Jewish Voice for Peace: Release all Palestinian, Jewish prisoners

Dec 21, 2023, 1:39 PM | Updated: 3:17 pm

Seattle protesters...

The protest on University Bridge. (Photo: Laura Scott, KIRO Newsradio)

(Photo: Laura Scott, KIRO Newsradio)

On the eighth night of Hanukkah, eight bridges across eight cities in the United States, including Seattle, were closed down by demonstrators. The protests were organized by a group called Jewish Voice for Peace.

The Seattle Chapter of the group blocked the University Bridge last Thursday between Eastlake and the University District. They want a permanent ceasefire in Gaza and the release of all prisoners.

Eliana Horne, one of the organizers of the protest, told Dave Ross on Seattle’s Morning News, “We shut down the bridge because there just cannot be business as usual.”

Horne said her organization did not take shutting down the University Bridge lightly.

She explained that her group has made thousands of calls and sent letters to Senator Patty Murray calling for a permanent cease-fire without a response.

“With everything that is happening in Gaza, over 20,000 people have been killed by the Israeli military, over 7,000 children, and half of the buildings destroyed in Gaza,” Horne explained. “All a part of a 75-year history of oppression of Palestinians.”

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As for closing the bridge, she said her group has tried every method they can think of to bring attention to the issue and get in front of Washington representatives in Congress.

“We have three major cities across Washington who have passed ceasefire resolutions,” Horne said. “Senator Murray, Senator [Maria] Cantwell, and Representative Adam Smith, who was on the program yesterday, I know. None have called for a cease-fire.”

She explained that many people joined the protest on the fly, some leaving their cars. Horne said that the bridge tender wrote a blog about how moved she was seeing the protesters.

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Horne also explained what else she wanted to see from the Israeli government.

“I am Jewish. I am a descendant of survivors of the Holocaust. I have family living in Israel, and I want safety and dignity for my people. I also want safety and dignity for Palestinians. I was raised with the values Jewish values of ‘B’Tselem Elohim’, which means all people are created in the image of God and all people are worthy of dignity and safety. Our role is to bring social justice into this world. So, for me any solution has to encompass the safety and dignity for all people.”

Horne said she didn’t believe anyone was served by “this policy of carpet bombing Gaza.”

She also reiterated that she wants all hostages freed, both Palestinians and Jews.

Listen to Seattle’s Morning News with Dave Ross and Colleen O’Brien weekday mornings from 5 – 9 a.m. on KIRO Newsradio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

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