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By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA —

Religious leaders and human rights advocates, led by Reverend Jesse Jackson, are preparing for what they call a vital emergency summit for Gaza. The “Call to Action” summit is scheduled at the Rainbow PUSH Coalition Headquarters in Chicago on Friday, January 12, and Saturday, January 13. Jackson told the Black Press the summit would “address the rapidly deteriorating humanitarian situation in Gaza, denounce violence against civilians, and urge immediate action to bring an end to the crisis.” Organized by a coalition including the Rainbow Push Coalition, Arab American Institute, and Cedars Mediterranean Kitchen, the summit will feature a diverse lineup of influential speakers, including Jackson, Dr. James Zogby (President of the Arab American Institute), columnist and political commentator Peter Beinart, Congressman Jonathan Jackson, Congressman Chuy Garcia, and others.

The central focus of the summit is to condemn attacks on civilians and call for an immediate, permanent ceasefire. “We are faith leaders and advocates, united in this moment of moral reckoning to affirm the sanctity of all human life,” Jackson declared. The organizers have unequivocally “condemned the Israeli government’s military siege and indiscriminate bombardment of Gaza.” They said there’s a moral obligation to leverage collective power to end the escalation of death and ongoing humanitarian crises. The coalition demands an immediate and permanent ceasefire and the rapid release of all Israeli hostages and Palestinian prisoners held without charges or due process, and they are calling on U.S. leadership to facilitate unimpeded UN-supervised humanitarian aid in Gaza.

“I recommend that they let everyone out,” Jackson asserted. “The captives should be able to go home under the supervision of the United Nations, and anyone [bought to trial] should be done so in the World Court.” Jackson and the rest of the coalition have also urged America to abide by its regulations and condition funding to Israel on its adherence to U.S. law, like requirements for other nations receiving U.S. military financing. The organizers collectively stressed that a ceasefire is just the beginning. The staggering civilian casualties underscore the belief that there is no military resolution that can bring justice for Palestinians and security for Israelis, Jackson insisted. He said there should be a diplomatic solution to “end apartheid and occupation.” They have emphasized the need for unity. “We gather to build upon the historical legacy and current global movements for peace, justice, and liberation,” Jackson emphasized, before adding what he said in Lebanon some 40-plus years earlier. “We do not seek to exchange sufferers but rather to stop suffering.”

Jan 12-13, 2024 - Jesse Jackson to Lead Emergency Summit in Chicago to Address Escalating Gaza Humanitarian CrisisThe summit will also be broadcast over zoom. Click here to register.

Streamed live Friday January 12, 2024 : Emergency Summit for Gaza



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