(8/8/16 - ATLANTA, GA) The Georgia chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-GA) today united with leaders of the Jewish and Christian community to thank Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA) for speaking out in support of peace and justice in the Holy Land.
CAIR-GA Executive Director Edward Ahmed Mitchell, Atlanta Jewish Voice for Peace leader Ilise Cohen, and Rev. Fahed Abuakel, a Palestinian Christian who was the first Arab elected to lead the American Presbyterian Church, sent a letter to Rep. Johnson encouraging him to continue his advocacy.
Rep. Johnson recently came under fire after comparing the "corrosive process" of illegal Israeli settelement on activity on Palestinian territory to the damage caused by "termites."
"Although CAIR-GA agreed with Congressman Johnson's decision to clarify and apologize for the analogy, his broader point about the dangers of such settlement activity was valid and worthy of support," Mitchell said.
The letter to Rep. Johnson echoes that sentiment.
"Indeed, this expanded occupation is not only morally wrong and illegal under international law. It also threatens to transform the prospect of a two-state solution from a necessity into a fantasy," the letter to Rep. Johnson said. "This outcome would endanger both Israelis and Palestinians."
The U.S. State Department has also criticized settlement activity, most recently on July 27: “We strongly oppose settlement activity, which is corrosive to the cause of peace. These steps by Israeli authorities are the latest examples of what appears to be a steady acceleration of settlement activity that is systematically undermining the prospects for a two-state solution.”
The letter also encouraged Rep. Johnson to continue supporting peace and justice in the region.
"The United States must...continue speaking out so that Jews, Christians and Muslims can once again peacefully co-exist in the Holy Land," the signatories wrote. "To that end, we encourage you to continue your brave public advocacy. Although some extremists might seek to silence your voice, many more Americans of all faiths and backgrounds stand ready to join your calls for peace and justice."