Over the past few weeks, we have been following with horror and heartbreak the suffering, loss of life, and destruction in Gaza.  Along with our member-leadership and staff, I offer this message on behalf of our organization as an important step in raising our collective voice for justice and the liberation of all people.

PROTEC17 stands in solidarity with the people of Gaza and other occupied territories, and we unequivocally condemn the systemic violence that has been happening to the Palestinian people since the Nakba of 1948. We also acknowledge the grief and pain of the Jewish community regarding the tragic violence that occurred on October 7th. We call for an immediate and permanent cease fire and the delivery of crucial humanitarian aid to Gaza. We acknowledge that complacency is the same thing as inaction. In this light, we acknowledge our country’s part in this suffering and devastation now and for many years, and join others in demanding that the United States divest from weapon manufacturers arming Israeli troops.

As our mission states, PROTEC17 is committed to inspiring action, advancing equity, and building community. This includes within our own workplaces, locally within the communities in which we live, and globally through our shared humanity. We acknowledge that these events impact all people, especially people within our union and communities that have personal connections to those living in this region. We deeply mourn lives lost and are grieving the unimaginable destruction and suffering of civilians – especially children – as a result of decisions that they did not make.

As PROTEC17 continues on our liberation journey, we are committed to standing in solidarity with oppressed communities. Our union is dedicated to continuing to push for racial, social, and economic justice – knowing that these are all connected. We are unwavering in our shared vision that human rights, safety, and the ability to thrive should belong to all people, and we stand firm in our stance against occupation, genocide, apartheid, ethnic cleansing, and antisemitism.

Acknowledging that Palestinian people are experiencing ongoing injustice does not diminish the history and suffering of our Jewish community. Tragically, misinformation has led to the misconceptions that supporting the Jewish community equates to supporting violent Zionism and toxic nationalism, while supporting the Palestinian community equates to being antisemitic. Misunderstandings like these cause harm to both Palestinian and Jewish peoples, and the cost is innocent lives.

PROTEC17 is for the liberation and flourishing of all peoples and an end to this violence. There are efforts circulating to reach out to our congressional representatives in support of a ceasefire and safe access to resources and aid. I invite you to join us in doing your part to engage with resources and actions, some of which are listed below.

Together, we stand with immense hope for a future that ensures sovereignty and liberation for all Palestinians. And, as we do in the Labor Movement, I encourage you to join us in the collective call for justice.

In compassion and solidarity,

Karen Estevenin, PROTEC17 Executive Director


Understanding the War in Gaza – Educational Resources

The Zinn Education Project: https://www.zinnedproject.org/news/violence-in-israel-and-gaza/

Project48 – Understanding the Nakba: https://project48.com/

The United Nations: https://www.un.org/unispal/history/

Jews for Racial and Economic Justice (JFREJ) – Israel-Palestine as a Local Issue: https://www.jfrej.org/israel-palestine

Jewish Voice for Peace: Jewish Grief Must Not Be Used as a Weapon of War: https://www.jewishvoiceforpeace.org/2023/10/grief-weapon/

Aljazeera – ‘Not in my name’: The European Jews condemning Israel’s war on Gaza: https://www.aljazeera.com/features/2023/10/23/not-in-my-name-the-european-jews-condemning-israels-war-on-gaza

Israel-Hamas war: Palestinian ambassador to the UK refuses to condemn attacks (Video): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j8TGW10jkCM

Ways to Take Action and Show Your Support: