From an Aug. 22 NYC Die-In Press Release:
New York Jews Stage PENN STATION “DIE-IN”
Say to Israel and U.S.: The War Didn’t Work, Honor the Cease-Fire!
Destroying Lebanese and Palestinian societies is a crime, not a security policy
New York City – A group of more than 20 Jewish protestors staged a “Die-In” during rush hour this morning outside Penn Station, unfurling large banners and lying down on the ground to demand a cessation of continuing Israeli military aggression in Lebanon and Palestine. In a peaceful demonstration, silent protestors created a harrowing scene reflecting the large civilian death toll in Lebanon and the aftermath of war.
Coordinating with the group in New York, Jews in Los Angeles, Philadelphia and San Francisco staged similar events throughout the morning.
Participants expressed outrage at what they believe is a failed and immoral Israeli policy backed by the U.S. in Lebanon and Palestine. The burden of Israel’s U.S.-funded Israeli military action has fallen overwhelmingly on civilians and civil society, with over 1,000 Lebanese and 175 Palestinians killed since June 28 and over $3.5 billion worth of damage to Lebanese infrastructure. Protestors claimed Bush’s pledge yesterday of $350 million in aid falls dramatically short of a serious contribution to reconstruction, and does not excuse the rush to war supported by the Administration and Congress, including New York representatives.
The group included those with strong family ties to Israel, long-time American civil rights activists, and those speaking out against Israeli military action for the first time.
Mario Yedidia, a Die-In participant with family spread across Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, and Haifa said, “killing civilians, attacking government institutions and destroying the infrastructure of modern society is an immoral course of action that will ensure security for no one. Israel is unsuccessfully challenging a simple truth: no one is secure while others live in terror.”
With a recent raid by Israel inside Lebanon this weekend, and hundreds of cluster bombs scattered in civilian areas, it has become clear that Israel is not abiding by the cease-fire.
“The current ceasefire exists in words only,” insisted Rebecca Steinfeld, a Die-In participant and native New Yorker also with Israeli family in Israel. “The people of Southern Lebanon still suffer daily Israeli violence, and the Palestinian people are in their 39th year of living under Israeli occupation in the West Bank and Gaza.”
“If 5000 Israelis can demonstrate against Israel’s policies, so should I,” said long-time civil rights activist Dorothy Zellner, age 68. “There are hundreds of thousands of silent Jews who believe in justice and oppose Israeli policies and it’s time we stood up and spoke out.”
The day of coordinated actions across the country has been organized by a wide spectrum of American Jews committed to peace and justice in Palestine, Israel and the entire region.
See here for photos.