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Bishop William Barber on the “Moral Case for a Ceasefire” in Gaza


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This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

AMY GOODMAN: Bishop Barber, before we go, I wanted to turn to a different issue. We have just a minute, and I wanted to ask you about the moral case for a ceasefire, that you’ve written about, in Gaza. In November, you joined a group of Christian leaders for a vigil outside the White House demanding President Biden support a ceasefire in Gaza, and said, quote, “We must join forces with Jews and Christians and Muslims around the world who are calling for a ceasefire in Gaza and the safe return of all hostages and civilian prisoners and to stop the killing.” Your final thoughts on this, as Israel weighs a full-scale invasion of Rafah?

BISHOP WILLIAM BARBER II: We should — all moral leaders needed to say “no” to what Hamas did to children and women, and “no, no, no” to what Israel, the Israeli government and Netanyahu is now continuing to do. In the original article I wrote about Hamas, I also challenged the apartheid state that the Netanyahu regime had had in Israel. We said we must speak as one voice — Christians, Muslims and Jews — to say the indiscriminate killing of women and children in this war is immoral.

And let me give you a Scripture, straight from the text, that Muslims, Jews and Christians all agree on. It’s Isaiah 10. It ought to be a framework for how we move forward. “Woe unto those who legislate evil and rob the poor of their rights and make women and children prey.” P-R-E-Y. That is a moral text from the ancient Hebrew Scriptures that Muslims and Christians all agree on. And it is a prophetic challenge to governments. And that must be our prophetic challenge to what Netanyahu and them are doing today.

AMY GOODMAN: Bishop William Barber, co-chair of the Poor People’s Campaign, speaking to us from Durham, North Carolina, and Michael Zweig, economist and author of Class, Race, and Gender: Challenging the Injuries and Divisions of Capitalism. Bishop Barber wrote the introduction.

And that does it for our show. Democracy Now! produced with Renée Feltz, Mike Burke, Deena Guzder, Messiah Rhodes. Happy birthday, Messiah! I’m Amy Goodman. Thanks so much for joining us.

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