SHAFAQNA (International Shia News Association)-Activists from Jews Against Genocide have released a video compilation depicting their version of the Blood Bucket Challenge, an extreme spin on the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, which flooded Facebook feeds for the last three months.
Originally conceived by Ohio University student senate president Megan Merzak, who received a barrage of death and rape threats following the release of her video, activists poured buckets of fake blood over themselves after reciting “we remember…,” statements in memorial of the more than 2,100 Palestinians killed in the last Israeli assault on Gaza. The activists filmed themselves in front of Yad Vashem, the holocaust museum in West Jerusalem, the US embassy in Tel Aviv, the Israeli Supreme Court in Jerusalem, the Israeli military radio station in Tel Aviv, and the Knesset, Israel’s parliament building in Jerusalem.
“The recent massacre may be over for now, but most people here are keen on forgetting and are not doing anything to end the crimes committed by the Israeli government. Furthermore, a committed activist in the US has been the victim of a vicious campaign for carrying out a similar action. We also want to express our solidarity with her,” said activist Neta Golan, who recited JAG’s collective memorial statement before dousing herself in front of Yad Vashem.
JAG was inspired by Gaza’s civil society, calling on the international community to ‘intensify BDS against Israel in all fields,’ and follows another original revision of the meme, the Rubble Bucket Challenge by Palestinians in Gaza.
International chapters of JAG are planning for parallel actions at Israeli embassies across the world and hope the video will arouse participation of other Palestine solidarity communities.
JAG activist Ofer Neiman laments Israel’s current social climate;
“Unfortunately, most people seem to have buried the massacre perpetrated by the Israeli government, deep under their consciousness. We must keep shouting and acting.”
JAG’s press release regarding the actions also cited the unfortunate recent developments in Israel’s relationship to the U.S. and the United Nations;
“Less than a month after Israel murdered 2137 women, men, and children in Gaza, the US senate rewarded Israel for its crimes. It unanimously passed a bill that increases Israeli access to weapons and encourages Israel’s entry into the US visa waiver program. The UN appointed the first military officer from Israel’s occupation force to an official UN position in a global peace keeping force.”
The Israeli participants in the video did not encounter obstacles when filming despite the sensitive nature of the locations. They hope the visual will reach audiences that have yet to encounter the full spectrum of Israeli state sponsored violence inflicted upon Palestinians.
“If we stop and relax now, it’s just a matter of time before the next massacre, before the next genocide,” said Golan.