Jewish Voice for Peace, Atlanta Chapter
Interfaith Peace Builders, Board Member
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – July 21, 2014
Media Contact: Regina Willis, (813) 924-5777 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting (813) 924-5777 FREE end_of_the_skype_highlighting ; firstname.lastname@example.org
Atlanta — The Public is invited to join us Thursday, July 24, at 10:00 AM in front of the Israeli Consulate, 1100 Spring Street NW, Atlanta, GA, 30309, as we gather for a prayer vigil to honor the Palestinians and Israelis killed as a result of Israel’s ongoing Operation Protective Edge. We will recognize the dead with prayer, confess our sins with Ashamnu, give a reading of names followed by the laying of stones and saying Kaddish. In addition to the more than 500 Palestinians and 20 Israelis killed, we will also acknowledge those Palestinians injured, arrested, and those whose homes have been destroyed as a result of Israel’s collective punishment of the Palestinian people for the killing of Israeli teens Naftali Fraenkel, Gilad Shaer and Eyal Yifrah.
We want it known that our Jewish values and beliefs do not support a war on civilians and that we, as members of Jewish Voice for Peace, view all human life as equal, regardless of ethnicity, race, color or religion. We certainly do not believe that Jewish lives are more important than those of Palestinians, as has been suggested with the killing of Palestinian teen Mohammed AbuKhdeir and Israeli protesters shouting “Death to Arabs.”
As we know from teachings in the Torah and our reading of the Talmud, “Whoever destroys a soul, it is considered as if he destroyed an entire world. And whoever saves a life, it is considered as if he saved an entire world.” — Mishnah Sanhedrin 4:9; Babylonian Talmud Tractate Sanhedrin 37a.
We view these killings in the context of Israel’s ongoing Occupation of the West Bank and Gaza and the ongoing US support of it. As American Jews, many of us have traveled to these areas, where we have witnessed Palestinian life controlled by the Israeli occupiers in the West Bank and in the open-air prison of the Gaza Strip.
– We have sat in solidarity with Palestinian families who have had their houses destroyed and family members killed by the Israeli Defense Forces.
– We have watched settlements expand to take over more and more Palestinian farm land and the homes of Palestinian families who have lived there for centuries.
– We have been with Palestinians who cannot drive, nor cross Israeli-Only roads that cut through the West Bank, preventing them from working their fields, visiting relatives or traveling to other Palestinian cities and towns.
– We have seen olive trees and fruit orchards burnt by Israeli settlers and bulldozed by the Israeli Defense Force — and have helped Palestinians to replant their primary means of livelihood.
- – We have visited with Palestinian families only to watch as their children were arrested without charge by the IDF.
- – We have been with family members as they have suffered serious physical illness because they have no are access to clean water while Israeli settlers enjoy swimming pools and lush lawns and gardens.
- – We have witnessed more sadness, pain, and injustice in the West Bank and Gaza than we can enumerate.
As members of Jewish Voice for Peace we want the world to know that not all Jews support the continued oppression and subjugation of the Palestinian people. And as American Jews, we call on the US government to end its support of US aid that violates human rights and U.S. law.
As members of Jewish Voice For Peace, we have considered the full range of campaigns of the BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) Movement, and have chosen to focus our efforts on those that directly target Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem and its blockade of the Gaza Strip. We believe this to be the most effective way for Jewish Voice for Peace to help bring about the aims we share with the Palestinian BDS call, involving a peaceful means to campaign against Israel until it complies with international law and stops its growing apartheid tactics towards the Palestinian people.
As members of Jewish Voice for Peace, we say to the leaders of Israel and the United States, “Not in our name.”
Those who wish to join us,please dress in black and bring a candle.
Jewish Voice for Peace members are inspired by Jewish tradition to work together for peace, social justice, equality, human rights, respect for international law, and a U.S. foreign policy based on these ideals.JVP opposes anti-Jewish, anti-Muslim, and anti-Arab bigotry and oppression. JVP seeks an end to the Israeli occupation of the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and East Jerusalem; security and self-determination for Israelis and Palestinians; a just solution for Palestinian refugees based on principles established in international law; an end to violence against civilians; and peace and justice for all peoples of the Middle East. For more information, please visit jewishvoiceforpeace.org.
“Some are guilty, all are responsible.” Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel