Thursday, May 6, 2010

Protesting Tzuza--Recent BDS Action in Seattle

On Sunday, May 2, 2010, eight people of conscience took a nonviolent stand for justice and peace in front of the Stroum Jewish Community Center‎ on Mercer Island, near Seattle, Washington. The Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) action was hastily organized during a regional BDS workshop at St. Mark's Episcopal Cathedral to protest the performance of the Tzuza Dancers, an Israeli troupe hailing from Kiryat Malachi, Israel, a town built on the remnants of Qastina. On July 9, 1948, Qastina was violently ethnically cleansed of its Palestinian inhabitants by Jewish troops of the Giv'ati Brigade.

The protesters included members of St. Mark's Episcopal Cathedral, Voices of Palestine, and Greater Seattle Veterans for Peace. While there were a few middle-finger salutes, the action was generally well-received by members of the Mercer Island community with decidedly more passersby by honking, waving, smiling, and gesturing in support. Such a good and productive time was had that the protest was extended fifteen minutes longer than scheduled. The shows of support coming even from people entering the SJCC more than made up for the one angry, young man who repeatedly screamed at us from a distance, "No one cares about your message." He seemed to care a lot.