Police arrested nine Jewish protesters from IfNotNow, a group made up of young Jews who oppose Israeli policies towards Palestinians, who blocked access to the San Francisco offices of U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, demanding she condemn the actions of the Israel Defense Forces at the Gaza border in recent days, in which more than two dozen Palestinian protesters were killed and hundreds more wounded.
On Friday morning, some 20 IfNotNow members entered the lobby of the Financial District building that houses the senator’s office. Feinstein is in Washington this week, so they asked to speak with a member of her staff. When they were refused, they unfurled a banner that read, “Senator Feinstein condemn violence against Palestinian protesters,” and blocked the building’s elevators “to disrupt business as usual,” according to a written statement.
The protesters read the names of the Palestinians killed along the Gaza border in recent weeks and recited the Mourner’s Kaddish. The protesters also sang Jewish songs, such as Olam Chesed Yibane, and took turns giving brief speeches.
Representatives of Feinstein’s office have not returned J.’s request for a statement.
The S.F. protest was part of a multi-week national campaign by IfNotNow, which included protests at the Israeli consulate in Boston, at Senator Charles Schumer’s office in New York, the Jewish Community Relations Council of the Twin Cities, and the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles.
IfNotNow is a national group of young Jews whose goal is to pressure major Jewish organizations and officials to oppose Israeli policies in the Palestinian territories.