A diverse group of Jewish Canadian women are currently occupying the Israeli consulate at 180 Bloor Street West in Toronto. This action is in protest against the on-going Israeli assault on the people of Gaza.
The group is carrying out this occupation in solidarity with the 1.5 million people of Gaza and to ensure that Jewish voices against the massacre in Gaza are being heard. They are demanding that Israel end its military assault and lift the 18-month siege on the Gaza Strip to allow humanitarian aid into the territory.
Israel has been carrying out a full-scale military assault on the Gaza Strip since December 27, 2008. At least 660 people have been killed and 3000 injured in the air strikes and in the ground invasion that began on January 3, 2009. Israel has ignored international calls for a ceasefire and is refusing to allow food, adequate medical supplies and other necessities of life into the Gaza Strip.
Protesters are outraged at Israel′s latest assault on the Palestinian people and by the Canadian government′s refusal to condemn these massacres. They are deeply concerned that Canadians are hearing the views of pro-Israel groups who are being represented as the only voice of Jewish Canadians. The protesters have occupied the consulate to send a clear statement that many Jewish-Canadians do not support Israel′s violence and apartheid policies. They are joining with people of conscience all across the world who are demanding an end to Israeli aggression and justice for the Palestinian people.
The group includes: Judy Rebick, professor; Judith Deutsch, psychoanalyst and president of Science for Peace; B.H. Yael, filmmaker; Smadar Carmon, an Canadian Israeli peace activist and others.
Spokespersons for the group will be outside the Israeli consulate.
For more information contact:
Dr. Miriam Garfinkle
Eight Jewish Canadian women who were arrested while holding a protest inside the Israeli consulate have been released.
The RCMP arrested and handcuffed the women, who were staging a sit-in protest against the ongoing Israeli assault on Gaza inside the consulate at 180 Bloor St. W. The women were held briefly inside a paddy wagon, but were not charged and were released.
Included in the group were Israeli peace activists, filmmakers, the president of Science for Peace and a variety of students.
“Israel purports to represent all Jews worldwide and these atrocities are not being committed in our name,” said spokesperson and filmmaker Cathy Gulkin, standing outside of the consulate.
Gulkin said the women entered the secure consulate on the seventh floor of the building two by two around 10 a.m.
She said the point of the protest was to draw attention to the fact that not all members of Toronto’s Jewish community support the agenda of the Israeli government.
“There are Jews that do not follow the Israeli line and are sickened by what is happening in Gaza.”
Outside of the consulate a group of more than thirty supporters carried signs saying “People of Gaza you are not alone” and “Toronto Coalition to stop the war.”
They shouted slogans “No justice, no peace,” “Jewish women not in our name” and “Stop the violence.”