Press Release: Communal Wake for Palestinians and Israelis
Door oy veyPRESS RELEASE
Amsterdam, Jan. 20, 2024 – Dozens of Palestinians and Israelis deeply concerned about the war in Gaza are gathering for a joint vigil in front of the Stopera in Amsterdam. They are calling for an immediate cease-fire, an end to mass violence against Palestinian civilians, and mutual empathy and recognition.
For the organizers, all with Palestinian or Israeli origins and living in the Netherlands, it is clear that the war the Israeli government is waging in Gaza must come to an immediate end. In an open letter in the Parool, they called on the Dutch government to actively work for a cease-fire. Inspired by peace initiatives inside and outside Israel, they are now joining forces with the progressive Jewish organization Oy Vey, the Netherlands Palestine Network, and gate48 for a vigil. The vigil centers on Palestinian and Israeli voices for a common way forward. Anyone concerned about the war is invited to join.
‘We are all affected by the terrible Hamas attack of October 7 and the taking of more than two hundred people as hostages. That the attack is being used as legitimacy for the killing of more than twenty thousand men, women, and children in the Gaza Strip is intolerable for us. We are all the more disheartened by the genocidal rhetoric against Palestinians that we repeatedly hear from members of the Israeli government. The Israeli government prefers revenge against Palestinians to the safe return of the hostages. By its refusal to end the occupation, provide justice and reparations to Palestinians, the Israeli government repeatedly endangers its own people,’ said Zohar Ianovici.
‘I am a Palestinian with Israeli citizenship. I lost family members in Gaza and I feel the suffering of my family and friends in Israel. The current situation is heartbreaking, and there is no justification for it. The only way forward is talking to each other, building bridges: that is in my DNA. I strive for equality and justice for all who live between the river and the sea, regardless of their religion, ethnicity, color, gender or sexuality. We all deserve peace and justice, and we speak out for that,” Sliman Abu Amara added.
The organizers strongly reiterate their earlier call on the Dutch government to press for a cease-fire. In addition, they demand the release of all Israeli hostages and Palestinian political prisoners, an end to the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and the siege of Gaza, and negotiations for a peaceful future for all the region’s residents.
Lilit Zeltsburg, Oy Vey:
‘Millions of Israelis and Palestinians deserve better than this. The occupation is the greatest threat to Israeli democracy. More than that, the destructive violence against Palestinians also affects our humanity. But the reality is that those millions of people are not going anywhere at all. We need a vision for a common future, for peace, freedom, and justice. By standing for this together, we are living proof that this vision exists.