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Jewish groups protest at U.S. Capitol, demand Gaza ceasefire

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Wednesday, October 18, 2023   

In Washington, D.C., today, American Jews from Pennsylvania and across the country are converging on the U.S. Capitol to call for an end to the war in Gaza.

It has been more than a week since Hamas attacked Israel.

Rachel Kipnes, student rabbi at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College and member of the Jewish Voice for Peace rabbinical council, said she is one of about two dozen rabbis from Pennsylvania participating in the protest, to demand peace in Gaza.

She explained they are opposed to waging war against the people of Gaza, most of whom are not affiliated with Hamas.

"To show our solidarity for the demand for a cease-fire now, an immediate end to the war in Gaza," Kipnes explained. "We are going as rabbis to counter the false argument that anti-Zionism is anti-Semitism."

Kipnes pointed out they agree with the cease-fire demand by members of Congress. She added thousands of Jews also gathered outside the White House on Monday, calling for an end to the violence. A Marist poll found 63% of Americans said they favor the U.S. showing public support for Israel but 79% said they fear the war will lead to a larger Middle East conflict.

As the protest at the Capitol plays out, President Joe Biden is in Israel to show solidarity. Kipnes noted they have a message to President Biden, to "end military support" to Israel.

"Today especially, we are gathering our voices as rabbis to tell President Joe Biden that we disagree with his support of the fascist government of Israel," Kipnes asserted. "We're ready for him to listen to the rising majority of Jewish folks who disagree with the escalation in Gaza today."

She added military equipment being used is paid for and made on U.S. soil. Kipnes emphasized the attack by Hamas has already resulted in the death of the thousands of people, and the violence will continue to escalate without a cease-fire.

Disclosure: Jewish Voice for Peace Action contributes to our fund for reporting on Civic Engagement, Human Rights/Racial Justice, International Relief, and Social Justice. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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