A congregation of about 40 people from the Jewish Women for Justice in Israel/Palestine joined together on Tuesday for Occupy Boston — Not Palestine to protest U.S. support of Israeli military presence in Palestine.
The demonstration and march was hosted in part by Occupy Boston, whose campsite of ‘Occupods’ is inhabiting Dewey Square.
The U.S. spends more than $8 million in taxes on military aid and support to Israel per day, according to the JWJIP. At least 6,430 Palestinians and 1,084 Israelis have been killed in the conflict between the two since Sept. 29, 2000.
Anna Shenk, one of the organizers of the demonstration, said she came to give presence and voice to the Palestinians.
“I lived in Jordan for two years, working to provide food and clothing to Palestinian refugees,” Shenk said. “I learned firsthand what being chased out of your home does to you, no matter who you are, and it’s outrageous.”
Nancy Murray, of Boston, said she agrees that the occupation of Palestine has gone on for far too long.
“Americans, open your eyes,” she said. “It’s because of your tax dollars that Israel occupies Palestine. We pay $8 million in military aid for Israel to do whatever the hell it wants.”
Marguerite Rosenthal, of Boston, said that there are rising concerns about how the new Middle East would treat the U.S. and its support of Israel.
“New regimes in the Middle East will not be subservient to the U.S., like previous regimes were,” Rosenthal said.
Other protestors, such as Alan Meyers, said they were fighting to raise awareness about an issue that about “99 percent of the countries in the world” were supporting.
To Meyers, the issue was both political and personal.
As an active member of Jewish Men for Justice and a participant of the Campaign for Justice for 12 years and counting, he said his friends and he came down because “many issues that are relevant to Occupy Boston are also relevant to Occupy Boston — Not Palestine.”
“Decisions are made by a minority on issues of justice that concern a majority,” Meyers said. “Almost every country except Israel and the U.S. are with us right now.”
Murray said she agreed that issues of justice were being mishandled. For her, the occupation is about the misuse of resources that could be redirected, she said.
“We need to build houses in the U.S. instead of destroying houses in Palestine,” Murray said. “The occupation has gone on for so long because the U.S. vetoed 41 valid UN Security Council resolutions. They’ve given Israel the green light to abuse human rights.”
Many protestors at the demonstration were concerned with the issue of violating human rights. Anne Glick, a demonstrator from Newton, said that the violation of human rights was “outrageous” as Israel builds a fence to keep in the Palestinians.
“What the U.S. is doing is taking away human rights,” she said. “The U.S. has to stop giving aid to Israel. $8 million of our tax dollars every day go to stop the Palestinians from living correctly.”