For Immediate Release
Friday, March 30, 2018

Portland’s Jewish Voice for Peace Condemns Passover Massacre in Gaza

“Today we are mourning the deaths of 15 unarmed protesters killed by the Israeli military,” said David Newman of the Portland chapter of Jewish Voice for Peace.  “The targeting of civilians participating in a nonviolent civil
disobedience is a despicable act forbidden by the Geneva Convention and the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Once again Israel is demonstrating that it does not value human life or basic human rights.”

At least fifteen Palestinians have been killed and hundreds wounded as Israeli forces responded with live ammunition against civilians taking part in a massive demonstration marking Land Day.  The “March of Return” has drawn upwards of 30,000 Palestinians throughout Gaza.  Protests in the West Bank have also seen dozens wounded.

“We call on all people of conscience to speak out loudly against these crimes against humanity committed by the Israeli State,” continued Newman.  “As a Jew I am particularly appalled that these killings occurred on the eve of Passover, which is a celebration of the Jewish Peoples’ deliverance from oppression.”

Land Day commemorates the general strike and protests against plans by the Israeli government to expropriate thousands of dunams of Palestinian land in 1976.  Six unarmed Palestinian citizens of Israel were killed, over a  hundred wounded and many hundreds were detained and imprisoned. The “March for Return” protests are calling for the right of every Palestinian to return to lands that have been stolen and from which they were driven by historic and ongoing policies of the state of Israel.

I’m heartsick and ashamed of these Israelis,” said Carol Landsman, another member of JVP-Portland.  “Torah says Justice, justice shall you pursue.”

“This conflict will continue until there is justice for Palestinians, both for those who are Israeli citizens and for those suffering under the brutal and illegal occupation,” said William Singer, another member of JVP-Portland.  “The casualties are almost certain to increase in the coming days and as Americans we must remember that it is our military aid and diplomatic cover that allows these crimes to continue.”

JVP-Portland is urging phone calls to local Representatives and Senators calling for the US to immediately pressure the Israeli government to end the brutal and deadly response to the legitimate protests by Palestinians  throughout the occupied territories and within Israel.