For immediate release
May 22, 2005

Contact: Malkie Weitz (646) 662-8802 ... hi-res photos available.


While objections from radical right allow Sharon to pose as "moderate," Israel uses "Gaza disengagement" to annex most of West Bank and all of Jerusalem.

New York -- A group of Jewish community human rights activists descended in protest on a highly-touted rally today featuring Israeli PM Ariel Sharon. Crying "Stop the mishegos [craziness], end the occupation!" the activists asked the crowd of executives of major Jewish organizations: "which of you will represent the Jews who want peace?"

"This rally doesn't show that American Jews support Sharon's bloody plan to annex the major settlements and shut Palestinians out of Jerusalem forever -- it just shows that there are 1000 American Jews with the means to put on a big show, and say they're speaking for the rest of us," said Malkie Weitz, an Israeli human rights activist based in Palestine. "Jews around the world are desperate to put an end to violence, to stop being oppressors to Palestinians. What big-politics Jewish organization will finally represent us?"

Although the rally was also protested by supporters of the extreme-right-wing settler movement, the settlers' protests are largely understood to provide PM Sharon with the latitude to label himself a "moderate" and a "peacemaker."

"Jewish and Palestinian groups, within Israel and around the world, are valiantly knocking down the walls and joining together, working together in spite of checkpoints, the destruction of Palestinian civil society, Sharon's Apartheid Wall and the Israeli military's insistence on arresting human rights activists," said Allan Rob, a protester. "That's what people who care about justice are doing. These machers are not those people."

"Outside the Sharon rally are protesters called by the Zionist Organization of America, which demands the 'transfer' of Palestinians to somewhere, anywhere away from Palestine; and Jewish-only settlement from the Jordan to the Mediterranean," said Alina Mizrachi, an American Jewish human rights activist. "Inside, cheering Sharon, are the presidents of the major Jewish organizations, which overlap mightily with the ZOA. They may disagree on strategy, but they're united in disregard for Palestinian human and civil rights, and for the growing number of Jews trying to call a halt. These are people driven by the Jewish injunction to pursue justice? It?s total mishegos!"

Scattering flyers, the protesters delivered this message to the major Jewish organizations attending the rally:

GENUG! [enough!] END THE OCCUPATION! Jewish tradition teaches us to pursue justice and stand with the oppressed. If you don't speak for justice, you don't speak for us. U.S. JEWS WANT JUSTICE FOR PALESTINE.


(Gush Katif children)