The last few days have been a rollercoaster — let me tell you a bit about it.
Over the past two weeks, like so many people around the world, I couldn’t tear myself away from the terrible violence against Palestinians. I couldn’t stop scrolling through the images and videos of families being massacred by airstrikes, worshippers being attacked in one of the holiest sites for Muslims in the world, children being arrested, entire residential buildings being bombed to the ground, tens of thousands being forced from their homes, hundreds of people killed, and thousands wounded.
Last week in Toronto I organized fellow Jewish community members and allies to stand up with me in solidarity with Palestinians. We felt a need to respond not only to the Israeli government’s militarized violence but also to the Canadian government’s complicity in it — through its diplomatic support, the Canada-Israel arms trade, and allowing the Israeli embassy to go so far as to illegally recruit Canadians to join the Israeli military.
It felt like the type of rare moment where everyone was seeing the horrific violence of a military superpower for what it was and we had to drop everything to take action.
On Friday we gathered outside the Israeli consulate in Toronto and spilled a river of blood (washable paint) from the building’s doors right down to the street. We made the bloodshed from Israel’s brutal occupation, military attacks, and ethnic cleansing in Gaza and across historic Palestine visible right on the consulate’s doorstep.
We knew we had made a powerful statement but we did not expect the deluge of media. Our protest was covered in dozens of local, national, and international outlets, and translated into many languages. In this CTV news article Israel’s Consul General was even forced to go on the defensive and answer to why a river of blood was coming out of her office.
On Friday night an interview with me was broadcast on the evening TV and radio news by Canada’s national public broadcaster. Here’s a clip.
And right when things were starting to calm down on Saturday evening, we found out the Toronto police were pressing charges on Rabbi David Mivasair.
I was honoured to stand beside Rabbi David on the steps of the Israeli consulate on Friday morning as this longtime solidarity activist and member of Independent Jewish Voices powerfully shared how his Judaism is a part of his resistance (watch this clip filmed live at the consulate). The coverage of his arrest has put the story of our solidarity action all over the media again.
We know Rabbi David’s arrest is an attempt to stifle solidarity with Palestine. Help us make sure this backfires by giving the movement for a #FreePalestine even more press! Please share this post on twitter and on facebook.
We’d love to help you organize similarly powerful actions where you are — simply reply to this email to get in touch.
We also need your help to make sure we can continue to take the bold actions like these that push the antiwar movement forward in those key moments where new things are possible.
Actions like what we did on Friday take organizers. They take ongoing skill-building and training with local activists. They take connecting with legal resources, media strategizing, and building our own power so we can take on powerful institutions, be they government, military, or weapons manufacturers.
That’s why I’m asking you to concretely support us now by giving what you can.
As I was quoted saying in this CBC article, “I come to my solidarity with Palestinians very much as a Jewish person, also as a parent and as a human who will not stand by and allow this to happen.” I feel incredibly fortunate to work somewhere where I can bring my full self to my organizing, and also where I can take risks and mobilize others in struggles for justice and against violence — and where I know that my colleagues and the whole World BEYOND War movement has my back.
Thanks for your solidarity and for all that you do.
Canada Organizer, World BEYOND War
25 May 2021