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You’ve seen them in protests since the start of the Israel/Hamas war — from New York City’s Grand Central Station and the Statue of Liberty, to the Capitol in DC, the highways of Durham, North Carolina, the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and more. Who are the people of Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP), the largest progressive Jewish-led pro-Palestinian and anti-Zionist organization in the world? The Grand Central Station sit-in made history as the largest act of civil disobedience in New York City since the Iraq War. In this episode, Laura Flanders talks with two JVP members, Rosalind Petchesky, veteran political scientist and a leading theorist on international reproductive rights and Jay Saper, an artist and Yiddish translator, about their heroes and their inspirations — including Israeli peace activists and the families of Israeli hostages; and we meet New York State Assemblymember Zohran K. Mamdani, a Muslim, a Democratic Socialist and the first South Asian man in the NYS Assembly. Long before October 7, 2023, Mamdani, who represents Astoria, Queens introduced the Not On Our Dime! Bill that would make it illegal for New York State-registered charities to fund Israeli settler organizations. As you’ll hear, these guests see connections between white supremacy, Zionism, antisemitism, anti-Black racism, militarism and violence against women. What are the tools for building freedom and equity that connect us rather than divide us? Plus a commentary from Laura on news and no-news on Gaza.

“I moved to Cape Town in South Africa. I lived there until I was seven . . . and it was right after the fall of apartheid. And I always remember the words of Nelson Mandela saying that we know all too well that our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of Palestinians.” – Zohran K. Mamdani

“ synagogue in Jackson, Mississippi was bombed during the Jim Crow era because of her rabbi’s commitment to support the Black freedom struggle . . . makes it clear that antisemitism needs to be confronted by challenging all forms of white supremacy by speaking out against Islamophobia, by taking action against anti-Black racism, and by committing to a world where we build safety through solidarity.” – Jay Saper

“. . . When I went to Israel at the age of 16, I witnessed racism. I was so angry and so disillusioned that I turned away from Judaism for many years. Only now through JVP, through the young people of Jewish Voice for Peace, I’m rediscovering my connection and my identity as Jewish.” – Rosalind Petchesky

Guests

  • Zohran K. Mamdani: New York State Assembly Member (D-Astoria/Long Island City)
  • Rosalind Petchesky: Distinguished Professor Emerita (retired) of Political Science, Hunter College & the Graduate Center, CUNY
  • Jay Saper: Member Leader, Jewish Voice for Peace; Coeditor, Questions to Ask Before Your Bat Mitzvah

Portions of this interview are featured in our episode, “Organizing for Ceasefire Through Policy & Protest: Meet the People of JVP & NY Assemblymember Mamdani“.

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