Several local groups have joined together to organize a rally to support Palestinians and call for an end to attacks by Israel in the Gaza Strip. The “Emergency Rally to End the Siege on Palestine” will begin at 5 p.m. today, May 21, on Hinds Plaza in Princeton.
The Princeton rally is being sponsored by Jewish Voices for Peace, American Muslims for Palestine-NJ, the Central Jersey Democratic Socialists of America, and the Princeton Committee on Palestine. The coalition is demanding that the Israeli government not bomb Gaza, end the eviction of Palestinians from East Jerusalem, return land they say was stolen from Palestinians by Israeli settlers in the West Bank, and allow the return of Palestinian refugees who were expelled from their homes from 1947 to 1949.
A bilateral cease-fire went into effect on Thursday night as Israel and Hamas agreed to halt nearly two weeks of fighting that has left hundreds dead and parts of the Gaza Strip reduced to rubble. More than 227 Palestinians have died, and more than 60 of the dead are children. Critical infrastructure, medical facilities, schools, and a newsroom in Gaza have been destroyed. One Israeli soldier and 12 civilians have been killed as a result of rocket attacks by Hamas.
Protest organizers say that the increasingly far-right Israeli government is bent on ethnically cleansing Palestinians from their land and eliminating all hopes for a viable Palestinian state. They say the recent escalation in violence was sparked by Israeli settlers trying to take over Palestinian homes in an East Jerusalem neighborhood.
The rally will include speakers who will talk about some of the issues that Palestinians are facing. The goal is to raise awareness and encourage people to contact their legislators about the situation.
Hundreds of faculty members and students at Princeton University signed an open letter this week condemning the continued attacks by Israeli armed forces against Palestinian people in Gaza and expressed opposition to “Jewish supremacy.”
The letter, which appeared in the Daily Princetonian student newspaper, was titled “Princeton University community statement of solidarity with the Palestinian people.”
As of Thursday, the letter had received signatures from more than 60 staff and faculty members, as well as hundreds from Princeton alumni, undergraduate and graduate students.