Palestinian, Jewish, and Other Local Activists Shut Down Israeli Consulate


January 15, 2009


Palestinian, Jewish, and OtherLocal Activists Shut Down Israeli Consulate

SAN FRANCISCO – A group of nine activists – Palestinian, anti-ZionistJewish, and immigrant rights activists – blocked the entrance of theIsraeli Consulate beginning at 8:30am today, in nonviolent protest ofIsraeli apartheid and its current attacks on Gaza.  The activistschained themselves together using handcuffs and locks, locked the doorsto the building, and were joined by a diverse rally of over 40supporters.  The action was organized jointly by local Palestinians andJews in support of: an immediate ceasefire; the opening of land, sea,and air borders to allow in emergency supplies; and an end to USfinancial and political support for Israel.

“For the past sixty years, Israel has tried to eliminate thePalestinian people by forcing them out of their homes and off theirlands, starving them, and killing them,” said Maria Poblet, animmigrants’ rights organizer.  “The recent blockades and attacks inGaza are not an exception, but a brutal reminder that killing civiliansis a regular part of Israeli strategy.”   

Linked arm in arm, Bay Area Jews, Palestinians and social-justiceactivists aim to increase pressure on Israel and its supporters in theface of the 21-day siege on Gaza and the growing humanitarian crisis.  All nine activists were arrested after about two hours, charged withtrespassing, and allowed to leave.  This action is one in a series thathas moved from Toronto, to New York, to Los Angeles.

Organizers assert that the current situation in Gaza is not a conflictbetween two peoples of equivalent capacities, nor is Israel’s motiveself-defense. “For the past year and a half, Israel has enactedstrangling sanctions under the guise of targeting Hamas, collectivelystarving the entire population of food, water, medicine, and othervital resources,” stated Monadel Herzallah of the United StatesPalestinian Community Network. “The recent air and ground strikes areanother brutal blow to Gazans who are already trapped in aconcentration camp of despair and growing poverty.”

Activists also spoke out against the US pledge of more than $3 billioneach year in unrestricted aid to Israel.  “Israel’s use of US aid andmilitary equipment violates our own laws.  We can choose to uphold USand international laws, or ignore them as we are now doing at the perilof our conscience and our place among all of humanity,” said NadeenElshorafa of the General Union of Palestinian Students.

Organizer Sara Kershnar of the International Jewish anti-ZionistNetwork summed up the sentiment: “Today, as Palestinians, Jews, and ourunited allies, we make our position clear: we are on one side, the sideof justice; Israel, an apartheid state, is on the other.”

Press Coverage (so far):




More photos available here.

Stay tuned for media coverage and video.

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