In a peaceful demonstration, hundreds of Jewish activists in New York have occupied the Statue of Liberty, demanding an immediate ceasefire in Gaza and an end to what they describe as Israel’s devastating attacks on Palestinian civilians.
Wearing black T-shirts with slogans like “Jews demand ceasefire now” and “Not in our name,” the protesters displayed banners reading “The whole world is watching” and “Palestinians should be free” at the base of the iconic Statue of Liberty.
Organized by Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP), the gathering was inspired by the words of 19th-century activist Emma Lazarus, whose poem “New Colossus” is engraved on the statue’s base, welcoming immigrants to the United States.
New York City, known for its diverse population, has been witnessing competing pro-Israel and pro-Palestinian demonstrations in recent weeks. While tensions have risen, the city has remained relatively peaceful.
Within the Jewish community, there is a vocal liberal segment critical of Israel’s actions, accusing the country of perpetrating “genocide” in Gaza. This group also condemns President Joe Biden’s military and diplomatic support for Israel. Tens of thousands of demonstrators, including many from JVP, gathered in Washington to demand an immediate Gaza ceasefire and protest US policies supporting Israel. In late October, protesters occupied Grand Central station with similar demands, and pro-Palestinian activists, including members of US Jewish organizations, shut down the Brooklyn Bridge in a separate demonstration. The diverse voices within the Jewish community reflect the complexity of opinions on the issue.