Four Jews were arrested on Wednesday for reciting the traditional Jewish Kaddish prayer next to the offices of the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles in the memory of Gazans who were killed during violent confrontations with the IDF over the past month.
The activists were members of the radical group IfNotNow, which describes itself on its website as "a movement led by young Jews to transform the American Jewish community’s support for the occupation into a call for freedom and dignity for all Israelis and Palestinians".
On Wednesday, members forcibly entered the offices of the Jewish Federation and demanded that the organization "condemn Israeli violence against Palestinian protesters in Gaza, in which Israeli military forces have killed 31 Palestinian protesters and injured more than 1,000 others with live fire over two weeks of protest."
As part of the protest, activists recited Kaddish, a prayer traditionally said by Jews to honor one's deceased family members and read out the names of the Gazans who were killed by the IDF during weekly riots on the Gaza-Israel border.
"We simply cannot be silent anymore. We came to the Federations office today to ask them to lead — but since they have chosen to remain silent, we will be the leaders our community needs. Our generation is rising up alongside Palestinians and Israelis working to end the Occupation,” said IfNotNow member Shay Roman.
Police arrested four IfNotNow members for disrupting the peace, joining 23 other activists who were detained during similar protests at other Jewish organizations, including at the Israeli Consulate in Boston and New York Senator Chuck Schumer’s office.
The riots on the Gaza border, which have drawn tens of thousands of protesters, have featured mass-marches to the Israeli border and attempts to scale the security fence and flood into Israeli territory. The violent demonstrations have also featured firebomb attacks and the use of burning tires to block Israeli security personnel. Several terror attacks have also been attempted since the protests began.
The IDF has responded with live fire on terrorists threatening Israeli security personnel and any individuals attempting to scale the Israeli security barrier.
Gaza health officials claim roughly 30 people have died as a result of the clashes, with almost 3,000 more wounded. IDF officials say at least 12 of the dead have been identified as Hamas terrorists, and have dismissed claims from the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip of 3,000 non-fatal casualties caused by live-fire.