Not In My Name (NIMN), a predominantly Jewish organization based in Chicago, will hold a vigil on Sunday, September 1, from noon to 1 PM at Water Tower Park (830 N Michigan) to protest Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's threats against the Israeli peace group, Gush Shalom ("Peace Bloc"). Gush Shalom is one of Israel's most consistent peace groups. For the past few months, as Israeli citizens, they have been warning their army's officers when military actions may be considered war crimes, putting those officers in jeopardy of facing charges in Israeli and/or international courts of law.
In response, the Israeli government has launched a threatening campaign against Gush Shalom. This may result in charges of treason or other legal actions that attempt to stop their courageous activity. NIMN is acting now to support Gush Shalom.
NIMN has launched a campaign to publish a full page ad in Ha'aretz, the most prominent Israeli daily newspaper, to demonstrate international support-and especially Jewish support-for Gush Shalom. Additional ads in may be run in other Israeli newspapers.
"In recent weeks, leaders of Gush Shalom have been threatened with arrest and charges of treason for the act of warning its political and military leaders of the consequences that their actions in the Occupied Territories may have," said Steven Feuerstein, NIMN spokesperson. "Rather than address these grave warnings, the Prime Minister and Minister of Justice have instead chosen to demonstrate their utter disregard for freedom of speech and democracy within their own nation."
Joel Finkel, NIMN member, explained, "Our goal is to demonstrate to the Israeli public, and to the Israeli government, that there are many, many concerned eyes all around the world watching the situation very closely. Gush Shalom does not stand alone."
The ad in Ha'aretz, in Hebrew, will be published during the first week of September.
NIMN has initiated and coordinated this ad project. In just one week, we have received the co-sponsorship of over 30 organizations from 7 countries. Over 500 individuals have signed the ad and over $11,000 has been donated and pledged. More information about the campaign to support Gush Shalom, including the full text of the ad, may be found at the official web site: www.nimn.org/gushad.