Chicago Jews Condemn Israeli Police Beatings of Peaceful Protesters
Not In My Name

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE—Thursday, August 16, 2020

Thursday, August 16, 2020

Not In My Name, a gathering of Chicago Jews critical of Israeli policies toward Palestinians, condemns the takeover of the Orient House and the sadistic manner in which Israeli police have treated peaceful demonstrators there.

Not In My Name, will hold our weekly vigil at 435 N. Michigan Ave. at 12 Noon on Friday, August 17, to protest Israel's continuing Occupation of the West Bank, Gaza, and East Jerusalem.

We condemn the continuing actions of the Israeli government, which ensure that the cycle of violence will escalate, thereby bringing more misery to both Palestinians and Israelis.

While abhorring all violence directed at civilians on both sides, as Jews with a strong sense of moral obligation to speak out against unjust actions, including the actions of other Jews, we point out, and object to, the oppressive and deliberately provocative actions of the Israeli government.

We condemn the takeover of the Orient House that symbolically denies a Palestinian claim to any part of Jerusalem, as it is the political and cultural center of Palestinian activity in the Palestinian's historic capital.  This action is a deliberate provocation.; it is specifically designed to create a climate of rage and violence.

The peaceful demonstrators who were attacked there included Palestinians, Israelis, and members of the International Solidarity Movement who are committed to non-violence.  Undercover police, dressed as Palestinians, staged fights with police in order to provoke police riots.  Peaceful demonstrators, particularly Palestinians, were beaten unmercifully by police in front of the international press.

We demand the immediate release of Mr.Andrew Clarno, a graduate student from the Department of Sociology, University of Michigan, and a member of the International Solidarity Movement, who was arrested on falsified charges of attacking police.

We condemn the military incursions into Palestinian territory: the collective punishments imposed on Jenin and the threatening of Beit Jala.  We point out that the justification for the latter action was to protect the Jewish settlement of Gilo, which has been built on land stolen from the people of Beit Jala.  If such military action is justified in this case it will be justified throughout the West Bank.  This is an extremely dangerous escalation of the undeclared war that Israel is now waging on the people of Palestine.

We condemn the constant humiliation and privations that the Palestinian people face within their own land.  We wonder if the fact that that these atrocities only get worse from week to week really means that Israel's ultimate goal is to encourage a popular uprising that can easily be crushed by the mightiest army the region has ever known.

On August 13, 2001, Defense Minister Ben Eliezer stated before the Israel-American Chambers of Commerce, "I think [Yasser Arafat] is leading his people to a holocaust." [Palestine Media Center] Is this really what Israel has in store for the Palestinians?

We condemn the behavior of Jews who have put up signs in Jerusalem's market that read, "Don't buy from Arabs," and remind the world of the signs in Nazi Germany that read, "Don't buy from Jews."

When, in referring to the Holocaust, we say "Never again!" we mean "never again" for all of humanity.  To us, this is what our Judaism means.  It means a commitment to freeing all of humanity from racism and oppression.  It means a commitment to multi-ethnic communities.  It does not mean ethnic cleansing, torture, sadistic beatings, humiliation, theft of land, and the creation of Bantustans.  As Jews, we are committed to peace, and we understand that without justice, there will be no peace.

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