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    Jewish Voice for Peace Staged Protest at Oakland Federal Building

    The nonprofit Berkeley-based Jewish Voice for Peace was among the organizers of a protest at the Oakland Federal Building on the evening of November 13 that lasted for several hours. Rabbi Lynn Gottlieb, one of the first women to be ordained as a rabbi in the Jewish Renewal movement, announced that she and others would not leave the building until a ceasefire was declared in the war between Israel and Hamas in Gaza. As she told KNTV, “There is no other choice. How many people do we have to kill before we arrive at a ceasefire?”

    AJ English/Screen Shot

    Security guards in the building helped workers enter and leave, but according to live news reports showing footage of the protest, they largely stood by as Rabbi Gottlieb and others staged a lengthy sit-in. By 9 pm, U.S. Department of Homeland Security police arrived and escorted the protestors out of the building. Jewish Voice for Peace wrote that dozens of people were taken into custody.

    Rabbi Lynn Gottlieb

    Earlier that day, the organization posted:

    “Right now, there’s a lot of pain and fear and grief for so many communities. We all want to feel safe, to feel beloved in our community and welcomed in the world. And right now, that’s just not the case. Not for us as Jews, not for our Muslim friends and family, and not for Palestinians and those who speak up for Palestinian freedom.

    We know that we’re most safe when we all stand together, we’re most welcomed when we stand up for the rights of others, and that we feel most cherished when others stand up for us. Which is precisely why higher walls, bigger guns, and more war-mongering can’t and won’t keep us safe. And why it’s so important that we have clarity about what is threatening our communities, and what isn’t.

    War mongers try to make it hard, but it’s actually really clear and simple: fighting for Palestinian freedom, against Islamophobia, and against antisemitism are intertwined.

    We won’t rest until we’re all safe.”

    The organization also released a statement that the U.S. is complicit “in the Israeli military’s genocide of Palestinians.” It added, “Genocide is not inevitable. It is made possible by the choices of people in power, who have the ability to stop this violence now. Actions to support the genocide of Palestinians are choices that the U.S. and Israeli regimes are making. We refuse to fall in line with their endorsement of genocidal violence. We will not rest until we get a ceasefire and justice for all Palestinians.”

    Published on November 16, 2023