’Round the Web

Articles of interest from around the Web; listed in our main menu with links to read on the original site.

Jewish Activists Mobilizing Against War Are Finding a New Community

“Let Gaza live! Let Gaza live!”

The chant bounced off the century-old granite walls of New York City’s historic Grand Central Station on Oct. 27, as thousands poured onto the floor wearing black T-shirts reading “Jews Say Ceasefire Now.” This messaging has become familiar, as massive rallies around the country, including one of 5,000 people in Washington, D.C., and others in dozens more cities, have been organized by Jewish activists speaking primarily as Jews.

These protests represent the biggest explosion of progressive Jewish organizing in decades, and have helped to launch the biggest surge in Palestine solidarity organizing since the Second Intifada. They also represent a newly unified movement with a new demand: a cease-fire.

The New York demonstration was organized by two groups: IfNotNow, an anti-occupation Jewish organization, and Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP), an explicitly anti-Zionist group as large as it is controversial in the Jewish world.


I Just Worked Security for a Pro-Palestinian Event. Here’s What I Saw.

I was asked to help with security for an event at the Montclair, New Jersey Public Library on November 12th. The event was a conversation organized by the New Jersey chapter of Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP), an anti-Zionist organization that is critical of Israeli foreign policy, along with support from groups like Veterans for Peace and the Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL). It was to consist of a talk given by Steve Chase, a Quaker and member of FCNL, detailing his perspective on the nightmare unfolding in Gaza, based on his experiences traveling to Israel and the occupied territories, as well as years of activism around the Israel-Palestine conflict.

There was a need for additional security because the event had been subject to repeated attempts at cancellation for some time, and worries about potential violent disrupters began to circulate among some of the organizers.


Hostages’ Families Fight to Be Heard

On Tuesday, November 14th, families of Israeli hostages who have been held in Gaza since Hamas’s October 7th attacks announced that they would march for five days from their provisional protest tent in Tel Aviv to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office in Jerusalem to demand the return of their relatives. Shelly Shem Tov, whose son Omer is being held hostage, addressed the crowd before the march began. “Bibi, Gantz, and Gallant,” she began, naming the three members of Israel’s war cabinet, “you failed! You failed!” “We know that you can decide tonight [to secure the release of the hostages],” she screamed. “We will burn the state down until they come home—all of them.” Through sobs, Shem Tov spoke of the Marciano family, who had learned the night before via a video released by Hamas that their daughter Noa, who had been held in Gaza since October 7th, had been killed, reportedly by an Israeli airstrike. “We are losing people!” she cried.

“To hear you speak in such slogans, ‘to erase, to annihilate, to flatten [Gaza].’ Who are you flattening? Human beings who you’ve abandoned is who you’re flattening.”

Read the full article in JewishCurrents.


A Prisoner Videotaped Covid Conditions Last Year. Where Is He Now?

silhouette of bird on roof against a purple sky

NEW YORK CITY—Out of one dream, another dream is born.

Yesterday, I heard someone from the West Bank say that denying Palestinians the vaccine is another act of genocide.

I thought of you, Dion, and the video you posted from federal prison last year, in Michigan.

Are you alive? I don’t know what happened to you.

In a green knitted cap, a white mask, and your dreads, you took us around with that contraband phone, saying:

I fear retaliation for doing this. I’m putting my life on the line.

You pleaded for our help, showing us bunk bed after bunk bed, in close proximity, suits and ironed clothes hung neatly on hangers from any rim they could find.

I got a few little symptoms, but I don’t know if I’m gonna make it—they just sittin’ on us, waiting for us to die.

And the mattress, covered in clear plastic, where somebody had been really sick.

They ain’t sprayed the bed off, or nothing. They just left it like that.

Dion, is that your real name? I have looked for you everywhere. Are you alive?

Article written by Zia Jaffrey.

This piece was originally published by The Nation on June 2, 2021, https://www.thenation.com/article/society/prison-covid-video/
It is part of a Kopkind/Nation collaborative series called “Scenes From a Pandemic”.  It is also published on the Kopkind site.  https://kopkind.org/2021/06/07/scenes-from-a-pandemic-55/

republished with permission on our site.

Fighting Words: “International Block the Boat Campaign”

International Block the Boat Campaign