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U.S. Black Faith Leaders Urge Biden To End Violence in Gaza, Writes New York Times

The pressure on the Biden Administration to call for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza is increasing intensely, as is seen in the New York Times coverage of the recent demand by more than 1,000 Black pastors for a halt to the fighting in Gaza, release of hostages, and end the Israeli occupation of the West Bank.

The Times today reports that, originally, when Hamas had launched its attack on Oct. 7, many Black faith leaders held interfaith prayers with their Jewish counterparts for Israel. However, with the disproportionate attacks by Israel on Gaza, Palestinian colleagues began urging the pastors for their assistance in speaking out against the current administration’s posture. Pastors noted that many of the younger congregants had also given them earfuls about ending the violence.

In interviews with several Black faith leaders, including from Atlanta and Stonecrest, in Georgia; Berkeley, California and Dallas, Texas, the pastors indicated that if President Biden should continue ignoring Israel’s destructive operations in Gaza, it could imperil their support for his re-election bid.

Rev. Timothy McDonald, a senior pastor of First Iconium Church in Atlanta, with more than 1,500 members, told the Times, “We are afraid. And we’ve talked about it—it’s going to be very hard to persuade our people to go back to the polls and vote for Biden.” He had signed an open letter for a ceasefire, the first among more than 200 Black pastors to do so.

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