Press Release

Why We Are Boycotting This Year's SF City Hall Iftar

For the first time since its inception in 2019, the Arab Resource & Organizing Center (AROC) has decided not to participate in the San Francisco City Hall Ramadan Iftar. Ramadan represents a moment of unity, peace, and empathy among diverse communities, a reflection on privilege and privation, and a call to action to feed the hungry, tend to the sick, and defend the defenseless. To share a platform with individuals who oppose these principles would be a betrayal to the communities we represent.

Some of the elected officials invited to join this iftar, including Mayor London Breed, District Attorney Brooke Jenkins, and Supervisors Matt Dorsey and Rafael Mandelman, have made dangerous, racist, and untrue statements against Palestinian, Arab, and Muslim communities. In the face of thousands dead, millions starving, and global condemnation of Israel’s campaign of ethnic cleansing, they refuse even simple calls for a ceasefire, cater to rightwing racists, and continue to justify and defend the very criminals who have inflicted these horrors upon the Palestinian people. Before sitting in our community spaces, especially during the holy month of Ramadan, we expect them to acknowledge and atone for their violent and dehumanizing language, and the harm it has caused.

We understand the need for shared spaces of mourning and support in these dark times, and look forward to breaking bread with our communities at other events, where the struggle of the Palestinian people is uplifted and not shamefully ignored by elected leaders. This year's planning process for the Iftar differed significantly from previous years. We remain hopeful for future events that will better embody the spirit of inclusivity and genuine solidarity.

We know our decision to not support or participate in this year’s San Francisco City Hall Ramadan Iftar will sadden some in our community. And we suspect it may incur further vitriol from some of those in power. But we cannot accept the extension of a hand of fellowship only during auspicious occasions, while actions and rhetoric outside these times suggest a lack of genuine regard and respect for the very communities they seek to celebrate. In these times, where we have lost so much, we must maintain our dignity and our principles.


"Everything in this world can be robbed and stolen, except one thing; this one thing is the love that emanates from a human being towards a solid commitment to a conviction or cause."