November 7, 2023
Tags: Community, Community-Building, Equity, Human rights, Inclusion, Interfaith, Respect,
As we mark over four weeks since the horrific and shocking Hamas-led attack on Israel and the subsequent Israeli military operation in Gaza. We are saddened and outraged at the increase of antisemitic and Islamophobia fueled verbal and physical violence towards members of the Jewish and Arab community in our country.
While the nuances and intricacies of the Israel-Hamas war are beyond our scope of expertise, one thing that we at NCCJ are clear about is that we irrevocably condemn any form of antisemitism or islamophobia, whether in word or action.
We stand with our Jewish and Arab community members who are mourning the loss and awaiting the safe return of friends and loved ones, coupled with the ongoing fear for the safety of those in Gaza and Israel caught in the crossfire of this escalating conflict.
We stand with our Jewish and Arab community members who must face increased discrimination, fear and the threats of violence here at home. No one should fear for their safety or that of their children and loved ones – period. – and especially based on something as central to their identity as their religious beliefs, nationality, or ethnicity. Hate speech and imagery insinuating the eradication of a people has no place in our communities and is antithetical to democracy and inclusion.
While the nuances and intricacies of the Israel-Hamas war are beyond our scope of expertise, NCCJ firmly and unequivocally condemns any form of antisemitism or islamophobia, whether in word or action.
History teaches us that dehumanization is a key ingredient in identity-based violence and genocide. When we do not object to our friends and neighbors promoting dehumanizing ideas like “we would be better off without certain groups of people” or that members of cultural or religious groups are “animals”, “pure evil”, etc., we run the risk of seeming to approve of their sentiments.
If you are unsure whether something you are seeing is antisemitic or Islamophobic, these resources may help you build your knowledge base:
We encourage members of our community to engage in thoughtful, patient, and open-minded discourse as we all navigate this experience. Below are resources that we have curated to help you if and when you find yourself in conversation about the Israel-Hamas Conflict:
WBUR-How to start a hard conversation about the Israel-Hamas War
ADL-10 Ways to Have Conscientious Conversations on the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
PBS-How to talk to kids about the Israel-Hamas war (video)