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Jewish Voice for Peace Holds “Not in Our Name” Vigil
(APN) ATLANTA -- On Thursday, July 24, 2014, Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) held a prayer vigil to honor the Palestinians and Israelis killed as a result of Israel's ongoing Operation Protective Edge. Seventy people dressed in black lined the sidewalk in front of the Israeli Consulate at 1100 Spring Street to mourn and pray for the 750 people who have died, so far.
Of that 750 number, 161 have been children, 66 women, and 35 elderly killed in Gaza; in addition to two Israeli civilians, and 32 Israeli soldiers. This ratio is why the question of proportionality comes up in the media. Actually, the ratio of Palestinians to Israelis killed has generally been hundreds of Palestinians to one Israeli. To people who have been watching this for thirty years or more this is nothing new. Approximately 4,500 people have been injured in Gaza and anywhere from 350 to 600 people have been arrested.
"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 want the world to know that not all Jews support the continued oppression and subjugation of the Palestinian people....We have witnessed more sadness, pain and injustice in the West Bank and Gaza than we can enumerate…..We call on the U.S. government to end its support of U.S. aid that violates human rights and U.S. law," the JVC press release states.
An Ashamnu, a Jewish tradition to confess sins, was said, followed by a reading of the names of the dead, the laying of stones, and a Kaddish prayer.
Personal stories were read to connect people to the stones that were laid to represent each person who was killed. Here are some of those stories what were read by JVP members:
- Israeli warplanes bombarded the house of Jawdat Tawfiq Ahmad Abu Jame' on Sunday, July 20, 2014. Five families lived in the three story house. The house was attacked without prior warning. 26 members of the Abu Jame' family, including 18 children and 5 women, were killed in a single strike;
- On July 15, 2014, Dror Hanin, 37, was the first Israeli to be killed by a direct hit from a mortar fired from the Gaza Strip near the Erez Crossing, while delivering food to Israeli soldiers there;
- On July 11, an Israeli attack on a beach coffee shop in southern Gaza, killed nine civilians, including two fifteen year-old boys and wounded three, including a critically injured thirteen year-old. Another attack hit a second beach Cafe and killed three brothers: Ibrahim, Homdi, and Salim. Salim's body has not been found; and
- Ouda Lafi al-Waj was killed, and three of his family members were injured, on July 19, when a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip struck a Bedouin settlement near Dimona. Many Bedouin communities are not recognized by the Israeli government, and do not have bomb shelters and are not protected by the “Iron Dome.”
"We just saw the [U.S.] Senate vote 100 to 0 in favor of Israel. We need to write, call, and let Congress know that American Jews are not uniform in what we think. We would like to see the U.S. use their influence, and change the way they are supporting Israel," Regina Willis with JVP said during the vigil.
“As members of Jewish Voice for Peace, we say to the leaders of Israel and the United States, ‘Not in our name,’” JVP said in a press release.
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