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  • Writer's pictureBarbara Williams-Skinner

Diverse faith leaders ask House Speaker Mike Johnson to include Gaza humanitarian aid in any Israel aid bill as crisis grows.

Updated: Feb 15




February 12, 2024


The Honorable Mike Johnson

Speaker of the House

United States House of Representatives

Washington, D.C. 20515


Dear Speaker Johnson:


As you consider legislation to provide support to Israel, we as a group of diverse faith

leaders respectfully call for the inclusion of critical, life-saving humanitarian aid for

civilians in Gaza as part of any Israel aid package that comes to the floor of the House of

Representatives. Ending the extraordinary suffering and death of Palestinian civilians is

essential to Israel’s long-term security and to peace and stability in the region.


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. 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.


On behalf of many faith groups, we stand united in our call to Congress to act

immediately to make sure critical supplies and medicine are provided, allowed into Gaza,

and delivered to those in need. Such action is crucial to prevent further loss of life and to

lay the groundwork for the restoration of peace in which both Israelis and Palestinians

can begin to rebuild their lives.


Once again, we respectfully request that any aid package for Israel also include urgently

needed, robust humanitarian aid for civilians in Gaza. Thank you for your consideration,

and we look forward to working with you on this matter.


Sincerely,

Dr. David Anderson, Founding Pastor, Bridgeway Community Church, Columbia, MD

Mr. John Carr, Founder, Initiative on Catholic Social Thought and Public Life, Georgetown University

Mr. Myal Greene, President, World Relief

Dr. Walter Kim, President, National Association of Evangelicals (NAE)

Rev. Tony Lee, Senior Pastor, Community of Hope AME Church, Hillcrest Heights, MD

Bishop Vashti McKenzie, President and General Secretary, National Council of Churches

Ms. Mary Novak, Director, NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice

Rabbi Jonah Pesner, Director, Religious Action Center for Reform Judaism

Rabbi David Saperstein, Director Emeritus, Religious Action Center for Reform Judaism

Imam Talib Shareef, President, The Nation's Mosque, Masjid Muhammad

Rev. Adam Taylor, President, Sojourners

Dr. Barbara Williams-Skinner, Co-Convener, National African American Clergy Network



Diverse Faith Leaders Letter to The Honorable Mike Johnson_2.12.24_3 (1)
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