Over 100 faith leaders and activists began a walk for Palestine from Philadelphia’s historic Mother Bethel African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church on Feb. 14. Participants expect to reach the White House in Washington, D.C., on Feb. 21. The demands of the 30-plus organizations in the “Pilgrimage for Peace” include an immediate ceasefire, unrestricted humanitarian aid into Gaza, and the release of the remaining Israeli civilian hostages and Palestinians held captive by Israel.

Feb. 14 march from Philadelphia to Washington, D.C. (WW Photo: Joe Piette)

Among the speakers at the kickoff rally were the Rev. Stephen A. Green, Faith for Black Lives; Dr. Ahmet Selim Tekelioglu, Executive Director, Council on American-Islamic Relations-Philadelphia; Rabbi Alissa Wise, Rabbis for Ceasefire; the Rev. Dr. Frederick Haynes, and President/CEO, Rainbow PUSH Coalition.  Others who spoke were Councilmember Reverend Nicolas O’Rourke, Philadelphia City Council; Bishop Vashti Murphy McKenzie, President and General Secretary of National Council of Churches; Ramya Vijaya, Hindus for Human Rights; and Linda Sarsour, Palestinian-Muslim-American organizer. 

On Feb. 15, a leading member of the coalition, the Council of Bishops of the AME Church, released a statement calling on the U.S. to “immediately withdraw all funding and other support from Israel.” (

Joe Piette

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Joe Piette

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