“Cease fire now,” the protesters chanted. A few hundred progressive American Jewish activists peacefully occupied the Statue of Liberty in New York on Monday to demand Israel a ceasefire and an end to the “genocidal bombing of Palestinian civilians in Gaza.” Dressed in black t-shirts emblazoned with the slogans “Jews demand a ceasefire now” or “not in our name”, a few hundred young people unfurled banners “the whole world is watching” and “the Palestinians should be free » at the foot of the base of the emblematic monument symbol of New York.
“The famous words of our Jewish ancestor (19th century American poet) Emma Lazarus engraved on this monument compel us to act to support the Palestinians of Gaza who aspire to live free,” Jay Saper of the organization Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP). A press release from the Institute for Middle East Understanding (Imeu) group demands “an end to Israel’s genocidal bombardment of Palestinian civilians in Gaza.”
“As long as the people of Gaza are screaming, we must scream louder, whatever the attempts to silence us,” exclaimed American photographer Nancy Goldin, also in the presence of local elected officials from New York, including one part is very anchored on the left.
Giant sit-in in Manhattan
The American megalopolis, a mythical world city for immigration and multiculturalism, has been shaken for a month by demonstrations in favor of Israel and pro-Palestinians. Populated by some two million Jews and hundreds of thousands of Muslims, New York has so far escaped violence but tensions are palpable, particularly on university campuses like Columbia.
In addition, a part of very progressive American Jewish youth – Jews overwhelmingly voting for the Democratic Party – is up in arms against Israel, which they accuse of perpetrating a “genocide” of the Palestinians in Gaza. They also denounce President Joe Biden’s military and diplomatic support for the Jewish state. Organizations like JVP gathered tens of thousands of demonstrators in the federal capital Washington on Saturday to demand an immediate ceasefire in the Gaza Strip, and castigating American policy of support for Israel.
The immense Grand Central station in Manhattan was also occupied by a giant sit-in of thousands of people at the end of October with the same demands and the gigantic multicultural and fashionable borough of Brooklyn saw thousands surge ten days ago of pro-Palestinian activists, including American Jewish organizations.