Where: In front of the Israeli Consulate in midtown New York City
When: November 20, 2000 at 12:30 pm (lunch hour peak)
It began with a thought provoking expressionist skit by Al-Awda-NY-NJ street theater group who staged a war crimes tribunal in which Israel’s crimes were cited, as the crimes were acted out (we even had baby actress Zinjabila representing Palestinian children killed with mother Rana:). And then, about 60 to 75 men and women lay down on the ground with signs that showed the names and ages of those killed as some of us desperately urged people to take the fliers that would enlighten them…
….picture a pile of 70 bodies with colorful clothes on the gray asphalt of chic Manhattan….you could smell death in the air, and those who passed by stared…and grimaced, and shook their heads, and turned away, and looked
puzzled, and walked hurriedly as if one second longer of looking would insinuate that this actually happened, and some stood, stunned by the reality of it, their eyes wide with shock, and still others shrugged away, with arms tight by their side, as if taking a flier would poison their minds…
….and for 20 minutes, New Yorkers got a feel for what is happening in Palestine (although one insisted that we were impersonating the Israelis killed), no secretary, diplomat, teacher, accountant, salesperson, computer analyst, etc. could escape the reality of Palestine, and amongst the silence of sleeping bodies, rose Zinjabila’s wails, alerting everybody to the tragedy that has befallen our people in Palestine, so powerful was the Artaction that a well-dressed business man angrily demanded, “Where is the press? Why aren’t they here to see this? The trouble with us Americans is that we have no value for human life!!!! I just want you to know that I know what’s happening, and I stand with the Palestinians because I value human life!!!!!” And with his face flushed red with anger, he stood with me and stared at the tragedy….