Jewish Voice For Peace Leads US Ceasefire Protests
In 1948, 750 thousand Palestinians were terrorized, murdered and driven out of their homeland in Palestine where they had lived for thousands of years. Many fled to Gaza at the southern end of what is now Israel.
Gaza is tiny strip of land along the Mediterranean and is one of the most densely populated areas in the world. More than 500 of their villages were destroyed and the remaining Palestinians were left to live in 22% of historic Palestine. The process of murder, terror, and displacement is going on again. 1.5 million Palestinians, many of them descendants of the refugees from 1948, have been driven out of northern Gaza. Their homes have been bombed and destroyed, their hospitals, schools, mosques, and churches have been bombed. To date, 11 thousand have been killed, almost half are children.
Israel has cut off clean water, medicine, electricity, fuel and food and ordered Palestinians to get out or be killed. Israeli ground troops are going door to door mopping up those who have not fled.
This genocidal operation has the full support of the American establishment and the corporate media. Israel is a strategic military ally of the United States and gets support from the military industrial complex and right wing Republican oriented American Jews.
But this time there is a push back. Thousands of young American Jews have not been taken in by the propaganda and identify with the new organization Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP)
JVP has organized thousands of people in spectacular demonstrations that have shut down Grand Central Station in New York, blocked entrances to Congress, sat in on the Capital rotunda, and amassed at the Statue of Liberty. These have been some of the largest acts of civil disobedience since the Iraq war, and the largest demonstrations of Jewish people in solidarity with the struggle for Palestine freedom ever.
Guest – Elena Stein, Director of Strategy for Jewish Voice For Peace. She lives in New York.
What Will It Take To End The War In Gaza?
Israel’s war in Gaza, which has already created a humanitarian disaster of epic proportions, now threatens to spread even more death and destruction as Israel’s military force, the IDF, has now occupied the last hospital in Gaza still barely functioning, as it attempts to operate without electricity or medical supplies. And this at a time when Israels IDF forces claim to control all of northern Gaza and Gaza City. Notably, the Israel forces occupying the hospital, despite its earlier claims to the contrary, has failed to produce any proof that the hospital was being used by the forces of Hamas for military purposes.
Of course, for some weeks now, many world leaders and United Nations officials have declared that what Israel is doing in Gaza amounts to genocide. And so far, even efforts at achieving any meaningful pause in the fighting, let alone a real ceasefire, remains beyond reach, still being opposed by Israel and the Biden Administration.
Meanwhile, no one is prepared to predict an end to the slaughter in Gaza, as the civilian death toll continues to grow, and as Gazas infrastructure continues to disappear. And so, the protests over the war, the accusations of war crimes and crimes against humanity on the part of Israel continue to grow, as well. Indeed, in the last week there have been huge anti-Israel protests, including a massive one organized by the orthodox Jewish community in the United States. Meanwhile, the Biden Administration is coming under more and more attacks from members of its own Administration. Already more than 400 high level and mid-level government officials in the Biden Administration have sent Biden letters protesting his refusal to ask Israel to declare a ceasefire, and many of them have resigned in protest.
Guest – Attorney Ameena Qazi the Co-Executive Director of the Peace and Justice Law Center in Los Angeles. She formerly served as the Deputy Executive Director and Staff Attorney for the Greater Los Angeles Area Chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (or C.A.I.R.), the largest American Muslim civil rights and advocacy group; and Ms. Qazi is also a former Executive Director of the Los Angeles Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild. US Campaign For Palestinian Rights
Hosted by Attorneys Michael Smith and Jim Lafferty