“No ban, no wall, Jerusalem for all!” Interfaith coalition calls for National Day of Action Wednesday

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Press Contacts:
Jewish Voice for Peace: Naomi Dann |media@jvp.org | 845-377-5745
American Muslims for Palestine: Kristin Szremski l kristin@ampalestine.org l 202-796-8417
Friends of Sabeel North America: Leila Abdelrazaq | leila@fosna.org | 773-680-7267

“No ban, no wall, Jerusalem for all!” Interfaith coalition calls for National Day of Action Wednesday

Coalition gathers to protest the Islamophobic & racist agendas of US & Israeli leaders

[WASHINGTON DC 02/14/2017] — A coalition of national faith-based organizations, including Jewish Voice for Peace, Friends of Sabeel North America and American Muslims for Palestine,  organized rallies in more than a dozen cities nationwide on Wednesday to protest the “shared values” of racism & discrimination being exchanged during Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s meeting Wednesday with President Trump.

The meeting between the two leaders is taking place in the context of President Trump’s controversial proposal to relocate the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, a move many see as contravening more than 50 years of U.S. policy and cementing Israel’s policies aimed at displacing Palestinians from the holy city. The National Day of Action comes following weeks of protests against President Trump’s discriminatory, anti-Muslim immigration restrictions, which echo Israel’s own religious profiling and restrictive immigration policies.

The flagship rally will take place at 5 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 15 at the White House. There are also actions taking place in New York City, Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, San Jose, Sacramento, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Chicago, Philadelphia, Detroit, Pittsburgh, and Boston.

“President Trump’s rhetoric regarding increasing Israeli settlement expansion and moving the embassy to Jerusalem plays right into the racist and Islamophobic atmosphere his administration has engendered here at home,” said Taher Herzallah of American Muslims for Palestine. “The Muslim ban and ICE raids are unfortunately an offshoot of this racist attitude.”

Demonstrators point to the ‘shared values’ of President Trump and Prime Minister Netanyahu, including religious profiling and discrimination and a penchant for wall-building.

“Israel has long profiled Muslims at the border, and denied entry to and banned Palestinians, tearing apart families and keeping millions of refugees from returning home,” said Reverend Donald Wagner of Friends of Sabeel – North America. “Trump says the wall he wants to build on the US-Mexico border is modeled on the walls Israel has built to keep out African asylum seekers and Palestinians, which Netanyahu tweeted about with pride. Meanwhile, Israeli companies are already bidding to construct it.”

Emboldened by Trump’s election, Israel has announced a flurry of new settlement construction, including the first entirely new settlement in more than a decade and recently passed a law retroactively legalizing the seizure of private Palestinian land. The Trump administration is aligning the U.S. with the policies of annexation and apartheid advocated by the extreme right in Israel, setting the stage for provocative moves including moving the embassy and endorsing indefinite occupation.

Organizers are planning ongoing actions, Senate call-ins and meetings aimed at blocking the nomination of David Friedman, a settlement funder whose Senate confirmation hearing for the position of ambassador to Israel is due to begin Thursday morning.

“Trump and Netanyahu are cut from the same cloth, resistance to both of their racist and Islamophobic agendas must go hand in hand,” said Rabbi Alissa Wise, deputy director of Jewish Voice for Peace.

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Jewish Voice for Peace is a national, grassroots organization inspired by Jewish tradition to work for a just and lasting peace according to principles of human rights, equality, and international law for all the people of Israel and Palestine. JVP has over 200,000 online supporters, over 60 chapters, a youth wing, a Rabbinic Council, an Artist Council, an Academic Advisory Council, and an Advisory Board made up of leading U.S. intellectuals and artists.

Friends of Sabeel – North America is a Christian ecumenical organization seeking justice and peace in the Holy Land through nonviolent advocacy and education. Sabeel is an international peace movement initiated by Palestinian Christians, who seek a just peace as defined by international law and existing United Nations resolutions.

The American Muslims for Palestine is a national education organization, whose mission is to raise awareness about the rich cultural, historical and religious heritage of Palestine in order to create a grassroots movement that would pressure Congress to create a more fair and balanced foreign policy for everyone in the Middle East.

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