(PHILADELPHIA, Pa, 05/10/21) – The Philadelphia Chapter of the Council on American Islamic Relations the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today condemned Israeli actions over the last week in Jerusalem that left over 200 injured. Ignoring the holiness of the month of Ramadan holiday for Muslims around the world, Israeli police blocked access to Al-Aqsa mosque for thousands of Muslim Palestinians wishing to pray there, and shockingly fired grenades (rubber bullets and what appears to be tear gas) inside of Al-Aqsa, the third holiest site in Islam, drawing criticism from around the entire world.
Much of the protests and the police violence have centered around Israel’s attempt to forcibly expel Palestinians from the Arab neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah in East Jerusalem, evicting them from their homes, to make room for extremist Jewish Israeli settlers to take over the buildings.
In a statement, Jacob Bender, Executive Director of CAIR-Philadelphia, called the Israeli court order evicting 12 Palestinian families, and then ordering each family to pay $20,000 to cover the legal expense of the Jewish settlers, as “Orwellian justice.”
Said Bender, “These evictions in East Jerusalem — with their clear anti-democratic intent of remaking Sheikh Jarrah into a ‘Jews only’ neighborhood and ‘Judaizing all of Jerusalem’ — are only the most recent example of Israel’s decade-long policy of ethnic cleansing. Israel’s action brings to mind both the centuries of anti-Jewish persecutions in Christian Europe, but also the ‘Whites Only’ terror of the Jim Crow American South and Apartheid South Africa. What we are witnessing in ‘The City of Peace’ is another example of what injustice looks like when state power is visited upon marginalized communities; not unlike our current struggles on the domestic front. Many of the crowd control tactics used by American police forces were taught to them by Israeli forces, funded by US tax dollars.”
CAIR-Philadelphia calls upon its supporters to:
- Contact the Biden administration and call the US Department of State at Department Comment Line: 202-353-1555 and demand that it withdraws its military from Jerusalem and stop all settlement in occupied West Bank.
- Contact their elected officials in Washington, DC, prioritizing contact with their Senators:
- Pennsylvania: Senator Bob Casey: DC office: 202-224-6324, PA office: 717 231-7540 and Senator Pat Toomey: DC office: 202-224-4254, PA office: 717- 782-3951
- Delaware: Senator Thomas Carper: DC office: 202-224-2441 and Senator Christopher Coons: DC office: 202-224-5042
- Amplify trusted news sources about the violence against the Palestinians by the Israeli security forces during Ramadan.
- Initiate conversations with your Christian and Jewish friends and neighbors so that they might understand the Muslim community’s support for Palestine freedom.
CAIR is America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance understanding of Islam, protect civil rights, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.
La misión de CAIR es proteger las libertades civiles, mejorar la comprensión del Islam, promover la justicia, y empoderar a los musulmanes en los Estados Unidos.
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CONTACT: CAIR-Philadelphia Executive Director Jacob Bender, 917-660-3805 (mobile), firstname.lastname@example.org