November 2, 2023
We are a multifaith, multiethnic, multiracial, multigenerational coalition of Christian, Jewish, and Muslim leaders, and we call on our elected leaders to insist upon an urgent ceasefire in Gaza, full access to humanitarian aid, and an end to the illegal occupation of Palestinian lands. The loss of innocent lives must stop. Our faiths and traditions share a teaching that all people are created equal. We watch what is happening in the Holy Land with deep grief as our Palestinian brothers and sisters are treated as if their lives are expendable. This is why all people of faith and good conscience must join us in calling for an immediate end to the Israeli bombardment of Gaza.
Elected leaders must immediately call for a ceasefire to put an end to the disastrous loss of precious and irreplaceable human life. In its quest for revenge against Hamas, the Israeli government has launched a campaign of indiscriminate bombing against the civilian population in Gaza. They have hit mosques, churches, hospitals, residential buildings, refugee camps, and the offices of international aid groups. More than 8,000 Palestinian civilians have been killed, over 3,400 of whom are children. More than 800 Palestinian families are now gone, every living member of their family tree killed. Scholars and human rights organizations are warning that we are witnessing a genocide. How many Palestinians must die before our leaders will act? Our elected leaders must join us in calling for an immediate ceasefire.
Elected leaders must also call for all humanitarian aid to be allowed into Gaza. Israel, which already restricted the availability of basic resources in Gaza in a 16-year debilitating siege, has cut off the supply of water, electricity and fuel, and until quite recently was refusing to let humanitarian aid and food enter the already besieged area, subjecting the population in Gaza to starvation and exposing them to disease. Hospital generators have run out of fuel, crippling their ability to provide lifesaving care. Although Israel has now agreed to let some UN aid trucks enter Gaza, it is not nearly enough to meet the immense need. There are hundreds of aid trucks at the border, waiting to be allowed in. Our elected leaders must press Israel to allow all of them into Gaza, including the ones carrying fuel.
Finally, elected leaders must call for an end to the apartheid system that governs the lives of Palestinians and Israelis, and for a just resolution to the occupation of Palestinian lands. The conflict in Palestine/Israel did not start on October 7th, 2023. It stems from the decades-long occupation of Palestinian lands by the Israeli government and the continuous violence and displacement the Israeli government and settlers have wrought on the Palestinian people. Contrary to what many believe, this is not a religious war. This is not an ancient conflict. It is a straightforward matter of settler-colonialism that has been ongoing since the early 20th century. Without a true and just resolution to the occupation, the root of many decades of violence, a ceasefire today will only put a temporary pause on the daily reality of Palestinians living under Israeli apartheid: unannounced airstrikes, settler attacks, military occupation, and a crushing siege. Without a true and just resolution to the occupation, this conflict will continue to claim innocent Israeli lives just like the 1,400 killed on October 7th. We grieve with their families, and we pray that the Creator grants them peace. It is past time our leaders have the courage to call for an end to the unjust apartheid and illegal occupation of Palestine.
We are all equally beloved by our Creator. Our Israeli and Palestinian brothers and sisters each deserve safety, the safe return of their loved ones in captivity, and to be embraced as they grieve those they lost. The fact that the humanity of Palestinians and Israelis has come to be seen as mutually exclusive is a tragedy of human frailty. We pray that we will always remember each other’s humanity. We pray that our leaders will have the courage to do what is right. We call on them to call for an immediate ceasefire, full access to humanitarian aid into Gaza, and an end to the occupation of Palestine in pursuit of a permanent peace.
ATLANTA INTERFAITH COALITION ON PALESTINE
Azka Mahmood – CAIR- Georgia
Megan Gordon – CAIR-Georgia
State Rep. Ruwa Romman – Georgia State Representative
Rev. Darryl Winston – Greater Works Assembly
Rev. Timothy McDonald – First Iconium Baptist Church
Rev. Leo Seyij Allen – Park Avenue Baptist Church
Samia Abdulle – Community Leader / one of the founders of Clarkston Interfaith Group
Ilise Cohen – Jewish Voice for Peace
Connie Sosnoff – Jewish Voice for Peace
Fahed Abu Akel – Retired Presbyterian Minister
Pastor Keith Hammond – New Creation Baptist
Rev. Shanan Jones – Concerned Black Clergy
Imam Arshad Anwar – Masjid Jafar
Imam Furquan A. Muhammad – Masjid Al Muminun
Imam Dr. Elamir – Masjid Al-Momineen
Altaf Sulaiman – Masjid Al-Momineen
Jamal Craft – Masjid Al-Momineen
Fonta High – Co-chair Beacon Hill Black Alliance for Human Rights
Paul McLennan – Beacon Hill Black Alliance for Human Rights Decolonize Decatur Committee
Kwame Wilberg – Friends of the Congo
Leslie Withers – Oakhurst Baptist
Mark Reeve – Oakhurst Baptist
Rev. Keyanna Jones – Community Movement Builders
Rev. Orlando Scott – Amplify Christian Church (DOC)
Imam Ahmad Saleem – Hamzah Islamic Center
Bert Skellie – Atlanta Friends Meeting, Social Concerns Committee
Jacob Flowers – American Friends Service Committee
Tim Franzen – American Friends Service Committee
Susan May – Friends Committee on National Legislation
David Small – Atlanta Friends Meeting
Kevin Moran – Atlanta Friend Meeting, Social Concerns Committee
Rahim Shah Akhunkhaill – Voices of Muslims
Jarda Alexander- Amplify Christian Church
Imam Plemon Al Amin – Atlanta Masjid Al Islam
Trina Jackson – Atlanta Unity Mosque & Muslims for Progressive Values
Ayeola Omolara Kaplan – ATL Jews Against Genocide
Allison Glass – ATL Jews Against Genocide
Clara Green – ATL Jews Against Genocide
Naushad Ghilzai – Indian American Muslim Council -Atlanta Chapter
Rev. Barry Graham – Mercy Seat Assembly
Amjad Taufique – West Cobb Islamic Center
Fr. George Makhlouf – Christian Orthodox Palestinian
Sarah Humphrey – Joining Hands for Justice in Palestine/Israel.
Rev. Dr. Alonia Parks – Dream to Destiny Ministries, Inc.
Rev. Marthame Sanders – Presbyterian priest
The Rev. Emilee Walker-Cornetta – Episcopal priest
Shaheen Bharde – Roswell Community Masjid
Shannon Landry – Roswell Community Masjid