Rabbi Alissa Wise, along with other Jewish American peace activists, is taking a stand against the ongoing Israeli siege and bombing campaign in Gaza. As her social media feed is filled with devastating images of dead Palestinian children and destruction, she feels a deep sense of grief and horror. She cannot ignore the suffering endured by the civilians in Gaza, who have faced two weeks of relentless attacks resulting in the deaths of over 4,600 Palestinians, including 1,900 children.
Wise, a member of Jewish Voice for Peace, has channeled her emotions into action, raising her voice and calling for an urgent ceasefire. She is not alone in her efforts. Thousands of Jews and allies recently marched on Capitol Hill, demanding an end to the violence and holding Palestinian flags as a symbolic act of solidarity. During the demonstration, activists blew shofars, shared testimonials from Palestinians in Gaza, and called for the US government to stop providing aid to Israel, which they believe enables the mass murder of Palestinians.
The protest resulted in the arrest of over 355 activists, most of them Jewish, who are determined to bring attention to the plight of Palestinians. Their message is clear: more civilian deaths will not solve the conflict with Hamas. In their pursuit of justice and peace, these activists draw from the lessons of history. As descendants of Holocaust survivors, they refuse to stay silent in the face of inflammatory language used by Israeli officials, recognizing the dangerous path it can lead to.
The Jewish American activists, aligned with organizations such as IfNotNow, are committed to the fundamental principle of “never again” for anyone. They reject the notion that Jewish safety should come at the expense of Palestinian lives and advocate for equality and justice for all. In addition to their physical demonstrations, they are engaging with the media, organizing petition drives, and coordinating campaigns to reach elected officials and news organizations.
It remains to be seen if these efforts will bring about the desired change, but these Jewish activists are resolute in their determination to stand up for the rights of Palestinians and to prevent further loss of life. Their rallying cry echoes throughout their community: it is all of us or none of us.