One hundred Jewish activists disrupted the annual Celebrate Israel parade in New York yesterday, calling for an end to apartheid.
Seven activists from Jewish Voices for Peace (JPC) were arrested for civil disobedience and the parade had to be stopped a number of times as activists carried banners and blocked its route.
The event was held to mark 50 years since the Israeli occupation of the West Bank, East Jerusalem, Gaza Strip, Syria's Golan Hieghts and Egypt's Sinai.
One group of activists blocked NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio and his contingent, protesting the New York Police Department collaboration with Israeli security forces.
JVP members held signs reading "Black & Palestinian Lives Matter", "NYPD & IDF collaborate to kill", and "End Israeli Apartheid." Several parade-goers and private security attacked the protesters.
We are here as… Jews to say that apartheid and occupation are nothing to celebrate and that we will not be used by the state of Israel to cover up its violent oppression of Palestinian people
said Craig Willse, one of the activists arrested in the nonviolent demonstration.
At the close of the parade, marchers were greeted by stiltwalkers with banners reading "Celebrate Ending Israeli Apartheid" and "Stop the Deadly Exchange."
There is nothing to celebrate until Palestinians have equal rights, until the occupation ends, until there is justice, dignity and equality for all people living in that land
said Rebecca Vilkomerson, executive director of Jewish Voice for Peace.