New York, NY, November 27, 2012: This morning, over 50 New Yorkers braved the chilly rain for a solemn march in front of the iconic General Electric Building at the heart of Rockefeller Plaza in commemoration of those killed by the assault on Gaza that ended in a cease fire on November 21st. Surrounded by preparations for the holiday season, the protesters, accompanied by the haunting music of the Rude Mechanical Orchestra, read the names and ages of all the people killed in the assault in the mic check style popularized by the Occupy Movement. The protesters called for divestment from General Electric, which provides the Israeli military with the engines for the F-16s and Apache helicopters used in the recent aerial bombardments of Gaza.
Riham Barghouti from Adalah-NY, explains: “Our protest against General Electric is a direct response to the call by Palestinian civil society to redouble our boycott, divestment and sanctions efforts in response to Israel’s latest attack on Gaza. GE, and a number of other United States companies, are complicit in Israeli violations of international law and Palestinian human rights and as such must be held accountable by people of conscience.”
General Electric is also in the portfolio of pension-fund provider TIAA-CREF, which the growing national We Divest campaign is calling on to divest from companies that profit from Israel’s occupation.
Rebecca Vilkomerson, the director of Jewish Voice for Peace, said, “It was very moving to read the name of each person killed in the assault on Gaza and thus highlight the human cost of Israel’s policies.”
"GE engines have been used in Israeli Helicopters and F16s to inflict indiscriminate violence against Palestinians in Gaza, resulting in death and destruction. As American Jews, we believe it is critically important to participate in the movement for justice in Palestine/Israel and join in the boycott of all GE products," asserted Ray Wofsy of Jews Say No!
Israel still controls the air space, commerce, and water and electricity supplies in Gaza, as well as outlets to the Mediterranean Sea. This siege of Gaza is condemned by a majority of the world’s nations. Notwithstanding that the U.S. is obliged to uphold principles of international law, it contributes $3 billion from our tax money every year to support the Israeli military and to perpetuate the unlawful siege of Gaza.
The latest Israeli assault on Gaza left at least 170 Palestinians dead and 1000 injured, and six Israelis dead and dozens injured. Gaza’s infrastructure was extensively damaged.
The protest was cosponsored by Jewish Voice for Peace-NY, Adalah-NY, Jews Say No!, NYU Students for Justice in Palestine, Columbia Students for Justice in Palestine, Granny Peace Brigade, Women In Black Union Square, Peace Action of New York State.