Among the growing number of demonstrations which are multiplying across the world today in defense of Gaza was one in front of the White House, organized by Jewish Voice for Peace. Eighteen “Jewish elders,” all women, chained themselves to the White House gates just a few hours before President Biden had scheduled a Hanukkah party there. Young activists there in support of JVP’s protest filmed it, reporting that the purpose of this protest was to make clear that it is not just young Jewish Americans who oppose this war, but American Jews “of all ages.” According to Associated Press’s report, the women came from D.C., California and New York City.
While Secret Service police eventually cut their chains and led each away from the White House gates, giving them citations and letting them go without immediate arrest, that was not the case for some 50 among more than 100 young people who demonstrated inside the Hart Senate Office today. About half of these young protesters were ultimately arrested. The focus of that protest, led by the U.S. Campaign for Palestinian Rights, Jewish Voice for Peace, Adalah Justice Project, and others, was to deliver the message to Senators, who were debating the military aid supplemental today: “Aid to Israel = Bombing Palestinians.” That was the message of one of their two giant banners. The other banner read simply: “The People Choose Life.” Their demand was an immediate ceasefire in Gaza, and a stop to the weapons flow to Israel, using those funds instead for domestic priorities such as affordable housing and childcare.
U.K.’s Daily Mail was impressed that three demonstrations demanding “ceasefire now” had disrupted business-as-usual in Washington, D.C. The third was held in front of the White House, not far from the “Jewish elders.” These protesters laid down on the ground under white sheets with fake blood all over them and baby dolls, in a demand to “stop the collective punishment in Gaza.”