Leading US church urges suspension of financial aid to 'Israel'


Published: 2024-02-18 13:38

Last Updated: 2024-04-21 10:20

Editor: Sara Al Faqir

Leading US church urges suspension of financial aid to 'Israel'
Leading US church urges suspension of financial aid to 'Israel'

Leaders of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, one of the oldest and most prominent Black Christian denominations in the United States, have made a significant call this week, urging the US to halt its financial aid to the Israeli Occupation, citing the ongoing military campaign in Gaza as "mass genocide."

The statement, issued by the church's Council of Bishops, its executive body, gained endorsement from four senior bishops, including the council president, Bishop Stafford J. N. Wicker.

Black churches and various faith groups have been tirelessly advocating for a ceasefire in the Israeli Occupation offensive against Gaza for months. Their efforts, including advertisements, open letters, and social media campaigns, have intensified as the death toll continues to rise, with over 28,000 individuals, including many women and children, losing their lives, according to Gaza health officials.

However, the statement from the African Methodist Episcopal council goes beyond merely calling for a ceasefire. It demands an immediate cessation of US financial support to the Israeli Occupation, coinciding with Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) advancing into southern Gaza and preparing for a ground assault on Rafah, where over a million displaced Palestinians remain trapped.

This bold stance marks the first time an American church has taken such a public step, raising concerns among Israeli Occupation authorities that other churches may follow suit.

Additionally, several Black clergy members have expressed concerns that the aggression could further strain the relationship between President Joe Biden and Black voters, a crucial support base for the Democratic Party. The Black church plays a pivotal role in mobilizing support for Biden, with nearly three million members worldwide.

Just last month, Biden made history as the first sitting president to deliver a speech from the pulpit at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C., the oldest A.M.E. church in the South and the site of a 2015 racially motivated attack. However, his visit was interrupted by protesters demanding a ceasefire in Gaza.

In their statement, the African Methodist Episcopal council condemned Israeli Occupation military actions, particularly in Rafah, where Palestinians have been deprived of basic necessities such as food, water, shelter, and healthcare.

The statement emphasizes the urgent need to prevent further mistreatment and violence, asserting that the United States should not be complicit in funding the weapons used against innocent civilians.

The African Methodist Episcopal Church, founded by Black people, holds significant historical importance, and Biden's recent visit underscores the party's efforts to garner support among African Americans.

However, recent reports suggest that President Biden may be losing support among Black voters due to the ongoing war in Gaza, highlighting the need for a reassessment of Democratic Party strategies.