Saint Paul, MN – The anti-war organization Women Against Military Madness organized a vigil on Friday, January 27, in response to the recent massacre of Palestinians in the Jenin refugee camp in occupied Palestine. Attendees held signs with the slogans “End U.S. aid to Israel” and “End Israeli apartheid,” and chanted “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free!” The vigil was met with a positive reaction from the community.
Israeli Occupation Force soldiers entered the Jenin camp and opened fire, killing nine Palestinians, including one elderly woman, and wounding at least 20 others. The IOF soldiers then obstructed traffic, preventing ambulances from entering or leaving the area, and even opened fire on an ambulance that attempted to move through the blockade.
Speaking about the massacre, Sarah Martin of Women Against Military Madness highlighted the cruelty of the attack, noting that Israeli soldiers even fired tear gas towards the children’s wing of a hospital, causing the caustic vapor to waft into a ward where sick children were being treated. A member of Israel’s parliament, Almog Cohen, responded to these events by making the appalling statement: “Nice and professional work by the fighters in Jenin. Keep killing them.”
Andrew Josefchak of the Anti-War Committee spoke about the importance of supporting the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement to strip Israel of international support. “We here in the United States are made complicit in these disgusting acts of violence,” Josefchak said. “Not only does the United States send Israel $4 billion a year in aid on the federal level, but states like Minnesota participate too. The Minnesota State Board of Investment not only puts our tax dollars into Israeli weapons companies like Elbit Systems, which manufactures cluster bombs, tear gas and other weapons, but also invests in Israeli government bonds. These are essentially long-term loans to the Israeli government, and they are using the money to commit atrocities like this.”
Josefchak highlighted the fact that Palestinians living under occupation have long asked their supporters in the international community to push the BDS movement forward, and stated that the Anti-War Committee is pursuing a campaign to pressure the Minnesota State Board of Investment to divest its Israeli holdings. “BDS worked in the case of South Africa, and it can and will work in the case of Palestine.”