Jewish Women Occupy Israeli Consulate
January 7, 2009
A group of eight Jewish-Canadian women successfully occupied the Israeli Consulate in Toronto today. They were arrested, held in a police wagon for about an hour and then released with no charges. Despite some physical violence on the part of the Israeli Consulate security staff, the protesters left uninjured. At least 50 supporters rallied outside the consulate in a show of solidarity. The action was in protest against the on-going Israeli assault on the people of Gaza.
Most of the women had never been arrested before. "We felt so strongly about protesting this terrible violence against the Palestinian people" said Smadar Carmon, "that we decided to take extraordinary action. We hope others, Jews and non-Jews will follow our lead and speak out against the Israeli massacres, the on-going siege and in solidarity with the people of Gaza."
The group carried out this occupation in solidarity with the 1.5 million people of Gaza and to ensure that Jewish voices against the massacre in Gaza are being heard. They entered the consulate to demand that Israel end its military assault and lift the 18-month siege on the Gaza Strip to allow humanitarian aid into the territory. The occupation was peaceful, but disrupted the work of the consul for the day.
Israel has been carrying out a full-scale military assault on the Gaza Strip since December 27, 2008. At least 700 people have been killed and over 3000 injured in the air strikes and ground invasion that began on January 3, 2009. Yesterday, the Israeli army attacked a UN school, killing at least 30 people, including several children. Israel has ignored international calls for a ceasefire and is refusing to allow food, medical supplies and other necessities of life into the Gaza Strip.
Protesters and their supporters are outraged at Israel's latest assault on the Palestinian people and by the Canadian government's refusal to condemn these massacres. They are deeply concerned that Canadians are hearing the views of pro-Israel groups who are being represented as the only voice of Jewish Canadians. The protesters occupied the consulate to send a clear statement that many Jewish-Canadians do not support Israel and its violence and apartheid policies. They join with people of conscience across the world who are demanding an end to Israeli aggression and justice for the Palestinian people.For more information contact