January , 2019

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Jewish Voice for Peace-Chicago remains committed to leading gathering at Rep. Jan Schakowsky district office, place stones on sidewalk in Jewish mourning ritual for Palestinian lives lost.

After hearing from her constituents over the past several days, Rep.  Schakowsky released a statement addressing the “unspeakable tragedy that has been unfolding in Gaza.” Jewish Voice for Peace-Chicago’s response is available here:

“It is helpful to recognize the reality that more than 100 unarmed Palestinian protesters have been killed and over 12,000 wounded by since March 30…At the same time, we are disappointed that her statement refrains from condemning the killings and assigning clear responsibility for them to Israel…We continue to call upon Rep. Schakowsky and her colleagues to unequivocally condemn the killing of unarmed protesters and demand an immediate investigation.”

Over 100 unarmed Palestinians have now been shot dead by Israeli military snipers while protesting as part of the #GreatReturnMarch in Gaza, with over 12,000 wounded. Three weeks ago, after constituent pressure, Rep. Schakowsky joined some of her colleagues in calling on the Israeli military to stop targeting unarmed protesters. However, her office has remained silent in the wake of Monday’s massacre of over 60 protesters.

This Friday, Jewish Voice for Peace members and other constituents of Rep. Jan Schakowsky (IL-9) will gather in front of her office to urge her to clearly condemn Israel’s killings, affirm Palestinians’ right to protest, and ensure real accountability by demanding an immediate investigation into possible violations of the Leahy Laws, which prohibit the U.S. Government from using funds for assistance to units of foreign security forces where there is credible information implicating that unit in the commission of gross violations of human rights.

Participants will list the names of the Palestinians who have been killed, recite traditional mourning prayers and in accordance with Jewish tradition place stones on the sidewalk to commemorate lives lost.

The gathering in front of Schakowsky District office will be held Friday,  May 18th 2018, 4:00 pm.  Rep. Schakowsky Chicago district office is at 5533 N. Broadway, Chicago

Chicago branch of Jewish Voice for Peace, a national grassroots organization inspired by Jewish tradition to organize for human rights, equality and dignity for Palestinians.


Rabbi Michael Davis, Jewish Voice for Peace Rabbinical Council

Ahlam Jbara, leader in Chicago Palestinian Community

Lynn Pollack, Evanston resident of 40 years and JVP-Chicago member

Charlotte Rosen, student, constituent and JVP-Chicago member

On Monday, May 14, the day the U.S. embassy to Israel was moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, was the culmination of the Gaza #GreatReturnMarch. Launched on March 30 with over 30,000 participants and organized by a cross section of Palestinian civil society, grassroots activists, and political factions, this effort has highlighted the impact of Israel’s brutal military blockade and re-centered the issue of Palestinian refugees’ right to return to the homes from which they, or their parents and grandparents, were expelled in 1948.

On Monday, an estimated 61 unarmed protesters were killed by Israeli military snipers and nearly 3,000 were wounded. An 8-month-old child died from tear gas inhalation. More than 100 protesters have been killed and 12,000 wounded since the marches began, including children, medics and members of the press.

Human Rights Watch has denounced Israel’s actions as “unlawful” and “calculated”. Amnesty International has condemned the Israeli military’s use of “excessive force” and assigned clear responsibility to Israeli authorities.

Israel’s government has made clear that it fully supports these deliberate killings. Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman has stated: “There are no innocents in Gaza.” The day after the killing of the first 15 Palestinian protesters on March 30, the Israeli military posted, then promptly deleted, the following tweet: “Yesterday we saw 30,000 people; we arrived prepared and with precise reinforcements. Nothing was carried out uncontrolled; everything was accurate and measured, and we know where every bullet landed.

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.

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