Oct. 18 Rally: Hundreds Demand Action to Prevent Genocide of Palestinians

by Shelly Altman, Jewish Voice for Peace New Haven 

Hundreds of Jews and friends of Jews assembled at New Haven City Hall and at the office of Rep. Rosa DeLauro to urge our elected officials to call for a ceasefire in Gaza, and to call on the U.S. government to stop supporting the Israeli military’s genocidal war on Gaza. Talks were delivered on the catastrophe in Gaza caused by Israeli bombing and forced displacement of hundreds of thousands of Gazans who are trapped in the locked-down Gaza Strip. Letters were delivered to Mayor Justin Elicker and to Rep. DeLauro. The protest was organized by Jewish Voice for Peace New Haven and the Mending Minyan Solidarity Committee.

In her remarks, Mikveh Warshaw of the Mending Minyan noted, “We are strong and wise enough to hold up the sacredness of all life; to mourn for our Palestinian and Israeli family, friends, and comrades. It is our sacred task as Jewish people in the US to fight for the humanity of everyone.”

On Friday [Oct. 13], the Israeli military called for all civilians of Gaza City — 1.1. million people — to relocate within 24 hours, as it amassed tanks for an expected ground invasion. The UN said evacuating everyone was impossible with power supplies cut and food and water in the Palestinian enclave running short after Israel placed Gaza under total siege, and said it would have “devastating humanitarian consequences.” The Gaza Health Ministry reported that over 3,000 Palestinians have been killed and over 9,000 have been wounded as of yesterday. A thousand of those killed have been children.

Israel has openly stated an intention to commit mass atrocities and even genocide, with Prime Minister Netanyahu saying the Israeli response will “reverberate for generations.” President Biden has indicated his full support, sending additional weapons to the Israeli military. Today, he planned a highly unusual personal visit in support of the military.

In his remarks, Shelly Altman responded to this, saying, “Never again. The ‘again’ of our lifetimes is underway in Gaza right now. And we refuse to stand by and watch.”

[See newhavenindependent.org/article/never_again_is_now_for_palestinians_warn_new_haven_jews]

Answer the ADL with the Truth

by LouAnn Villani, secretary, MECC

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and the CT Jewish Federation sponsored a film praising a particularly violent Israeli Prime Minister of the 1980s, Menachem Begin. Upon hearing about it, the Middle East Crisis Committee held an online panel on December 11 to spread the truth about Begin and about the ADL itself. Our Executive Director Stanley Heller talked about Begin’s career using terrorism in the 1940s, the role his Irgun played in the infamous Deir Yassin massacre of 1948 and his war in Lebanon in 1982 which killed an estimated 17,000 people.

Dr. Emmaia Gelman, who wrote her doctorate at NYU about the ADL spoke about both that organization and Jewish Federations as a whole. She explained that both groups were formed about a hundred years ago to support Jewish civil rights, but also to maintain the hold of the Jewish upper class on the Jewish community. Both the ADL and the federations became Zionist decades ago. The ADL claims itself as the go-to organization after acts of bigotry, but that’s pretty odd since its basically all-white and supports an apartheid state enthusiastically.

Shelly Altman of Jewish Voice for Peace talked about a program JVP has sponsored for a number of years to counter an ADL program. The ADL brings Israeli police to the US and US police to Israel for training. JVP believes they learn the worst practices of both forces from each other. US police learn to treat all minorities as potential terrorists. The JVP calls this program the “Deadly Exchange” and has worked to combat the program. Several years ago it picketed the ADL office in Hamden over this issue.

Parts of the program can be seen on TheStruggleVideo.org.