NETWORK Joins Faith Leaders Asking Speaker Johnson to Include Gaza Humanitarian Assistance in Israel Aid Package

For Immediate Release: February 16, 2024

WASHINGTON – A diverse group of faith leaders, representing a wide range of Christian, Jewish and Muslim traditions, issued a joint appeal this week to House Speaker Mike Johnson, asking him to include urgently needed humanitarian aid for civilians in Gaza in any bill providing assistance to Israel.

“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,” the faith leaders wrote.

The letter, which NETWORK Executive Director Mary J. Novak also signed, draws attention to the grave humanitarian crisis threatening innocent civilians who are caught in the crossfire and struggling to survive without the basic necessities of life. “With limited access to food, water, shelter, electricity and medical care,” the letter warns, “those on the ground in Gaza need our support now. Time is of the essence.”

The signers strongly condemn the October 7 terrorist attack by Hamas and the brutal treatment of hostages, and they acknowledge Israel’s right to defend itself against Hamas, while emphasizing the need for protection of innocent Palestinian civilians in Gaza.

In addition to NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice, organizations represented by the letter’s signers include National Council of Churches, World Relief, National Association of Evangelicals, National African American Clergy Network, Sojourners, Religious Action Center for Reform Judaism, the Nation’s Mosque, Bridgeway Community Church, and Community of Hope AME Church, and the Initiative on Catholic Social Thought and Public Life at Georgetown University.

The full letter and signers can be found online.

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Founded by Catholic Sisters in 1972, in the spirit of the Second Vatican Council, NETWORK is an inclusive, national, Catholic advocacy organization open to all who share our values, working to achieve equity and justice for everyone. Grounded in Gospel values and the Catholic social justice tradition, NETWORK transforms our society by shaping federal policies that achieve racial, economic, and social justice; serve the common good; and honor the dignity of all.