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Anti-Zionist Jews say: “Not in our name”

By Meredith Aby-Keirstead |
August 6, 2014
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Minneapolis, MN - About 40 progressive Jews and others gathered outside the offices of the Minneapolis Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC), Aug. 5, to challenge JCRC’s conflation of Zionism and Judaism.

The organizers’ statement explained, “The Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) has directed the narrative in the Twin Cities for far too long, making it nearly impossible for people who are outraged by the current massacre in Gaza, and the ongoing oppression of Palestinians, to speak up without being labeled ‘anti-Semitic’. Join Jews of conscience and others in the community as we hold a ritual action in front of the JCRC. We hold the JCRC accountable for its condoning of human rights abuses, and we challenge the misconception that Zionism is Judaism… We will express our outrage at the racist colonial State of Israel, and the local organizations that promote and condone Israel's actions!”

The action was held on Tisha B'av, which is a Jewish fast day marking the destruction of the Temples and other tragedies throughout Jewish history. Protesters mourned the destruction of Gaza, the ongoing ethnic cleansing of Palestinians and the deprivation of Palestinians' human rights.

Participants read the names, ages, and cities for the Palestinians killed in this recent conflict, said a mourner’s kaddish for all the Palestinians who have died in Israel’s latest assault on Gaza and closed by ripping black cloth.

The protesters wore black and were somber. Some protesters carried signs that read “Victory to Gaza” and others had signs from Jewish Voices for Peace that said “Jews oppose Israel’s war on civilians”.