Mass protests against Israel’s assault on Gaza have been ongoing in the United States. According to Penny Rosenwasser, a founding board member of Jewish Voice for Peace, a majority of the high-profile demonstrations have been led by Jewish Americans like her. Still, commercial media in the U.S. have tended to underplay Jewish American sentiments against Israeli militarism.
Rosenwasser is author of an award-winning book, Hope into Practice: Jewish Women Choosing Justice Despite Our Fears. She is a racial justice leader in her Oakland synagogue and co-teaches an Anti-Arabism/Antisemitism class at City College of San Francisco with a Palestinian colleague. She recently wrote a powerful op-ed for YES! about how her commitment to the tenets of Judaism compel her activism, and spoke with YES! Racial Justice Editor Sonali Kolhatkar on YES Presents: Rising Up With Sonali about why she is personally moved to speak out in solidarity with Palestinians.
Sonali Kolhatkar joined YES! in summer 2021, building on a long and decorated career in broadcast and print journalism. She is an award-winning multimedia journalist, and host and creator of YES! Presents: Rising Up with Sonali, a nationally syndicated television and radio program airing on Free Speech TV and dozens of independent and community radio stations. She is also Senior Correspondent with the Independent Media Institute’s Economy for All project where she writes a weekly column. She is the author of Rising Up: The Power of Narrative in Pursuing Racial Justice (2023) and Bleeding Afghanistan: Washington, Warlords, and the Propaganda of Silence (2005). Her forthcoming book is called Talking About Abolition (Seven Stories Press, 2025). Sonali is co-director of the nonprofit group, Afghan Women’s Mission which she helped to co-found in 2000. She has a Master’s in Astronomy from the University of Hawai’i, and two undergraduate degrees in Physics and Astronomy from the University of Texas at Austin. Sonali reflects on “My Journey From Astrophysicist to Radio Host” in her 2014 TEDx talk of the same name.