Chicago Jews Hold Vigil on Friday, September 7, 2020 to Demand an End to Israeli Occupation of the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and East Jerusalem
Not In My Name

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE—Thursday, September 6, 2020

Not In My Name, a Chicago-based organization of Jews critical of Israeli policies toward Palestinians, will hold our weekly vigil at 435 N. Michigan Ave. at 12 Noon on Friday, September 7, to protest Israel's continuing Occupation of the West Bank, Gaza, and East Jerusalem.

While we continue to condemn, in the strongest possible terms, the targeting of innocent Israeli civilians by a tiny handful of right-wing Palestinian activists, we understand that these atrocities are a reaction to the brutal oppression of the Palestinian people at the hands of the Israeli government and its military.  No one has stated the anguish more clearly that 18-year old David Hacham-Herson, writing on August 5, 2020 from Military Prison, where he was serving a sentence for refusing to serve in the Occupied Territories:

"I am a God-fearing Jew, and as such forbidden to take part in denying freedom and serving in occupied territory.  I am imprisoned, but yet feel freer than most of the Israelis I've met, for one simple reason: I don't bear the burden of vindictiveness and the perverse gratification attending it.  I don't bear the burden of denial and callousness.  I am concerned for humans as such.  For those denied the right to live like me, with food and clothes and fun and good health and dreams of success and a car.  I am concerned for people who are humiliated every day, who are denied the right to work, who are imprisoned within their towns and villages.  I am concerned for those whose homes have been demolished and their fruit groves devastated.

"I am concerned because I know that the terrible hatred towards me is justified.  This hatred has led to horrifying and perverted manifestations, like the young suicide bombers, but we create the conditions that lead to this monstrosity.  I am concerned because I know that the cries of exultation over the killings drown out the sobs of the numerous victims, Jews and Arabs, of the widows and orphans, of the cripples who will suffer for the rest of their lives because of that pride and callousness."

"We are also heartened by the letter of refusal written by 65 youngsters who are about to be called into service by the IDF," said NIMN spokesperson, Steven Feuerstein.  The letter was sent on 9/3/200 to Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, Minister of Security, Binyamin Ben-Eliezer, and IDF Chief of Staff, Shaul Mofaz.  "Jews of conscience in Chicago stand in solidarity with these young Jews of conscience in Israel," Mr. Feuerstein added.

We also take note of, and condemn, the "seam zone program" that Israel is planning, wherein a military buffer east of the Green Line will be created in which no Palestinian will be allowed, and in which the military will have greater leniency to shoot to kill.

Further, we condemn the extra-judicial assassination attempt on the life of Raed al-Karmi in the West Bank town of Tulkarm on Thursday.  This attack killed two innocent young men, 19-year old Mustafa Onbas and 21-year old Omar Subuh.  The actual target is a member of Palestinian President Yasser Arafat's Fatah faction.  We can only wonder why, on the one hand, Israel demands that Arafat stop the violence, while, on the other hand, continues to target the police stations, officials, and other infrastructure that might actually make that possible.

The weekly NIMN vigils offer Jews an opportunity, as members of the Jewish community, to voice our dismay and outrage at these actions, which others claim to stand for Jewish values.  Supporters are welcome.

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