January 6, 2009
Muslim group mad at L.A. mayor for supporting Israel
At the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles this afternoon, L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa voiced his support for Israel’s war against Hamas and invasion of Gaza:
But the Muslim Public Affairs Council wasn’t happy and held its own news conference at the Islamic Shura Council of Southern California. You can watch what Salam Al-Marayati, MPAC’s executive director, had to say here. Al-Marayati said the Muslim and Arab community of Los Angeles was disappointed in the mayor:
“Why is the Mayor of Los Angeles dragging himself and his constituents into international conflicts in the Middle East?” Al-Marayati asked. “If he chooses to engage in international issues, he should meet with all sides and discuss the critical perspectives and recommendations from all sides before making a decision on such an important international issue.”
“The Mayor should bring both sides together to talk about how we can prevent the conflict and violence emanating from the Middle East from spilling over onto our streets in America.”
This is not the first time MPAC has been angered by the mayor’s support for Israel’s military actions. In 2006, MPAC criticized his vocal support for Israel’s war with Hezbollah in Lebanon.
He was joined at the press conference by Israeli Consul General Jacob Dayan, Federation President John Fishel, Simon Wiesenthal Center Dean Marvin Hier and City Councilmembers Wendy Greuel, Janice Hahn, Jack Weiss and Dennis Zine.
“I just celebrated Christmas, with the hope of peace on earth,” Hahn said. “But I do know there will be no peace and there will hardly be room to talk until these rockets cease being fired on civilians.”