Young Jews Protest Israel's Offensive In Gaza, Call For End To 'Gratuitous Killing'

WASHINGTON -- As a 72-hour cease-fire between Israel and Hamas took effect on Tuesday, a group of young Jewish Americans held a protest against Israel's offensive outside the national office of the Jewish Federations of North America.
Approximately 50 protesters called on the group, which represents hundreds of affiliated organizations across North America, to condemn "the gratuitous killing of Palestinian civilians," "the bombing of U.N. schools" and "the use of live ammunition on non-violent protesters in the West Bank." In a letter delivered Tuesday to William Daroff, the Jewish Federations' senior vice president for public policy, they wrote:
We reject your organization’s promotion of the “well being of Jews worldwide” as you support a war that leaves our friends and cousins running to bomb shelters and only worsens the horrific status quo of a stateless and oppressed people, the Palestinians. Occupation and expulsion has left the Jewish community numb to the suffering of others and callous in the face of bloodshed.
The protesters, who were all dressed in black, timed the demonstration to coincide with Tisha B'Av, a day of mourning and fasting meant to commemorate the destruction of two temples in Jerusalem in ancient times. They read the names of Palestinians killed during the offensive and said a mourner's prayer while placing dozens of stones on the ground, a tradition at Jewish funerals and memorial services. When people walked by, they were handed photos of Gazans killed during the offensive.
The Jewish Federations' press spokesman said the organization declined to comment in response to the protest.