FAITH GROUPS JOIN CALL FOR AN ARMS EMBARGO ON ISRAEL
For immediate release – It is with heavy hearts that we compose this statement. At the time of this writing, the Israeli military’s ground, naval, and aerial bombardment of Gaza has killed at least 2,104 Palestinians. The majority of these victims were civilians, according to the United Nations. Palestinian rockets and anti-tank fire have killed four Israeli civilians, one Thai migrant worker, and 64 Israeli soldiers.
We deplore and condemn the use of violence by anyone, anytime, anywhere. For, each of these casualties is a child of God; each has a name; each has a family; each has a life story that has come to an abrupt and tragic end.
These deaths do not occur in a vacuum. The current onslaught takes place within the context of a seven-year old Israeli and Egyptian imposed blockade of Gaza and forty-seven year old Israeli occupation of the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Gaza.
Most of Gaza’s residents, moreover, are from families that were driven from their homes in Palestine in 1948, when the state of Israel was created, and have since not been permitted by Israel to return. Those Palestinians and their descendants who did manage to stay in Israel after 1948 are subject to institutionalized discrimination and increasing hostility from right-wing Israelis.
In the face of this oppression, Palestinians everywhere must struggle for their dignity, human rights, and equality. Right now in Gaza, every Palestinian is literally struggling to stay alive.
Israeli aggression against Palestine, both in the past two weeks, and over the past several decades, has been largely enabled by American military aid and international military sales. The US government gives Israel $3.1 billion a year to purchase the most advanced weaponry in the world. European Union countries, as well as Brazil, India, and Chile have also sold advanced weapons to the Israeli military.
We support efforts to prevent the distribution of weapons to Gaza.
We likewise call for a blockade of weapons to Israel.
We are therefore joining the six Nobel Peace Laureates and thousands of others in endorsing the Palestinian call for an arms embargo on Israel. We will continue endorsing this call until the current bloodshed, blockade, occupation, and exile come to an end.
We ask that you join us in this action and in continuing to pray for a just peace in Israel/Palestine.
In peace and hope,
American Jews for a Just Peace
American Muslims for Palestine
Baptist Peace Fellowship of North America
Beacon Mountain Monastery
Build Bridges Not Walls.... Bubbes and Zaydes (Grandparents) for Peace in the Middle East
Chicago Faith Coalition on Middle East Policy
Christian-Jewish Allies of Greater Philadelphia
Christians Witnessing for Palestine, Friends of Sabeel
Citizens for Justice in the Middle East—Kansas City
Des Moines Catholic Worker, Rachel Corrie Project
Disciples Justice Action Network
Ecumenical Working Group for Middle East Peace, Greater Philadelphia
Emmaus Faith Community
Episcopal Peace Fellowship’s Palestine Israel Network
Evangelicals for Middle East Understanding
Federation of Muslim Organizations, Leicestershire, UK
Friends of Sabeel-DC Metro
Friends of Sabeel-North America
Friends of Sabeel-Sacramento Region
Friends of Sabeel-South Florida
Hyde Park Mennonite Fellowship
Interdenominational Advocates for Peace
The Interfaith Council for Peace in the Middle East
Israel/Palestine Mission Network of the Presbyterian Church (USA)
Jewish Voice for Peace Rabbinical Council Co-Founders, Rabbi Brant Rosen and Rabbi Alissa Wise
Jews for Justice in Palestine
Lutherans for Justice in the Holy Land – Central Lutheran Church, Portland, OR
Keep Hope Alive, Bay Area, California
Manhattan Mennonite Fellowship
Mennonite Palestine-Israel Network
Middle East Task Force of Chicago Presbytery
Muslim Peace Fellowship
Muslim Progressive Traditionalist Alliance
Newman Nonviolent Peacemakers/ Fr. Bill O’Donnell Social Justice Committee
Northern California Pax Christi
Palestine-Israel Action Group of Ann Arbor Friends Meeting (Quakers)
Palestinian Christian Alliance for Peace
Philadelphia Jews for a Just Peace
Presbyterian Peace Fellowship
Quaker Palestine Israel Network
Reconciling Ministries Network
Shomer Shalom Network for Jewish Nonviolence, Rabbi Lynn Gottlieb
St. Michael’s Task Force on Israel-Palestine, NYC
Tree of Life Educational Fund
Unitarian Universalists for Justice in the Middle East
Unitarian Universalists for Justice in the Middle East – Massachusetts Chapter
United Church of Christ Palestine Israel Network
United Methodist Kairos Response Steering Committee
United Network for Justice and Peace in Palestine and Israel, United Church of Canada
Vancouver Catholic Worker
West Hills Friends Church, Portland, Oregon
Westminster Presbyterian Church, Wooster, Ohio
World Council of Arya Samaj President Emeritus, and URI Global Trustee, Swami Agnivesh
Read on Religion News Service Website.