June 14, 2024

Photo Credit: Ronen Zvulun/Reuters

(LOS ANGELES, CA – 6/14/2024) – The Greater Los Angeles Area office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-LA) yesterday sent a letter to Southern California Congressional Delegation members urging them to boycott Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s joint address to Congress next month.

SEE: Gaza War: Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu to address US Congress on July 24

On May 31, Speaker of the House Mike Johson, along with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, and House Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries, sent a letter to Prime Minister Netanyahu inviting him to address a joint meeting of Congress to “share the Israeli government’s vision for defending democracy, combatting terror, and establishing a just and lasting peace in the region.”

Netanyahu is scheduled to give his speech in front of Congress on Wednesday, July 24.

In a statement, CAIR-LA Executive Director Hussam Ayloush said:

“For the past eight months, we have witnessed a genocide unfold before our eyes at the hands of Prime Minister Netanyahu and the apartheid Israeli government. Rarely have we seen atrocities and war crimes as well documented as those Israel is committing against Palestinian civilians. By inviting Netanyahu to give this address, Congress is endorsing Israel’s illegal occupation and the ongoing genocide and ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people.

“The U.S. can no longer be complicit as the Israeli government continues to cross every conceivable line of morality and legality. Our elected officials are responsible for upholding the values of democracy, human rights, and justice, and we strongly urge the Southern California Congressional Delegation members to do what is morally right and boycott Netanyahu’s address.”

In January, the International Court of Justice concluded that Israeli military operations in Gaza are plausible violations of the Genocide Convention. Since Oct. 7, the Israeli military’s violent campaign in Gaza has killed more than 40,000 Palestinian civilians, a majority of whom are women and children. Approximately 1.5 million people have been forcibly displaced and are facing a catastrophic humanitarian crisis as Israel continues to cut off food, water, electricity, and medicine to Gaza.

The International Criminal Court is also pursuing arrest warrants against Netanyahu and Israeli Foreign Minister Yoav Gallant for their war crimes and crimes against humanity, including the intentional starvation of civilians in Gaza as a tool of warfare and the denial of humanitarian aid.

CAIR-LA sent a letter to Congressional Delegation Members from Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, and Ventura Counties urging them not to attend Netanyahu’s joint address to Congress and publicly condemn the decision of both the Democratic and Republican party leaders who invited him to speak.

CAIR-LA is Southern California’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, protect civil rights, promote justice and empower American Muslims.  

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CONTACT: CAIR-LA Digital Communications Manager Enjy El-Kadi, (714) 851-4851 or eelkadi@cair.com; CAIR-LA Communications Coordinator Madi Morse-Hameed, mmorse-hameed@cair.com