MO Groups in DC for Today's Palestinian-Israeli Peace March
In the wake of a significant protest by Jewish people supporting Palestinian rights last week, thousands are set to assemble on Capitol Hill today, including some from Missouri.
At a recent demonstration in Brooklyn, New York, the group Jewish Voice for Peace Action reported more than 50 arrests, including an 81-year-old peace advocate. The group, including Missourians and activists from across the nation, is in Washington, D.C., today.
Rachel Evans, a member of Jewish Voice for Peace Action-Michigan, said in their view, the U.S. must stop sending weapons.
"Choose cease-fire, not genocide," Evans urged. "As Jews, we say, 'Never again, for anyone.' The Israeli government is dehumanizing Palestinians, calling them 'animals,' and our government is repeating this information."
A Marist poll found 63% of Americans in its survey said they Jewish Voice for Peace but there are generational and racial divides.
In Congress, Rep. Cori Bush, D-Mo., put forward a resolution calling on President Joe Biden to seek a cease-fire in Israel and occupied areas of Palestine. A bipartisan resolution would give Israel free rein to continue bombing Gaza.
Michael Wolfe, chapter organizer for Jewish Voice for Peace, said he is disappointed by the current dialogue.
"Genocide is supposedly happening in the name of Jewish people, and I'm a U.S. Jew," Wolfe noted. "I say, 'Not in my name.'"
Wolfe thinks Jews and Palestinians could find ways to connect and better understand each other.
"In this moment, the work that CAIR and others are doing is so important," Wolfe emphasized. "Because there's just an attempt to criminalize Palestinians across the board, and that's just racism at its finest."
Amy Doukoure, staff attorney for the Council on American Islamic Relations-Michigan, said in the protests, that it is important for people to know their rights, regardless of which side of the debate they are on.
"Students in public school, whether it's K-12 school or whether it's colleges and universities, have the full rights of their First Amendment," Doukoure pointed out. "So long as they're exercising their rights to free speech in a way that is not disruptive."
Doukoure stressed political speech on social media is protected, except for threats, which remain a criminal offense.
The Missouri Public News Service is a partner with KRCU Public Radio.