NY group in Washington to protest Israel/Gaza war
Wednesday, October 18, 2023
A New York group is among many at the U.S. Capitol today, protesting the U.S. response to the Israel-Gaza conflict.
Elected officials from President Joe Biden to New York Gov. Kathy Hochul are supporting Israel's counteroffensive against the group Hamas, but some American Jewish people feel the conflict is out of control.
The United Nations estimates 4,200 people have been killed since the war began just over a week ago, with an attack on a hospital in Gaza Tuesday evening killing another 500.
Jay Saper, a member of the group Jewish Voice for Peace, described the importance of the protests.
"It's never been more important for Jews and all people in the U.S. to rise up, with literally everything that we have, the way we would have wanted others to rise up for our ancestors," Saper emphasized.
Rep. Cori Bush, D-Mo., put forward a a resolution calling on President Biden to seek a cease-fire in Israel and occupied areas of Palestine. It is being offered as an alternative to a bipartisan resolution which would give Israel free rein to continue bombing Gaza.
The protest march is at noon today at the U.S. Capitol.
The United Nations said more than 1 million people have been displaced since the war began 10 days ago. While some fled out of fear, some had their homes destroyed by airstrikes. Though Hamas attacked Israel first, Saper believes the trauma of Jewish people should not be used as a justification for war.
"We are so deeply concerned by the rising uptick in Islamophobia and anti-Palestinian violence in this country," Saper pointed out. "We are deeply committed to ending injustice faced by Palestinians."
Since the conflict began, there have been attacks on Palestinian Americans across the country. Following an anti-Palestinian hate crime in Brooklyn, the New York Chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations issued guidance for students being targeted for being Palestinian, or for their Muslim faith.
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