Jewish Constituents to Rep. Jan Schakowsky: “Condemn Israel’s Killings in Gaza”

Lynn Pollack JVP
Lynn Pollack of Jewish Voice for Peace speaking (Photo by Michael Deheeger)

Jewish Voice for Peace-Chicago remains leads gathering at Rep. Schakowsky district office, places stones on sidewalk in Jewish mourning ritual for Palestinian lives lost.

Chicago, IL –(ENEWSPF)—May 19, 2018
Contact: Michael Deheeger 

On Friday, May 18, 2018 at 4:00 pm, 4 days after the move of the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem cemented the U.S.-Israeli partnership to annex Jerusalem and further repress Palestinian rights, constituents of the 9th Congressional District gathered at the office of Representative Jan Schakowsky to demand action against U.S. funding for gross violations of international law. Jewish Voice for Peace-Chicago led the group in urging Rep. Schakowsky to clearly condemn the indiscriminate killings and injuries of grassroots protesters and press in Gaza and to back it up with real pressure.

“As a young American Jew I am sickened by Israel’s killing of unarmed protesters in Gaza and  I’m here to urge Rep. Schakowsky to show progressive leadership by calling for an investigation,” said Charlotte Rosen of Jewish Voice for Peace, a constituent of Rep. Schakowsky’s. “If U.S. weapons and training were used by Israeli snipers in Gaza, that would represent a violation of the Leahy Law, which forbids the U.S. from funding foreign militaries engaging in gross violations of human rights, like what Israel is doing right now.”

Over 60 participants including representatives of Chicago’s Palestinian community gathered, bearing signs with the names of each of the more than 100 Palestinian protesters  who have been killed. Since the Great Return March began on March 30 along the militarized fence between Gaza and Israel, over 12,000 Palestinians have also been wounded. Amnesty International called the Israeli assault by military snipers of the Great March of Return in Gaza “murderous” and charged Israel with “deliberately inflicting life-changing injuries,” with soaring numbers of lower-limb amputations.

On Thursday, May 17 after hearing from constituents, Rep. Jan Schakowsky issued a statement recognizing the “unspeakable tragedy” in Gaza. Jewish Voice for Peace-Chicago issued a response expressing disappointment that she refrained from condemning the killings, from assigning clear responsibility for them to Israel and from calling for real pressure.

“While she is a progressive leader on so many issues, Representative Schakowsky has been uncharacteristically hesitant to strongly condemn the killings of unarmed protesters in Gaza,” said Ahlam Jbara, a leader in Chicago’s Palestinian community. “As a Palestinian-American who has had the opportunity to work with her on other issues, this is very painful for me. I cried when I read her statement.”

Over 60 participants including representatives of Chicago’s Palestinian community gathered, bearing signs with the names of each of the more than 100 Palestinian protesters  who have been killed. Since the Great Return March began on March 30 along the militarized fence between Gaza and Israel, over 12,000 Palestinians have also been wounded. Amnesty International called the Israeli assault by military snipers of the Great March of Return in Gaza “murderous” and charged Israel with “deliberately inflicting life-changing injuries,” with soaring numbers of lower-limb amputations.

On Thursday, May 17 after hearing from constituents, Rep. Jan Schakowsky issued a statement recognizing the “unspeakable tragedy” in Gaza. Jewish Voice for Peace-Chicago issued a response expressing disappointment that she refrained from condemning the killings, from assigning clear responsibility for them to Israel and from calling for real pressure.

“While she is a progressive leader on so many issues, Representative Schakowsky has been uncharacteristically hesitant to strongly condemn the killings of unarmed protesters in Gaza,” said Ahlam Jbara, a leader in Chicago’s Palestinian community. “As a Palestinian-American who has had the opportunity to work with her on other issues, this is very painful for me. I cried when I read her statement.”

Participants closed the event by reading the names of each Palestinian who was killed out loud, placing them on the ground in front of Representative Schakowsky’s office and placing stones on each sign in accordance with Jewish tradition.

Photos of those killed in Gaza
(Photo by Michael Deheeger)

Since the demonstrations in Gaza began in late March, Jewish Voice for Peace chapters have organized or participated in over 45 demonstrations, vigils, and protests across the country in solidarity with Palestinians’ right to protest and to demand a better life.

Video on Facebook and more photos on Twitter.

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JVP-Chicago is the local branch of Jewish Voice for Peace (www.jvp.org), a national, grassroots organization inspired by Jewish tradition to work for a just and lasting peace according to principles of human rights, equality, and international law for all the people of Israel and Palestine. Jewish Voice for Peace has over 200,000 online supporters, over 60 chapters, a youth wing, a Rabbinic Council, an Artist Council, an Academic Advisory Council, and an Advisory Board made up of leading U.S. intellectuals and artists.

Source: www.jvp.org