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Thursday May 13 2021
Web Desk

Jewish activists condemn Israeli assault on Gaza, show solidarity with Palestine

Web Desk
Photos: Andy Ratto/ Twitter

Following Israel's incessant attacks on Gaza which led to the killing of 56 people, together with the forced eviction of Palestinians from East Jerusalem's Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood, activists belonging to the Jewish faith have come together to condemn the actions of Israel.

Organisations like Jewish Voice for Peace, Independent Jewish Voices, and thousands of people following the organisation have taken to social media, starting a campaign to save Palestine from Israeli atrocities.

"The Nakba, the forced expulsion of Palestinians from their homes and lands, began in 1948 and continues today — not just in #SheikhJarrah, Jerusalem, but also in Gaza, where civilian home destruction by Israeli bombs have made hundreds of families homeless in recent days," wrote Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) on Twitter, followed by the hashtag, #SaveSheikhJarrah.

"This is also the case in #SheikhJarrah, where Palestinian Nakba refugees were given land after Zionist militias forcibly displaced them from their homes elsewhere. Today, Israeli settlers, in collusion with the Israeli government, are trying to expel them once again," the JVP continued.

"As Jews, many of us descend from refugees and feel the intergenerational trauma of our ancestors’ displacement. Now, imagine the accumulated trauma of repeated expulsions over generations — with no end in sight. We must support Palestinians in ending their ongoing Nakba." 

Hundreds of Jewish people, mostly living in other parts of the world, also joined the campaign to show solidarity with the people of Palestine. 

Abraham Gutman, a journalist who said he is currently in Tel Aviv, tweeted that he and his family are safe and in a shelter. 

"Not a single rocket hit Tel Aviv because the US bought Israel an anti-rocket system worth billions. People of Gaza have *nothing* as the US bought planes level residential buildings," he wrote.

Shatzi Weisberger, a 90-year-old New York resident also joined a physical protest in the city against Israel's actions.

"I’m 90 years old, old enough to have protested the Holocaust and every other genocide of the 20th century," she wrote. "When I say Zionism is genocidal — and that I’ll be fighting it until the day I die — you better believe me."

Andy Ratto, another Jewish New Yorker, also attended the protest in the city.

"I am proud to be one of the many Jews who showed up for today’s march. More and more Jews are protesting Israel’s crimes against the Palestinians, and we demand an end to Israel’s apartheid and ethnic cleansing," Ratto wrote.

Independent Jewish Voices, a grassroots organisation in Canada grounded in Jewish tradition that opposes all forms of racism and advocates for justice and peace for all in Israel-Palestine, also joined the Twitter campaign to save Sheikh Jarrah.

"IJV calls on the @JustinTrudeau govt to forcefully denounce Israeli violence against Palestinian protestors and Muslim worshippers as hundreds have been wounded today so far in and around the Old City of Jerusalem."

Tamara Herman, a Jewish Canadian, also condemned the occupation of Palestine by Israeli forces.

"As a grandchild of Holocaust survivors, I grew up with the trauma of genocide. I'm proud to join with other Jewish people — and especially descendants of holocaust survivors — in calling for an end of the violent Israeli occupation of Palestine #SaveSheikhJarrah #NotInMyName."

Israeli attacks on Gaza continue 

At least 56 people have been killed in Gaza since Israel escalated attacks on Monday, according to the Palestinian health ministry. On the other hand, six people have been killed in Israel, medical officials said.

Israel's Shin Bet security service said the brigade commander for Gaza City was among senior members of Hamas who had been killed.

"This is just the beginning. We'll hit them like they've never dreamed possible," Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a statement.

Soon after the announcement, rockets were was fired at the Israeli city of Ashdod and Israeli media said the military was preparing for new salvoes on the Tel Aviv area. Meanwhile, a senior Hamas commander was also killed on Wednesday in an Israeli air strike.

A Palestinian source said truce efforts by Egypt, Qatar and the United Nations had made no progress to end the tension that flared this week.

In Gaza, a multi-storey residential building collapsed after Israel warned its occupants in advance to evacuate, and another was heavily damaged in the air strikes.

Other air strikes hit what Israel's military said were rocket launch sites, Hamas offices and the homes of Hamas leaders. Israeli officials said at least 41 Palestinian fighters have been killed in Gaza so far.

"Israel has gone crazy," said a man on a Gaza street, where people ran out of their homes as explosions rocked buildings.

Sixteen people were killed in Israeli air strikes on Gaza on Wednesday, Gaza's health ministry said. Witnesses and health officials in Gaza said one Israeli air strike killed three people, including a woman, in a car.

Timeline of recent violence against Palestinians by Israeli forces

This is a recap of the last few bloody days of violence against Palestinians sparked by a years-long bid by Jewish settlers to take over Arab homes in Israeli-annexed east Jerusalem.

Bloody end to Ramadan

Violence erupted on Friday as Muslims pack the Al-Aqsa mosque compound to pray on the last Friday of the holy fasting month of Ramadan.

Violence had been building in the Holy City and occupied West Bank for the previous week.

Police fired rubber-coated bullets and stun grenades as Palestinians hurl stones, bottles and fireworks.

More than 220 people, mostly Palestinians, sustained injuries.

Second night

On Saturday prayers at the mosque compound were held peacefully but violence flared elsewhere in east Jerusalem.

Some 121 Palestinians were wounded overnight, many hit by rubber-coated bullets and stun grenades, the Palestinian Red Crescent said.

Israeli police said 17 of its officers are wounded.

Court case delay

Much of the recent unrest stems from the long-running legal effort by Jewish settler groups to evict several Palestinian families from their homes in the East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Sheikh Jarrah.

A lower court ruling earlier this year backed the settlers' claim, infuriating Palestinian residents.

A Supreme Court hearing on a Palestinian appeal is postponed by the justice ministry in light of "the circumstances".

Third night

In the evening Israeli police again launch attack against mostly young Palestinians at several locations in east Jerusalem.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu defends Israel's response to the protests.

March cancelled

In Monday morning attacks at the mosque compound, the Palestinian Red Crescent said at least 395 Palestinians were wounded, with more than 200 hospitalised.

Fears of further chaos ease temporarily when a planned "Jerusalem Day" march to mark the Jewish state's 1967 capture of the Old City was cancelled.


Hamas warned of escalation unless Israel pulls its security forces out of the compound, rockets reportedly fired by the group towards the Jewish state.

Israel responded with 130 strikes by fighter jets and attack helicopters on "military targets" in Gaza.

Fifty-six Palestinians — including 10 children — were killed in the exchange of fire.

With input from Reuters and AFP.