Posted on April 19, 2017 in Press Releases
For Immediate Release
April 24, 2017
Contact: Jennifer Salan 202-429-9210
Media Advisory


US Commission Rejects Faith Leaders' Appeals to Examine Israel's Violations of Religious Freedom

Washington, DC – On Wednesday, April 26, James Zogby, President of the Arab American Institute who serves as a member of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), will be joined by Father Drew Christiansen of Georgetown’s Berkley Center for Religion, Peace & World Affairs; Jim Winkler of the National Council of Churches and Wes Granberg-Michaelson, General Secretary Emeritus of the Reformed Church in America to discuss the refusal of USCIRF to examine Israeli violations of religious freedom. USCIRF’s annual report, which omits Israel’s violations, will be released this week.

Zogby will outline two requests for the Commission to examine discrimination against Muslims, Christians and non-Orthodox Jews in Israel and the occupied territories. Both requests were rejected by the Commission. Documentation of the requests will be provided at the briefing. For further reference, see this letter from Zogby explaining his dissent, this letter signed by dozens of church groups and NGOs expressing their concern over the Commission’s failure to address Israel’s denials of Palestinian religious freedom, and this report examining religious freedom in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories.

WHO: James Zogby, AAI President; Father Drew Christiansen, Georgetown’s Berkley Center for Religion, Peace & World Affairs; Jim Winkler, President and General Secretary of the National Council of Churches; and Wes Granberg-Michaelson General Secretary Emeritus, Reformed Church in America 

WHAT: Press Briefing to Discuss USCIRF’s Rejection of Appeals to Examine Israel's Violations of Religious Freedom 

WHEN: Wednesday, April 26, 10:30AM

WHERE: Lutheran Church of the Reformation, 212 East Capitol St NE DC, Blue Room

RSVP Requested:


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Founded in 1985, the Arab American Institute (AAI) is a nonprofit organization committed to the civic and political empowerment of Americans of Arab descent.  AAI provides policy, research and public affairs services to support a broad range of community activities. For more information please visit