Yom Kippur, 2011 (5772): Call-to-Action

As we welcomethe Jewish new year, we look back at the year behind us to address ourcomplicity in the many injustices of our time by recommitting to our collectiveresponsibility for justice and humanity. In particular, we reflect on the commonplight and struggle of political prisoners and the many people across the worldwhose dignity is denied and liberty is threatened by mass incarceration andmilitary blockades.

We are inspiredin our struggle for justice by the sacrifice and courage of so many in the yearbehind us – the late Troy Anthony Davis, the Georgia prison strikers, Mumia AbuJamal, Ahmad Sa’adat, Leonard Peltier, the people of Gazaconfined to an open-air prison – and in front of us: the Palestinian prisonersand those jailed at Pelican Bay State Prison and other California prisons onhunger strike and carrying out civil disobedience in defense of the most basicof dignity and rights.

On September30, 2011, Palestinians across occupied Palestine – from the West Bank to theState of Israel to Gaza – put out a call for solidarity with Palestinianpolitical prisoners.  In response to this call, we Jews of conscience intend to startour fast of atonement a day early, on Friday, October 7, and take action todemand:

Israel nowholds approximately 6,000 political prisoners, who are subjected to torture,humiliation, and solitary confinement. Many of these prisoners have never been tried, but are held in"administrative detention," andmany are children under age 16. Palestinianprisoners in Israeli occupation prisons began an open-ended hunger strike onSeptember 27, 2011, demanding an end to the isolation of Palestinian prisonerand national leader Ahmad Sa’adat, an end to isolation for all Palestinianpolitical prisoners, and an end to the policies of repression and humiliationagainst visitors to the prisoners, including denial of family visits andvisitors being stopped, searched and impeded at Israeli occupation checkpoints.The prisoners are also demanding an end to abuseand humiliation of prisoners while they are transferred from one prison toanother, as well as their right to an education.

We stand with these political prisoners andprisoners of conscience all around the world who are imprisoned unjustly, andunjustly treated. 

We stand with people all over the worldwhose daily lives are terrorized and unjustly controlled by policing andincarceration.

In recognitionof the centrality of the struggles of those confined in Israeli occupation prisons,at Pelican Bay and in Gaza to our collective struggles for liberation, forthis Yom Kippur the International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network calls on Jews ofconscience to start fasting a day early, from Thursday October 6 atsundown, to Saturday, October 8 at sundown.In addition, we invite all those in solidarity with political prisoners,prisoners of conscience and people facing incarceration across the world, tojoin us to take the following actions:

  • Send an email to the International Committee of the Red Cross to urge them to exercise their responsibilities and act swiftly to demand that the Israelis ensure that Ahmad Sa’adat and all Palestinian prisoners are freed from punitive isolation: jerusalem.jer@icrc.org
  • Sign the petition to meet the demands of the prisoners at Pelican Bay and other prisons.
  • Sign the petition for the unconditional and permanent opening of the Rafah Crossing
  • Contact us to participate or coordinate actions on Friday, October 7 at Israeli consulates in solidarity with the call from Palestinians in Israeli occupation prisons and in Gaza: ijan@ijsn.net.

In participating in Yom Kippur or insolidarity with the call from Palestine and Pelican Bay, we the undersignedagree to participate in the actions above and pledge to fast for 24 hours (fromThursday evening, October 6 to Friday evening, October 7) or for 48 hours (fromThursday evening, October 6-Saturday evening, October 8).

Signed by:


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