Saturday, July 18, 2009

Cecilie Surasky: Thinking of my Son...

I just returned from a trip to Palestine and Israel and I've never been so clear about the importance of JVP and the need to financially support our work.

Women shared with me a glimpse of what it means to be a mother in Gaza. During much of January, while I was tucking my young son safely into bed each evening in California, they were spending long, terrible nights huddled with their children in the hallways of their homes. It was Operation Cast Lead, Israel's unprecedented assault on the people of Gaza.

In the afternoons, those who could closed the curtains and turned up the volume on children's videos to keep the kids distracted from the sounds outside, the friends they had lost, or the memory of running from their house as the roof caught fire from an attack. Others struggled to feed their children. And, trapped in Gaza, none had a place to hide.

Their counterparts in the Israeli town of Sderot, enduring Qassam rockets, were doing what they could to protect their children. Those who could, fled.

No one won.

Today Gaza is suffering from an immoral and illegal blockade, and the signs of it are everywhere. Instead of making me give up, it was precisely these extraordinary women in Gaza who inspired me to redouble my efforts at JVP. I have rarely been so inspired.

This is what I learned on my trip. From Dheishah refugee camp to Tel Aviv to East Jerusalem to Gaza, people know the work of JVP. They are strengthened by it. They need us, and they were very clear - they need JVP to do more, not less. We need your financial support now to make this possible.

Especially now, when attention on the Israeli Occupation of Palestine is at an all time high, JVP is doing the heavy-lifting:

  • With JVP-organized Congressional visits happening in key districts at this very moment, we are the world's largest Jewish group calling on Congress to stop US military aid to Israel until Israel investigates war crimes committed in Gaza, and until Israel agrees to abide by U.S. and international law including withdrawing settlements.
  • From Ezra Nawi to New Profile to the Shministim and more, we are the largest American group providing ongoing support to Israel's nonviolent resistance.
  • We've challenged AIPAC at their annual meeting, and we continue to monitor the right-wing Israel Lobby's unethical tactics in silencing voices of dissent.

But we must do more. And all of our work takes money. If you haven't already, please make a donation today. We need to raise $100,000 in the next two months to maintain and expand our campaigns. Your gift of $60, $100, $250 or whatever you can give will help us reach our goal.

Thank you in advance,

Cecilie Surasky
Deputy Director
Jewish Voice for Peace

P.S Jewish Voice for Peace's goal of ending the Occupation is a long-term one. We are in this struggle for as long as it takes, and we need your help.


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