J Street is disturbed by the actions of Israeli police who violently broke up a peaceful protest by anti-occupation activists in Jerusalem today — reportedly breaking the arm of one protester.
The protesters, many of whom hail from the American Jewish community and from groups like IfNotNow and All That’s Left: Anti-Occupation Collective, were engaged in a non-violent sit-in, attempting to block far-right Israelis from their annual Jerusalem Day march through the Muslim Quarter of the Old City. In recent years, that march has become increasingly marked by racist chanting and aggressive behavior, designed to mock and intimidate Jerusalem’s Arab residents and spread a message of hate.
The image of young American Jews shaped by our communities and values, who care passionately about creating a better future for Israelis and Palestinians, being harmed by Israeli police in the center of Jerusalem is truly upsetting.
As a liberal democracy, Israel and Israeli authorities must respect the rights and the well-being of those who choose to protest peacefully.