Faith leaders interrupted the U.S. vice president by chanting the phrase, “Israel kills children. Jews and Christians say no to Zionism.”
Christians United for Israel (CUFI) hosted a summit that they host annually in Washington D.C. on Monday. CUFI is the world’s largest Christian Zionist organization and is infamous for their disregard for human rights as well as right-wing evangelism. CUFI founder John Hagee, U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, and Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu were all plenary speakers at the summit.
Over 100 Jewish, Muslim, and Christian faith leaders, as well as community members, confronted the speakers by protesting about CUFI’s support for the Israeli occupation. Hagee and Pence’s speeches were disrupted by many protestors who were holding banners and shouting.
The director of Friends of Sabeel North American (FOSNA), Tarek Abuata, was seen standing and shouting that “Zionism is racism.” Abuata was handcuffed by security and escorted out of the convention center. While being escorted out, Abuata continued to tell the people of God to wake up and protect the Palestinian people.
FAITH LEADERS DISRUPT U.S. VICE PRESIDENT MIKE PENCE DURING CUFI SUMMIT | Friends of Sabeel – North America https://t.co/VOvmPfxI6p
— Diane Matchett (@Awaken2Know) July 10, 2019
After Abuata was escorted out, many Jewish and Christian faith leaders interrupted the U.S. vice president by chanting the phrase, “Israel kills children. Jews and Christians say no to Zionism.” These faith leaders were also escorted outside by security. FOSNA national organizer, Rochelle Watson, disrupted Pence. She said that they’ve “reached a point where remaining faithful requires us to take bold action by speaking truth to power.”
Two more disruptions were staged by protestors while Hagee was making his remarks. The demonstrators shouted, “Israel imprisons children. Our God liberates.” Others rose up and shouted, “Israel demolishes homes. Our God shelters.”
Protestors outside the summit blocked an entrance to the convention center as well as an intersection. They held posters which read “Thou Shall Not Kill” and “Reclaim Our Theology.”
This protest was a coalition of Friends of Sabeel North America, American Muslims for Palestine, US Campaign for Palestinian Rights and Jewish Voice for Peace.