In the name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

Islamic Center of Southern California Calls Upon Mayor Garcetti and County Board of Supervisors to Condemn Israeli Actions, Stop LAPD and LASD Engagement with Israeli Law Enforcement

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The Islamic Center of Southern California calls upon Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors to join the growing list of Members of Congress condemning on-going actions by Israel against Muslim worshippers at the Al-Aqsa mosque, in Jerusalem (the third holiest site in Islam), and calls for an end of local law enforcement relationships with Israel.
Since the beginning of Ramadan, Israel’s police have harassed and attempted to prevent Palestinian Muslims from entering the Al-Aqsa Mosque to observe the important “Taraweeha” night prayers during this holiest of months, as reported by the Washington Post.
Most egregiously, in the past 48 hours Muslims gathering for night prayers at Al-Aqsa have been ambushed by Israeli police firing tear gas and stun grenades into the Al-Aqsa Mosque, and then, adding insult to injury, locking them inside to inhale and suffocate the toxic fumes and preventing medics from reaching the injured.  CNN reports over 205 people were injured just yesterday.  More than 200 hurt as Israeli police clash with Palestinians at Jerusalem mosque, Palestinian Red Crescent says - CNN
This tactic of prevention and harassment is practiced by Israel almost every Ramadan stoking anger and clashes. In the process Israeli forces detain Palestinians of all ages including children.
These horrific actions by Israeli police comes in the context of a recent Israeli decision to steal yet more land and homes of Palestinians in East Jerusalem which has sparked anger and protests by Palestinians.
Christian and Muslim Palestinians lack freedom to practice their faith under Israeli apartheid. Palestinian Christians were barred by Israeli authorities from visiting their holiest sites during Easter last month and just last Sunday.
Further, as police tactics are under heavy scrutiny in the United States, it is now time for local law enforcement – including the LAPD and LASD - to terminate any and all training and organizational relationships with Israeli law enforcement or military and the apartheid tactics they practice.
Israel’s decades long persecution of Palestinians is no secret and long documented, with the venerable Human Rights Watch being the latest non-partisan organization to label Israel an “apartheid state” (see “A Threshold Crossed – Israeli Authorities and the Crimes of Apartheid and Persecution”).
Just like the U.S. law enforcement slowly but surely corrected the mistake of engaging apartheid South Africa up until the 1980’s, the time has come for the U.S. to do the same with apartheid Israel.
In a 2019 Los Angeles City Hall meeting with the Muslim community, Mayor Eric Garcetti shared his experience visiting Israel and Palestine. He expressed his feeling of connection to Israel as a Jew, but he also clearly acknowledged the plight of the Palestinian people.  This was reflected in a public video the Mayor made right after the meeting. 
Mayor Garcetti acknowledged that as mayor of all Angelenos he represents Palestinian Angelenos as well as Muslim Angelenos who have strong ties to City of Jerusalem.  
We Muslim Angelenos, seeing our third holiest site in our faith under siege by Israel, look to Mayor Garcetti’s leadership and voice regarding these egregious violations of religious liberty and human dignity, and which impact us here in Los Angeles.
Further, a special order that the LAPD cease all training and organizational ties with Israeli law enforcement would ensure that the apartheid tactics and character of Israeli law enforcement do not seep into law enforcement in Los Angeles. We call for an immediate enactment of this.
Los Angeles County is home to hundreds of thousands of Muslims. We call upon the County Board of Supervisors, Sheriff Alex Villanueva and the Los Angeles Sheriff Department to take same steps of condemnation, and disassociation from Israeli law enforcement immediately.

May God guide us all as we strive only in His cause.
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