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Israeli, US Jews disrupt Netanyahu speech

Nov. 8, 2010 8:52 P.M. (Updated: Nov. 8, 2010 8:53 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- A group of young Jews disrupted a speech Monday by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Five of the young adults, including three Israelis and Israeli-Americans, traveled to the largest gathering of Jewish leaders in the US, the Jewish Federation General Assembly, which met Monday in New Orleans, the Jewish Voice for Peace group said.

The group held banners opposing settlements, the siege of Gaza, and a proposed loyalty oath for non-Jews.

These actions are in part a protest of a newly announced $6 million dollar program to target campus, church, peace and human rights groups that are working to end Israel’s human rights violations through nonviolent boycott, divestment and sanctions pressure campaigns.

“We’re here to call out the elephant in the middle of the room. Israel continues to expropriate Palestinian land for Jewish-only communities, passes increasingly racist laws in the Knesset, the foreign minister wants to strip Palestinian citizens of their citizenship -- these are the reasons Israel is becoming a pariah in the world,” Eitan Issacson, an Israeli American, said in a statement that quoted a number of the group's members.

A website, www.YoungJewishProud.org, presents the group's declaration, a vision of collective identity, purpose and values written as an invitation and call to action for peers who care about Israel and Palestine.
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