Jewish Voice for Peace, a US-based organsiation of Jewish people working for a just peace in Israel and Palestine, has condemned Israel's attack and killing of members of the Freedom Flotilla aiming to bring much-needed aid to the besieged Gaza Strip.
Before the flotilla was attacked, Yigal Palmor, an Israeli foreign ministry spokesman, said: "If we let them throw egg at us, we appear stupid with egg on our face. If we try to prevent them by force, we appear as brutes," JVP reminded supporters today.
The NGO commented: "Israel has more than egg on its face. Israel has blood on its hands. At least 10 passengers have been killed by Israel and about 30 wounded in international waters. This is just another deadly escalation of Israel's harsh repression of nonviolent protests against the occupation, paid with American tax-dollars."
The White House has stated that it "deeply regrets the loss of life and injuries sustained, and is currently working to understand the circumstances surrounding this tragedy."
A Jewish Voice for Peace spokesperson declared: "This is not enough. President Barack Obama should call for an immediate lifting of the siege of Gaza. He should support an international and impartial investigation into the tragic killing of civilians in a humanitarian mission. And he should suspend military aid to Israel until he can assure the American public that our aid is not used to commit similar abuses."
Activists from both faith-based and secular organisations working for justice and peace in Palestine-Israel, say emergency protests are being organised on Monday 31 May 2010 across the United States, which has a particular policy responsibility in the region.
The demonstrations and vigils include:
* New York: 3pm, Times Square. Assemble at 47th Street and 7th Avenue. There will be a JVP banner.
* San Francisco: 12 noon. Israeli Consulate (456 Montgomery Street) and march to Union Square, Memorial Day.
* Washington DC: 3pm, assembling at the Israeli Embassy, 3514 International Drive NW and moving to the White House at 5pm.
* Seattle: 1pm. 5th Avenue and Broad Street, Seattle Center.
* Miami: 5pm-7pm, at Torch of Friendship (Downtown).
* Boston: 4pm, Park Street Station.
Additional protests are being publicised here: http://gazafreedommarch.org/cms/en/flotilla/protest.aspx
Jewish Voice for Peace (www.jvp.org) is dedicated to achieving a lasting peace that recognises the aspirations of both Israelis and Palestinians for security and self-determination.