PRESS RELEASE
For Immediate Release

Press Contact: Ethan Heitner (347) 651-8853

Monday, January 19, 2008

PHOTOS & VIDEO:  http://tinyurl.com/MLK-JATO

Thousands of drivers heading south on the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway on Monday morning saw a series of banners proclaiming Jewish support for Palestine. The banners, hung by New Yorkers from the organization Jews Against the Occupation read: JEWS SAY: FREE GAZA, FREE PALESTINE, STOP ISRAEL!

"Over 1300 people in Gaza have been killed by the Israeli military in the last four weeks, and 5,000 more just in the last eight years of occupation. Israel is not moving toward peace as it claims; it's destroying the fabric of Palestinian society" said Hannah Weintraub of Jews Against the Occupation. "Israel's war crimes make peace increasingly remote."

"It's important now, when Israel has decided that it is finished massacring Palestinians in Gaza, that we reaffirm that this war was a symptom of a much larger problem," said Zelda Jackson, a JATO/NYC activist. "Zionism has always been predicated on violence towards Palestinians, and it is not until Zionism ends that all the people of historic Palestine can be free."

Israel's latest attack lasted four weeks. It claimed mostly civilian lives, caused an untold number of wounded and billions of dollars of destruction of civil infrastructure in an already ravaged Gaza Strip. The newly-declared ceasefire remains precarious as long as Israel refuses to negotiate with Hamas or lift the siege on Gaza.

"Jews can't stand by as Israel commits these crimes in our name," said JATO/NYC activist Jacob Kurtzberg. "Martin Luther King taught that we could not wait for civil rights and equality to be handed to us. In New York and in Palestine, we've learned that can't wait for our governments to object to these wrongs -- it's up to us to raise the alarm."

The banner drops come after Jews across North America and Europe have shown their opposition to Israel's latest war, as well as its ongoing military occupation of the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem and denial of Palestinian refugees right to return home. Jewish groups have held sit-ins at Israeli consulates in Toronto, Los Angeles, and San Francisco; participated actively in the many demonstrations calling for an immediate end to the bombing and invasion of Gaza; and joined the worldwide campaign for boycott, divestment and sanctions on Israel until Palestinian rights under international law are respected.

Another banner was dropped during morning rush hour on Friday January 16th in New York City, near the U.S.S. Intrepid, calling for an end to Israel's war on Gaza.
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