(ATLANTA, GA, 12/8/2017) -- On Saturday, December 9, the Georgia chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR Georgia) and the Atlanta chapter of Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP-Atlanta) plan to co-host "Stop Trump, Protect Jerusalem, Support Peace," an interfaith rally and march in Atlanta against President Trump's unilateral declaration that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel.
WHERE: Centennial Olympic Park (Meet at Marietta Street Corner)
WHEN: Saturday, Dec. 9th, 12 pm to 2 pm
NOTE: Follow the event Facebook page for updates, including any changes due to inclement weather.
In addition to JVP-Atlanta and CAIR Georgia, sponsors of the rally include, Project South, Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ Atlanta), Joining Hands for Justice in Palestine/Israel, the Kairos Mission of Oakhurst Baptist Church, and the U.S. Human Rights Network.
Scheduled speakers include Dr. Ilise Cohen of Jewish Voice for Peace-Atlanta, Edward Ahmed Mitchell, executive director of CAIR Georgia, and Rev. Fahed Abu-Akel, a Palestinian Christian and the first Arab-American elected to the lead the Presbyterian Church USA, among others.
On Wednesday, President Trump announced that the U.S. officially recognizes occupied Jerusalem as Israel's capital and will move the U.S. embassy to the city. This move grants legitimacy to Israel's illegal military occupation, and ignores Jerusalem's 330,000 Palestinian residents, who make up 40% of the city's population.
"Jerusalem has long been an international city, holy to many religions, and sacred to many people around the world, including many members of Georgia's Jewish, Christian, and Muslim communities," event organizers said in a statement. "We encourage Georgians of all backgrounds to march with us on Saturday. Stand up for peace and freedom. Stand against occupation and oppression."
"President Trump's declaration fatally undermines what was left of the Mideast peace process, and disregards international law,” said Edward Ahmed Mitchell, executive director of CAIR-Georgia. “Like our Jewish and Christian neighbors, American Muslims consider Jerusalem to be a holy city where prophets once walked, and ancient holy sites still stand. Jerusalem belongs to everyone, and President Trump cannot change that with his illegal declaration."
"Since Israel's occupation of East Jerusalem in 1967, Israel has redrawn borders, built walls, and revoked the residency rights of thousands of Palestinian residents of Jerusalem, intentionally creating a Jewish majority and ethnically cleansing the Palestinian population," said Dr. Ilise Cohen of JVP-Atlanta.
Cohen added, "Israel has never provided equal services to Palestinians, though they pay taxes and have no municipal representation. Unilaterally recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital not only ignores the rights and aspirations of Palestinians, but it also disregards international law while legitimizing permanent Israeli occupation. This summer, Palestinian residents of Jerusalem mounted a successful and strong resistance to Israel's attempt to impede the right of Muslims to worship at Al-Aqsa. We stand with Palestinians and reject Trumps cowardly attempt to solidify apartheid practices and policies."
"This move is but another example of Trump emboldening Israel’s extreme right-wing government and settler movement, and drives home the shared values of Trump and Netanyahu’s right-wing governments, both of which incite and exploit racism, xenophobia, and fear for political gain," said the U.S. Campaign for Palestinian Rights.