AAPAC cancels annual dinner in protest of U.S. policy towards Palestinians, calls for political courage
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – OCTOBER 14, 2023
Contact: CONTACT: OSAMA SIBLANI 313-505-4889 OR FARAH HOBBALLAH 313- 313-693-7377
The Arab American Political Action Committee (AAPAC) has elected to cancel its 26th Annual Dinner set for next Wednesday October 18 in Dearborn. Historically, our annual dinner has created space for solidarity, understanding, and community between Arab Americans and our elected leaders. But we cannot be in community with leaders who blatantly ignore tens of thousands of their constituents by sanctioning Israeli war crimes against the defenseless and imprisoned population of Gaza.
We do not send our leaders into the halls of power to amplify and endorse the genocidal rhetoric of Israeli leaders. When the Israeli Defense Minister refers to Palestinians as “human animals” and U.S. Senators call for “finishing” and “leveling” millions of people, it should alarm all of humanity. We cannot stand idly by as Israel deprives an entire population—including a million children—of food, water, and electricity as a form of collective punishment. We cannot stand idly by as doctors warn that entire hospitals and maternity wards will lose power in mere hours. Expressing unequivocal support for Israel as it indiscriminately bombs schools, hospitals, and entire neighborhoods in Gaza is nothing short of a greenlight for war crimes, and an abject failure of leadership.
All of this is done in our names. When the United States government arms, funds, and provides unconditional diplomatic cover for Israeli war crimes, we must speak out and hold our leaders to account. With great power comes great responsibility, and we will not stay silent as those whom we’ve entrusted with power use it to further dehumanize our families at home and abroad. It is this dehumanization—in the halls of Congress, the White House, and the highest levels of Israeli government—that manufactures the justification for crimes against humanity. Our elected leaders have the power to stop the killing now by doing the bare minimum of calling for a ceasefire. Instead, they have chosen to endorse the unfolding genocide in Gaza through their words and actions.
For generations, our families have lived the horrors of war and occupation, and it is precisely because of our visceral experiences of pain and loss that we advocate for the preservation of all human life. It is shameful that our leaders have refused to do the same. Today and always, we call for peace rooted in justice, we appeal for courageous leadership in this critical moment for humanity.