Pro-Palestinian demonstrators gather at Global Conference for Israel in Denver
As the Jewish National Fund-USA’s Global Conference for Israel began in Denver on Thursday, demonstrators gathered outside the event seeking to bring attention to the displacement of Palestinians.
Demonstrations continued Friday, captured in images for Newsline by photojournalist Chloe Anderson.
“Deep within my DNA, my Indigenous people were oppressed and killed, and with what’s happening now, it’s my duty as a Brown person to do whatever I can to fight the occupation,” said Salina Vega, an Indigenous American who participated in the protest. “This is not a political situation. This is a humanitarian issue.”
Jewish National Fund-USA is a nonprofit dedicated to the Zionist movement. JNF as a whole was founded in 1901 to raise money to purchase land in what was then Ottoman-controlled Palestine. The organization was incorporated in the United States in 1926, and JNF-USA specifically raises money for forestation, land development, water projects and other infrastructure plans in Israel.
“The JNF is an explicitly racist organization, and their conference is something Denver should be deeply ashamed to host,” Abdullah Elagha, an organizer with the Colorado Palestine Coalition, wrote in a press release.
The conference, which is taking place at at the Colorado Convention Center, was scheduled to run through Sunday. It had been planned before the Oct. 7 attacks in Israel by Hamas militants, who killed over 1,200 people and took more than 200 people hostage. Israel has launched an airstrike campaign in Gaza that has killed about 13,300 people so far, according to the Gaza Health Ministry.
Colorado Gov. Jared Polis, addressing the conference Thursday, decried “the rise of antisemitism and hate in America and across the world.”
“The loss of innocent civilian life in Israel and Gaza are deeply tragic reminders of the importance of the work you’re here to support,” Polis, who is Colorado’s first Jewish governor, said during his address.