More than 5000 people rallied on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol on Sunday, June 10th to call for an end to the 40 year Israeli Occupation of the Palestinian Territories of East Jerusalem, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. They represented over 300 organizations from around the country including Grassroots International—Grassroots’ Executive Director Nikhil Aziz participated in the rally. The organizations ranged from faith-based groups and labor unions to civil rights, students’, women’s and lesbian and gay groups. They demanded that the U.S. government act to bring about a lasting and just peace and an end to the occupation and conflict.
The rally and the march to the White House were jointly convened by the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation (of which Grassroots International is a member) and United for Peace and Justice (a national coalition of more than 1,300 organizations that is the lead coordinator of the anti-war movement today). Similar actions were held around the world in Asia, Latin America, Africa and Europe, and in the Occupied Palestinian Territories and Israel.
As Hosam El-Nounou, from Grassroots’ partner the Gaza Community Mental Health Program reminded the gathering, “Freeing Palestine is not just freeing Palestinians it is freeing Israelis and everyone everywhere. It’s our mutual responsibility to act to end the occupation and work for justice.” Today, hundreds of activists are doing just that by meeting House and Senate members to demand a change in U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East. Around the world, activists are similarly calling on their governments to end support of Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian Territories and to work towards a just peace.