Jewish-led demonstrations for Gaza cease-fire see hundreds arrested at Capitol

by | Oct 19, 2023 | Religion

WASHINGTON (RNS) — Hundreds of demonstrators, most of them Jewish, have been arrested on Capitol Hill while staging a protest calling on Congress and President Joe Biden to push for a cease-fire between Israeli and Hamas forces in Gaza.The demonstrators, primarily organized by the group Jewish Voice for Peace, poured into the Cannon House Office Building on Wednesday afternoon (Oct. 18). Adorned in black shirts that read “Jews say ceasefire now,” the group was part of a larger push by an array of religious groups and secular leaders to urge the U.S. government to advocate for a cease-fire as violence continues to rage in Gaza.
The demonstrators filled the building’s rotunda, sat down and began singing, praying and chanting slogans such as “Cease-fire now!” and “Jews against genocide!” One protester led the demonstrators — which included several rabbis — in a call-and-response chant that urged Biden and Congress to “use their power” to “de-escalate Israel, to defund the occupation, to stop a potential genocide.“
The group concluded: “As people of faith (we) say: Cease-fire now! Not in our name!”
A Capitol Police spokesperson said “upwards of approximately 300 arrests” were made during the demonstration, which lasted into the evening.
The protest comes as Israel has launched airstrikes into Gaza and prepares an expected ground assault in response to a wave of attacks by Hamas militants into sout …

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