Open Letter from New York City Employees (NYC Workers for Palestine)


December 14th, 2023

We are a coalition of New York City employees of all faiths and backgrounds, who stand firmly with the people of Gaza undergoing a genocide. We are in solidarity with the people of Palestine who have been under brutal occupation by Israel for 75 years.

We refuse to stay silent while our Mayor and Administration show unrelenting support for the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians. We refuse to stay silent while he compromises the safety of all New Yorkers of conscience in support of the Palestinian struggle by aligning with the state of Israel.

We are witnessing one of the most horrific moments in history, as Israel carpet bombs an entire civilian population of over 2.5 million people– killing over 20,000 people, including over 7,000 children and leaving thousands more unaccounted for under the rubble– cutting off access to water, fuel, electricity, internet, bombing shelters, hospitals, refugee camps, murdering journalists, killing off entire bloodlines, lining up and torturing the very same men who– throughout this genocide have been the ones pulling life out of the rubble with their bare hands and assuring their fellow Gazans they’re alive and more beautiful than the moon, leaving premature infants in intensive care units to die from the restriction of oxygen– all of this while launching the most grotesque and cruel campaign of lies and propaganda to justify these acts.

Israeli government officials continue to openly state their intent to carry out ethnic cleansing and the complete annihilation of the people of Gaza referring to Palestinians in Gaza as “human animals’’ and their intent to turn Gaza into a “deserted island” with “the focus on destruction, not accuracy.” In the first ten days of Israel’s assault, the Israeli military dropped 6,000 bombs on Gaza — more bombs than the U.S. dropped on Afghanistan in a year. Human Rights Watch has said that Israel has used white phosphorus in Gaza and Lebanon, explaining that when used in crowded areas like Gaza “it poses a high risk of excruciating burns and lifelong suffering.”

The Mayor and his Administration have exclusively shown an immediate and resounding affirmation of the humanity of Israelis and Israeli New Yorkers, but none for the Palestinian people and for thousands of Palestinian New Yorkers. For the students, teachers and all NYers of conscience in who condemn genocide as they get vilified by the NY post and the media. We are appalled that New York City leadership has declared its support for the Israeli government’s mass atrocities and war crimes in Gaza. There has been significant repression of 1st amendment freedom of speech for speaking out for Palestine and politicians and media wrongly conflating protests against the attacks on Gaza as ‘pro-terrorism’ rallies. This false conflation of peaceful protests and speaking out has led to loss of positions, housing denial, retaliation, harassment and hate crimes including

We as city workers are organizing and demand that Mayor Adams and his Administration do better.

Our demands are as follows:

  1. The Mayor must add his voice to the thousands of people across the nation calling for an immediate, permanent ceasefire, an end to US aid to Israel, and for humanitarian aid to urgently be delivered to the 2.5 million people under siege in Gaza.
  2. Speaker Adrienne Adams must immediately bring a ceasefire resolution to a vote in the City Council, and Council Members must vote in affirmation — following in the footsteps of cities like Oakland and Detroit where similar resolutions have already been passed.
  3. Commissioners of every City agency must act to protect the rights of New York City employees and all New Yorkers of conscience in every industry who voice their opposition to the war crimes committed by the Israeli government on the Palestinian people. There has been significant repression of First Amendment freedom of speech for speaking out with pro-Palestinian views.
  4. We call for the resignation of Council Member Inna Vernikov who unlawfully brandished a firearm to intimidate peaceful protestors at CUNY Brooklyn College, contributing to a growing atmosphere of violence and hate crimes against Palestinians, Muslims, Sikhs, Arabs and against anyone supporting Palestinian liberation.
  5. The Administration must disclose and terminate all funding, material support, training programs, offices, contractors, advisors and any other forms of collaboration and ties between the NYPD and the IDF. We refuse to continue to allow for the growing militarization of our City in ways that directly parallel the fascist military state of Israel, including increased uses of drone surveillance and murderous policing tactics that put all New Yorkers, especially Black and brown people, at risk of dying at the hands of the police.
  6. The Administration must disclose and terminate all City funds invested in the state of Israel. This includes any and all companies, City contractors, and pension funds that profit from the oppression of Palestine. We refuse to allow our tax dollars to fund a genocide and a 75-year long occupation and ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people. This is even more egregious while NYC, the largest city in the country, crumbles under the Mayor’s cruel and unnecessary budget cuts. We demand a fully funded New York City, not genocide!

It is a shameful, painful irony to tout New York City as one of the most welcoming cities in the world and in history, a rich microcosm that is meant to represent the entire globe, yet the Administration platforms, supports and celebrates this genocidal, imperial, racist force that is the state of Israel in every way possible.

We are the people that keep the city running– delivering for all New Yorkers. We demand our Mayor and his administration to see the value in all life, regardless of ethnicity, race, religion, or creed and not conditionalize humanity.

New York City Workers for Palestine

568 signees as of Dec 19th, 2023, 2:15pm EST

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Original letter form was last updated and shared for signing on October 28th, 2023. It does not capture the extreme rise in the brutal and incessant aggressions on Gaza and The West Bank that have taken the lives of over 20,000 Gazans including over 9,000 children through countless and grotesquely inhumane genocidal war crimes since October 28th. It also does not capture the extreme rise in retaliation and violence against pro-Palestinian in New York City and globally since October 28th and aggressions that continue to take place as Western leaders continue to adamantly refuse to call for an immediate and permanent ceasefire and an end to the occupation of Palestine. For additional information, please see list of resources below:

Gaza: Israeli attacks, blockade devastating for people with disabilities. Human Rights Watch. (2023, November 3).

Gaza is ‘running out of time’ un experts warn, demanding a ceasefire. Unite Nations Human Rights Office of the Commissioner. (2023, November 2).

Save the Children International. Gaza: 3,195 children killed in three weeks surpasses annual number of children killed in conflict zones since 2019.(2023, October 29)

Apartheid | b’tselem. (2021, January 12).

Background on the term genocide in Israel-Palestine context. Center for Constitutional Rights .(n.d.).

A dangerous conflation, an open letter from Jewish writers. (2023, November 4).

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