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Interfaith group protests Pulaski County GOP resolution

Members of the local Jewish, Muslim and Christian Communities' protest the war in Gaza.
Josie Lenora
Little Rock Public Radio
Members of the local Jewish, Muslim and Christian communities protest the war in Gaza outside a meeting of the Republican Committee of Pulaski County Thursday.

An interfaith group gathered to protest outside the Rockefeller Republican Center on Thursday.

The protest brought together members of Little Rock Peace for Palestine, an organization raising awareness about Palestinian and Israeli suffering in the Middle East, and Taste of Olam Haba, a Jewish, queer, disabled, and feminist collective in Arkansas.

In February, the Pulaski County Republican Committee passed a resolution in support of Israel. The resolution affirms support of Israel’s actions against what it calls ”Palestinian terrorists, including Hamas and their enablers.”

In the crowd Thursday, Ebrahim Jakoet said he’s worried about what will happen if this type of language becomes normalized.

“This is a gross generalization and it's a demonizing of a people," Jakoet said. "It’s simply unacceptable for people of that level of political leadership to use words like these.”

The resolution also condemns any organization that calls for Israel to lessen its efforts to ”vanquish its mortal enemies.”

Ezra Chaviv is a part of Taste of Olam Haba and describes themselves as religiously and culturally Jewish. They say their religious values have taught them that Israel shouldn’t be a state if its existence relies on occupation.

“I can’t have a land that’s mine that’s built on blood–there’s no such thing as that. I don’t want that for my people.”

The protest culminated in the breaking of a fast celebrating the Muslim holy month of Ramadan and Taanit Esther, a Jewish day of fasting.

Stephanie Gray, an organizer with Little Rock Peace for Palestine, said her day of fasting brought her closer to her interfaith community in a time where many communities are divided over the conflict in the Middle East.

"I have never experienced something more beautiful than sharing food with people who I was told I could never get along with." Gray told the gathering.

Throughout the evening protestors read scripture passages from the Quran and the Torah, and repeated calls for a ceasefire in Gaza.

Correction: a previous version of this article listed the location of the protest at the Pulaski County Republican headquarters. The protest took place outside the Rockefeller Republican Center.

Josie Lenora is the Politics/Government Reporter for Little Rock Public Radio.
Maggie Ryan is a reporter and local host of All Things Considered for Little Rock Public Radio.