Washington Post, April 9, 2024

“Their potent voices undermine the argument that all protests against Israeli violence are antisemitic. They help legitimize global opposition to what’s being done in Gaza, and they defend not only Palestinian lives but Jewish lives, too, because they contradict the misbegotten idea that Jews as a whole are to blame for what Israel is doing.”

Biden Begins Winning Back His Harshest ‘Uncommitted’ Critics, The Daily Beast, April 12, 2024

“Grassroots pressure has been working”

– Beth Miller, Political Director, JVP/A

Gainesville’s Jewish Voice for Peace protests for a ceasefire at Alachua County Democratic Fundraiser, WCJB, April 14, 2024

“Stop arming Israel”

– JVP-Gainesville 

Board of Trustees consolidates campus-centered funding allocations for upcoming year, The Maine Campus, April 15, 2024

“We study the horrors of the Holocaust. We talk of land acknowledgments in recognizing the sovereignty of indigenous people. When it comes to Palestine, the University has been silent”

– Esla Molarsky, JVP at University of Maine Orono 

Three Jewish lawmakers turn down Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson’s invitation to discuss antisemitism, WBEZ Chicago, April 12, 2024

“We look forward to sharing the perspective of Jewish communities in Chicago who believe that Jewish and Palestinian safety and liberation goes hand in hand.”

– JVP-Chicago 

NYPD Officer Learns How to Drive MTA Bus—While Transporting Arrested Protesters, Hell Gate, April 26, 2024

“It was a clear act of refusal to drive New York protesters standing up for what they believed in.”

– Jay Saper, JVP-NYC

Jewish Voice for Peace call for Reed to support permanent Gaza ceasefire, ABC 6, April 25, 2024

“The people of Rhode Island need our tax dollars to go to infrastructure, healthcare, education, not to more weapons and destruction and bombs in Gaza”

– Zack Kligler, JVP-Rhode Island

300+ Arrested Outside Schumer’s Home During Jewish-Led Seder Against Gaza Genocide, Common Dreams, April 24, 2024

“Passover is a celebration of liberation for the future,” he told the Times. “We can’t celebrate liberation for ourselves while we’re oppressing Palestinians.”

– Calvin Harrison, JVP-NYC

the Wire

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