This will be the second hostage release after the truce between Israel and Hamas which came into force on November 24, was extended by two more days on Tuesday.
Around 500 individuals were detained while participating in a sit-in at the United States Congress in Washington, D.C., organized by the advocacy group Jewish Voice for Peace. This protest aimed at condemning what the demonstrators described as “Israel’s ongoing oppression of Palestinians.” On Wednesday, protesters gathered in the congressional building, many wearing shirts with the slogan “Not in our name.” They faced a significant police presence, and they sat in the lobby while displaying a banner calling for a “ceasefire.”
This act of dissent occurred amidst increasing casualties resulting from Israel’s military campaign in the besieged Gaza Strip. According to Jewish Voice for Peace, approximately 10,000 people also took to the streets in Washington, D.C. to express their support for the cause. JVP placed the blame for the conflict on what they referred to as “Israeli apartheid and occupation,” as well as the complicity of the United States in this oppression. They didn’t mention Hamas or its terrorist activities, instead focusing on the need for oppressed people to seek and achieve their freedom.
Jewish Voice for Peace and its advocacy:
JVP called for the U.S. government to take immediate action by discontinuing military funding to Israel and holding the Israeli government accountable for its alleged violations of human rights and war crimes against Palestinians. The organization also expressed support for “the latest unprecedented wave of resistance” by Palestinians on social media following the terrorist attack.
When questioned by The Forward, the organization initially showed support for a post related to the attacks but later removed its support for that particular post. JVP used language urging lawmakers to examine the “root cause” of the situation, which they believe is Israel. This approach, as reported by The Forward, allowed JVP to address the objections many have regarding attacks on civilians while keeping the focus on pressuring the Israeli government to make concessions.
It’s worth noting that JVP’s stance has faced criticism from other Jewish groups, with some labeling the movement as both anti-Semitic and traitorous.