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Jewish Voice for Peace


 Boston Jewish Voice for Peace protest.  Monday, November 19, 2012.

Dear Supporter,

As I write this, a cease-fire agreement between Israel and Hamas has just taken effect. We hope and pray that it will hold.

Our most urgent task at Jewish Voice for Peace has been to pressure Israel to end its overwhelming assault on the people of Gaza. It has been an assault that serves the political interests of Israeli politicians, with civilians on both sides dearly paying the price.

But we all know that even after the last bomb or rocket has fallen—hopefully soon— the 1.7 million Palestinians living trapped in Gaza will still face the daily structural violence of occupation. Israel will still control most of their borders and limit the resources coming in and out. There will still be extra-judicial assassinations, undrinkable water, artificial shortages of food and medical supplies.  And there will still be the massive disproportionate killing: since 2006, over 2,880 Palestinians of Gaza and 45 Israelis have died in fighting in the region.

It is precisely because we Jews know the experience of being forgotten by the world, of being trapped in ghettos, that we are morally obligated to stand up wherever there is suffering, but especially now to oppose the siege and assault on the Palestinians of Gaza. And it is precisely because of our own history that we have learned that one drop of blood shed, no matter whose blood that is, is one drop too many.

What we've been doing on your behalf 
The staff, supporters and activists of Jewish Voice for Peace, and the justice movement in general, are truly some of the most decent, compassionate, creative and tireless people in the world.

Within hours of this latest devastating assault, we were the first and one of the few major Jewish organization to put out a strong statement condemning it and Israel's asymmetric use of force.

Within 24 hours over 50 protests were organized through our online tools. Within days, nearly 40 activists and staff at our Northeast Leadership Development Institute developed a sophisticated mobilization and messaging framework for response distributed to nearly 40 chapters and movement allies— we are focused on US government targets, companies that profit from the occupation, and Jewish organizations that are supporting the siege and assault. 

Even if, as we dearly hope, this cease-fire takes hold, we will still continue our efforts.

We have nearly reached our goal of 25,000 signatures for our open letter to President Obama asking him to condition aid to Israel on compliance with the law. We are working with our Washington DC chapter to make sure he gets the message.

Street mobilizations from Los Angeles to St Louis, Boston to Sacramento are rolling out across the country, with our people making it impossible for media outlets to say that Jews are united behind this assault. Media stories, student resolutions are too numerous to share but we are regularly updating our social media accounts. I highly recommend that you like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter to stay informed in real time. You can also check out our Flickr feed of photos of protests as they come in.

Here are some other key campaigns and resources you can use now:

Jews not alone: Jews against the assault on Gaza, a Young, Jewish and Proud JVP campaign

Download JVP fact sheets and banners

Rabbinic Council
From Vancouver, Canada to Chicago, Rabbis on JVP's Rabbinical Council are raising a Jewish voice for peace and justice. Please feel free to distribute these pieces.

Many of you are about to spend the next few days with your families for the holiday break. I wish for all of you strength to sustain your activism, courage to say what must be said, and love to remind you that each and every one of us deserves the chance to live freely, with dignity, surrounded by those we love, and able to keep them safe.

In hope and justice,

Cecilie Surasky
Jewish Voice for Peace