Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Gloria Steinem, Desmond Tutu & others Stand up for Palestinian Rights

"A diverse group of celebrities, artists, and activists that includes American Jews and Palestinians are speaking out for Palestinian human rights in a video released online today. The video is a first of its kind expression of support for Palestinian freedom, equality and justice and features celebrities such as Chuck D, Jonathan Demme, Gloria Steinem, Wallace Shawn, Tony Kushner, Mira Nair, Roger Waters, Brian Eno, and others holding signs with the names and ages of Palestinian civilians recently killed by the Israeli military in Gaza.

“The Israeli leaders seem sincere when they say they believe that their actions are appropriate. Apparently, one of ‘us’ is worth many more of ‘them,’” said actor and playwright Wallace Shawn, who provides the voice-over narration for the video. “American leaders know they are lying when they defend the murder of children in their beds. And we, the public, pay for the bombs, pay for the airplanes, and pretend not to notice what’s going on.”
As Israel continues its assault against the occupied, besieged, and blockaded Gaza Strip, which has killed more than 1,000 Palestinians since July 7, most of them civilians, a growing number of global citizens of conscience feel compelled to speak out against Israel’s disproportionate attack on the Palestinian people. In addition to those featured in this video, a growing number of celebrities have been speaking out via social media about the horrors we are witnessing in Gaza, as reported recently by BuzzFeed and The Hollywood Reporter.
“We wanted to provide a platform for the growing list of prominent individuals who are outraged by Israel’s brutal violence against Gaza’s civilian population,” said Rebecca Vilkomerson, executive director of Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP), an organization that co-produced the video. “Our message is that securing freedom and justice for Palestinians is the only pathway to a lasting peace.”

“This is a scream on paper. This is a wail,” said playwright Eve Ensler, one of the artists featured in the video. “There are no more words. Only this moment where we rise against the illegal and deathly occupation of Palestine, against mass slaughter of the defenseless, against the complicit silence of the international community, against the military might and arrogance of the Israeli and the U.S. governments who choose annihilation over justice and love.”

"My family was forced to flee our beloved Jerusalem in 1948 and every day since then, we have longed for freedom,” said Nina Saah, an 83-year-old Nakba survivor featured in the video. “What is happening in Gaza breaks my heart all over again. And yet I am so moved by all those who have come together in this video and the outpouring of support I am seeing for Palestinians. It gives me hope that the people of the world will be the ones to change our situation and that freedom and justice will come."

Participants in the video include:

Feminist icon Gloria Steinem

Hip hop legend Chuck D (Public Enemy)

Actor and playwright Wallace Shawn (Toy Story, Princess Bride, My Dinner With Andre)

Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright and screenwriter Tony Kushner

Vagina Monologues' Eve Ensler

Academy Award-winning director Jonathan Demme (The Silence of the Lambs, Philadelphia)

Pink Floyd founder, rock legend Roger Waters

Singer, composer, former member of Roxy Music Brian Eno

Political activist, scholar and author Angela Davis

Academy Award nominated director Mira Nair (Monsoon Wedding, The Reluctant Fundamentalist)

Filmmaker Ken Loach

Palestinian ‘Project Runway’ All Star Rami Kashou

 Nobel peace laureates Desmond Tutu, Rigoberta Menchu, Jody Williams and Adolfo Pérez Esquivel

Journalist, activist, writer Raj Patel

No Logo and Shock Doctrine author Naomi Klein

Palestinian comedians and actors Maysoon Zayyid, Najla Said

Theater director, writer, actor André Gregory

Palestinian artist and filmmakers Emily Jacir, Annemarie Jacir, Remi Kanazi, Cherien Dabis

Filmmaker Pratibha Parmar

Short-story writer Deborah Eisenberg

Athlete, model and actress Aimee Mullins

Political humorist Kate Clinton
LGBT rights activist Urvashi Vaid

Singer Holly Near
Cartoonist and creator of The Bechdel Test, Alison Bechdel

Former NBA player Detlef Schrempf

Attorney Michael Ratner

Palestinian hip hop group DAM

Israeli filmmaker Udi Aloni

Palestinian legal experts Diana Buttu, Noura Erakat
Nakba survivor Nina Saah

To view the video online visit
Freedom4Palestine.org where new photographs are being posted daily."

Jewish Voice for Peace

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