New Yorkers Bring Messages to NYC Subways
Calling for Peace and Justice in Palestine/Israel
Many Americans have been told that the United States government sponsors a “peace process” between Israelis and Palestinians that treats both sides fairly and that peace has not yet been achieved because “both sides” continue to be intransigent, or the issues are just too thorny to solve. In fact, a principal obstacle to peace in the Middle East is the US government’s uncritical support and funding of Israeli policies.
$61.3 billion in American military aid to Israel since 1948 has not brought peace, ended violence or achieved justice. Instead, these unconditional funds and our uncritical diplomatic support have helped perpetuate an illegal occupation, violence, and collective punishment via the Gaza blockade and ongoing seizure and destruction of Palestinian land. As American Christians, Jews, Muslims and secular people, we know the occupation impacts most destructively upon the Palestinians and also negatively impacts Israelis and Americans. In addition to the illegality and unethical nature of the occupation, it also diverts our hard-earned tax dollars to a foreign government whose activities undermine our own international standing and security. Yet our government has pledged to give Israel $30 billion more in the next ten years.
We believe it is time to advance a new U.S. policy towards the Israeli-Palestinian conflict based on genuine justice, security, dignity, and equality for Palestinians and Israelis. We should call for an end to US military aid to Israel until the Israeli government’s policies comply with applicable US laws, UN resolutions and the Geneva Conventions. Furthermore, we would like to see those $30 billion be redirected to Americans right here at home to help with job creation, education, affordable housing, our environment, and our national infrastructure.
In this spirit, the “Be on Our Side-NYC” Campaign – supported and endorsed by a wide range of groups from social justice and interfaith communities – launched a month-long advertisement campaign on September 5, 2011 on the largest metro system in the United States [press release]. 25 platform poster ads in 18 subway stations in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens and Bronx feature Israelis and Palestinians who want to live together in peace with justice for themselves and their children. Outreach activities, including leafleting every day, are complementing the advertising campaign. All contributions received from the public will expand these efforts.
Our campaign comes on the heels of the Arab Spring, an inspiring uprising of citizens in the Arab world against governments that worked against their interests, dignity and security. Our actions here in the US support the efforts of numerous Palestinians and Israelis working to end the occupation through nonviolent means.
We hope this campaign will open a debate on the merits of our government’s unconditional support and “no strings attached” funding of Israeli policies of settlement and occupation. Our aim is to provide the space for constructive debate to inform, engage, and promote a more fair and effective US policy towards the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Media Contact: Donna Nevel, firstname.lastname@example.org
Read and view: NY campaign in the media
Please donate to support this campaign!
The sponsors of the “Be on Our Side-NYC” Campaign are:
Brooklyn for Peace Brooklyn For Peace is a diverse network of Brooklyn residents alarmed by the militarism of our society and its impact on our lives and the lives of people around the world. Brooklyn For Peace is committed to eliminating war and the social injustices that are its causes. Through active education on international and domestic issues, we empower our community to be a productive force in securing a peaceful future for generations to come by building a world where peace is the first response to conflict. We promote U.S. policies based not on coercion and violence, but on peace, justice, democratic advancement, human rights and respect for international law.
Fellowship of Reconciliation The Fellowship of Reconciliation is the oldest interfaith peace and justice organization in North America. Since 1915, FOR has built bridges between peoples and nations, promoting nonviolent alternatives to conflict. FOR’s “Demilitarizing Life and Land” campaign launched in 2011– its Middle East component calls for ending: the U.S. military presence in Iraq and Afghanistan; threats against Iran; operations of U.S. foreign military bases throughout the region; and the billions in aid provided to Israel. FOR believes the massive militarization of the Middle East devastates the land and people’s lives, weakening prospects for sustainable peace and increasing the possibility of regional nuclear buildup.
Jewish Voice for Peace-NY Chapter The New York City Chapter of Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP-NYC), consonant with the mission of JVP nationwide, is inspired by Jewish tradition. We support nonviolent efforts in New York and in Israel-Palestine to end Israel’s occupation and to realize a just and peaceful future for both peoples. We work in coalition with other social justice and interfaith groups, most recently in the “Be on Our Side- NYC” subway advertising campaign. We also are actively involved in a campaign aiming to compel the large financial services company TIAA-CREF to review its stock portfolio and divest from companies that profit from the occupation. JVP-NYC is a frequent partner and endorser of a range of related actions in New York.
Jews Say No! in NYC, formed during Israel’s invasion of Gaza to express our opposition to the siege of Gaza and to Israel’s oppression of the Palestinian people. We hold demonstrations and street actions with signs that include “Am I a self-hating Jew if I oppose illegal and inhumane policies of the Israeli government?” We host discussions, like Jewish Perspectives on Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions. We initiate actions, like garnering Jewish support for the Goldstone Report. We join our allies in projects–from the global BDS campaign to the U.S. Boat to Gaza. Our goals are to share our perspective and open discussion within the Jewish community and also to be an ally in the overall movement for justice in Palestine/Israel.
Peace Action Staten Island Peace Action of Staten Island PASI works to end wars and prevent new wars through education and public witness. We are a chapter of Peace Action New York State and an affiliate of Peace Action, the largest membership peace group in the United States. We work in cooperation with other peace and justice groups in our area. We are a secular, non-partisan group but our doors & assistance are available to all groups compatible with our work toward a just and unsegregated society. We provide speakers and organize forums on political, social, economic and environmental justice. We believe working for justice will lead to peace.
WESPAC WESPAC Foundation has been a leading force in Westchester County for peace and justice work for over three decades. WESPAC Foundation provides outreach and community to individuals, groups and leaders in civic and religious organizations in greater Westchester who find themselves without a voice or support system for their progressive positions. WESPAC Foundation’s purpose is to give a human face to those who would otherwise be unrecognized victims of war, injustice and environmental degradation. WESPAC Foundation connects the people of Westchester with a progressive agenda for the planet and its peoples.
Endorsers: Adalah-NY; Center for Constitutional Rights; CODEPINK NYC; Israel-Palestine Mission Network of the Presbyterian Church (USA); Jewish Voice for Peace-Westchester Chapter; National Lawyers Guild-NYC chapter; New York Collective of Radical Educators (NYCORE); Shomer Shalom Network for Jewish Nonviolence; Tree of Life Educational Foundation; Women in Black Union Square.