News Release

Anti-Zionist Jews Take on AIPAC

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Jewish Voice for Peace states: “Over 5,000 Jews and allies, including rabbis and descendants of Holocaust survivors, shut down the AIPAC headquarters in New York City on Thursday, protesting the organization’s involvement in U.S. politics that threatens to undermine democracy by funneling millions of dollars into swaying members of Congress to oppose a ceasefire in Gaza, which is favored by the vast majority of Americans.

“Down the block from AIPAC’s Midtown Manhattan headquarters, police arrested 18 protesters inside the offices of AIPAC-supported Senators Schumer and Gillibrand, who oppose a ceasefire and voted last week to send $14.1 billion in military funding to Israel.”

“The American Israel Public Affairs Committee, known as AIPAC, uses millions of dollars and racist smear campaigns to ensure Congressional complicity in the Israeli’s government’s genocide of Palestinians,” said Jay Saper of Jewish Voice for Peace.

AIPAC has raised an eye-popping $90 million in the past five months, helping bolster its influence on members of Congress who oppose a ceasefire in Gaza and ramp up aggressive campaigns against those who have spoken out against the Israeli military’s bombing of Gaza that has killed over 30,000 Palestinians in Gaza, over 11,000 of whom are children.

According to Open Secrets, Biden is the leading recipitent of pro-Israel funding.

Protesters with Jewish Voice for Peace shut down traffic outside of AIPAC’s headquarters while chanting “Let Gaza Live.” They held held massive cardboard letters that read “Dump AIPAC” and piled up red trash bags emblazoned with that same message in the street, next to a massive mural that said “AIPAC funds genocide.”

They then marched to the offices of AIPAC-supported Sen. Schumer and Gillibrand, who voted last week to send an additional $14.1 billion in military funding to Israel. Observing a Jewish mourning ritual, they placed 30 stones, honoring the 30,000 Palestinians killed by the U.S.-backed bombing, in the lobby of the senators’ office. After staging a sit-in where they unfurled banners inside the lobby calling on the senators to “Stop Funding Genocide,” police made 18 arrests; in Jewish tradition, 18 signifies life.

Polls show the vast majority of Americans want the war on Gaza to stop. And yet, because of pro-apartheid lobby groups like AIPAC, most elected officials still refuse to call for a ceasefire,” said Eliza Klein of Jewish Voice for Peace.

Protesters outside AIPAC on Thursday took inspiration from the historic Garbage Offensive organized by the Young Lords in 1969 to demand NYC divest from war and invest in communities. They called on elected officials to Dump AIPAC as it continues to make Gaza uninhabitable while simultaneously eroding democracy in the U.S.

As a Palestinian Jew who supported the struggle for the Puerto Rican Studies Department at Brooklyn College, I’ve always been touched by the acts of solidarity between our communities. When the Young Lords led the Garbage Offensive in 1969, their platform also included support for Palestinians. I am honored to carry this legacy of solidarity forward in the streets today,” said Esther Farmer of Jewish Voice for Peace.

The protest was the latest in a wave of iconic protests led by Jewish Voice for Peace that halted Congressshut down Grand Central Terminal during rush hour traffictook over the Statue of Libertyshut down the Manhattan Bridgedisrupted the President’s Hanukkah Party at the White House, and blockaded President Biden’s motorcade.

Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) is “the largest progressive Jewish anti-Zionist organization in the world. JVP organizes a grassroots, multiracial, cross-class, intergenerational movement of U.S. Jews into solidarity with the Palestinian freedom struggle, guided by a vision of justice, equality and dignity for all people.”

Contact:
Jay Saper, jaysaper@gmail.com
Sonya Meyerson-Knox, sonya@jvp.org