African Methodist Episcopal Church Call for U.S. to End Aid to Israel

The African Methodist Episcopal Church is calling for the United States to end “all funding and other support from Israel,” according to a letter.

“Today as we celebrate the birth of Richard Allen, the apostle of freedom, Israel has trapped 1.6 million desperate Palestinians in the southern Gaza city called Rafah,” the letter says, adding that Israel plans to “kill” the Palestinians.

“The Council of Bishops of the African Methodist Episcopal Church calls on the United States Government to immediately withdraw all funding and other support from Israel. Since 1954, Israel has shown a willful disregard for the human dignity of Palestinians,” four bishops wrote. “Since October 7, 2023, in retaliation for the brutal murder of 1139 Israeli citizens by Hamas, Israel has murdered over 28,000 Palestinians, mostly women and children. The United States is supporting this mass genocide. This must not be allowed to continue.”

“Surely there is a grassroots solution that affirms the dignity and humanity of all God’s people in Palestine and Israel. The tools of empire, colonialism, and domination will not solve the problems they created,” the letter added. “The cycle of violence between historically wounded peoples will not be dissolved by the creation of more wounds or through weapons of war. We remain in solidarity with Jesus Christ of Nazareth, a Palestinian Jew, and the Prince of Peace.”

The letter comes as other religious organizations wrote to House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA), asking him to consider aid for “civilians in Gaza as part of any Israel aid package that comes to the floor of the House of Representatives.”

“We collectively and strongly condemn the horrific terrorist attack by Hamas on Israel that took place on October 7, 2023. In response to these brutal attacks, we recognize that Israel has the right to defend itself against Hamas and to ensure the safety and security of its people from future acts of terror. We also condemn the brutal mistreatment of hostages by Hamas and call for their immediate and unconditional release so that they may be reunited with their families.”

“However, as the war between Israel and Hamas continues, we are deeply concerned about the growing humanitarian crisis in Gaza resulting from innocent civilians being caught in the crossfire and the severe restrictions on the delivery of humanitarian aid. Since the war began, thousands of civilians have been injured or killed,” the letter continued. “Countless others have been displaced and forced to flee their homes to avoid harm’s way. With limited access to food, water, shelter, electricity, and medical care, those on the ground in Gaza need our support now. Time is of the essence.”

The letter’s signatories included the directors of NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice and Religious Action Center for Reform Judaism; the director emeritus of Religious Action Center for Reform Judaism; the presidents of World Relief, Religious Action Center for Reform Judaism, National Council of Churches, The Nation’s Mosque, Masjid Muhammad, and Sojourners, as well as several pastors.