We call on Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti to speak out against injustice

May 20, 2019

Dear Mayor Garcetti,


We are disturbed and dismayed at your recent endorsement of the unilateral decision to move the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. This place, what Palestinians call Al Quds, the Holy City, is sacred to Christians and Muslims alike, not just to Israeli Jews. It is a site that has been home to Palestinians for centuries upon centuries, a site that is a centerpiece to the hope of achieving peace in the Israel-Palestine conflict. We are distraught when hearing of this news from you, our Mayor, especially in the month of Ramadan.


Establishment of Israel’s capital in Jerusalem directly asserts the state’s dominance over the territory and challenges the legitimacy of Palestine’s statehood. Part of the U.S. Embassy lies in what international human rights agencies and the United Nations have declared as Occupied Territory, and it is illegal for Israel to annex any part of the land as an occupying force. In endorsing the embassy move, you are affirming the death of the very peace you advocate for.


While we appreciate your recognition that it is possible to simultaneously be pro-Israel and pro-Palestine, it is unfortunate that throughout your interview with the Los Angeles Times, you do not make any statements in favor of a Palestinian state, nor do you speak of the pain and suffering of the Palestinian people.


As Mayor of Los Angeles, you must represent all Angelenos, not just those who are pro-Israel. We Angelenos hold you to high standards because historically, you have been a strong advocate for marginalized communities, human dignity, and equal treatment. We know you to be the Mayor who strives for the rights and justice of his entire constituency. Your declaration of support for Jerusalem as the capital of Israel tarnishes your impeccable record of speaking for all of us in the City of Angels. We urge you to recognize our perspective on this matter and to be an ongoing champion of justice for all.

 

In peace,

 

Dr. Ahmed Soboh, Chair, Shura Council,


Hedab Tarifi, Muslim Public Affairs Council,


Salam Al-Marayati, President, Muslim Public Affairs Council,


Omar Ricci, Chair, Islamic Center of Southern California, 


Dr. Khaled Abou El Fadl, Usuli Institute,

 
Anmar Abou El Fadl, Usuli Institute,

 
Mustafa Al Qazwini, Shia Muslim Council,


Edina Lekovic,

 
Reinhard Krauss, Executive Director, Center for Judaic, Christian, and Islamic Studies, UCLA,

 
Misi Tagaloa, Senior Minister, Second Samoan Congregational Church of Long Beach,

 
Rt. Rev. Alexei Smith, Ecumenical and Interreligious Officer, Archdiocese of Los Angeles,


Islamic Circle of North America, Council for Social Justice, California (ICNA CSJ),

 
Muslim American Society, Public Affairs and Civic Engagement (MAS PACE),

 
Estee Chandler, Founding Organizer, Jewish Voice for Peace, Los Angeles




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