Yom Kippur, 2011 (5772): Call-to-Action by the International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network
In solidarity with political prisoners and those facing mass incarceration across Palestine, the US and the world…
As we welcome the Jewish new year, we look back at the year behind us to address our complicity in the many injustices of our time by recommitting to our collective responsibility for justice and humanity. In particular, we reflect on the common plight and struggle of political prisoners and the many people across the world whose dignity is denied and liberty is threatened by mass incarceration and military blockades.
We are inspired in our struggle for justice by the sacrifice and courage of so many in the year behind us – the late Troy Anthony Davis, the Georgia prison strikers, Mumia Abu Jamal, Ahmad Sa’adat, Leonard Peltier, the people of Gaza confined to an open-air prison – and in front of us: the Palestinian prisoners and those jailed at Pelican Bay State Prison and other California prisons on hunger strike and carrying out civil disobedience in defense of the most basic of dignity and rights.
On September 30, 2011, Palestinians across occupied Palestine – from the West Bank to the State of Israel to Gaza – put out a call for solidarity with Palestinian political prisoners. On this Yom Kippur, Friday, October 7, we Jews of conscience, in response to this call, intend to extend our fast of atonement and take action to demand:
- An end to the isolation of Ahmad Sa’adat – General Secretary of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine;
- A meeting of the demands of the civil disobedience and hunger strike of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli occupation prisons;
- An end to the death penalty in the United States and all other places it remains a State practice
- A meeting of the demands of the hunger strike at California state prisons
- An end to the Israeli blockade on Gaza and unconditional and permanent opening of the Rafah crossing
Israel now holds approximately 6,000 political prisoners, who are subjected to torture, humiliation, and solitary confinement. Many of these prisoners have never been tried, but are held in “administrative detention,” and many are children under age 16. Palestinian prisoners in Israeli occupation prisons began an open-ended hunger strike on September 27, 2011, demanding an end to the isolation of Palestinian prisoner and national leader Ahmad Sa’adat, an end to isolation for all Palestinian political prisoners, and an end to the policies of repression and humiliation against visitors to the prisoners, including denial of family visits and visitors being stopped, searched and impeded at Israeli occupation checkpoints.The prisoners are also demanding an end to abuse and humiliation of prisoners while they are transferred from one prison to another, as well as their right to an education.
We stand with these political prisoners and prisoners of conscience all around the world who are imprisoned unjustly, and unjustly treated.
We stand with people all over the world whose daily lives are terrorized and unjustly controlled by policing and incarceration.
In recognition of the centrality of the struggles of those confined in Israeli occupation prisons, at Pelican Bay and in Gaza to our collective struggles for liberation, on this Yom Kippur the International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network call on Jews of conscience to commit to fasting for 48 hours, from Thursday October 6 at sundown, to Saturday, October 8 at sundown. In addition, we invite all those in solidarity with political prisoners, prisoners of conscience and people facing incarceration across the world, to join us to take the following actions:
- Send an email to the International Committee of the Red Cross to urge them to exercise their responsibilities and act swiftly to demand that the Israelis ensure that Ahmad Sa’adat and all Palestinian prisoners are freed from punitive isolation: email@example.com
- Sign the petition to meet the demands of the prisoners at Pelican Bay and other prisons.
- Sign the petition for the unconditional and permanent opening of the Rafah Crossing
- Contact us to participate or coordinate actions on Friday, October 7 at Israeli consulates in solidarity with the call from Palestinians in Israeli occupation prisons and in Gaza: firstname.lastname@example.org
In participating in Yom Kippur or in solidarity with the call from Palestine and Pelican Bay, we the undersigned agree to participate in the actions above and pledge to fast for 24 hours (from Thursday evening, October 6 to Friday evening, October 7) or for 48 hours (from Thursday evening, October 6-Saturday evening, October 8). Click here to sign!