Wednesday, January 14, 2009

(from Boston)

We, members and leaders of the Muslim, Jewish, and Christian communities in Greater Boston - all having deep and symbolic ties to the land and peoples of the Middle
East - are anguished by the events unfolding in Israel and Gaza. Recognizing the legitimate needs of all peoples, including all those living in the Middle East, for dignity, peace, safety and security –- regardless of religion, race, or national origin -- we issue this joint statement with
the hope and belief that our interfaith voices will be heard clearly, above the din of war.
As guiding principles,
 We acknowledge the long, complex, and painful history
of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict
 We acknowledge the wide range of deeply-held beliefs,
and intensely-felt narratives on all sides
 We acknowledge that all sides are capable of assigning
blame to others, and asserting justification for their cause
 We observe that violence by any side begets more
violence, hatred, and retaliation
 We deplore any invocation of religion as a
justification for violence against others, or the
deprivation of the rights of others
 We decry any use of inflammatory rhetoric that
demonizes the other and is intended, or is likely, to
promote hatred and disrespect
 We believe the conflict can be resolved only through a
political and diplomatic solution and not a military
In the face of many competing narratives, we recognize that
the overriding common need of the peoples of the region is
the prompt implementation of a just and lasting peace.
Toward that end, and particularly in response to the
current hostilities,
 We call upon the United States and the international
community immediately to intercede to help reestablish
a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, toward the goal
of a permanent cessation of hostilities
 We call upon Hamas immediately to end all rocket
attacks on Israel, and upon Israel immediately to end
its military campaign in Gaza
 We call for an immediate end to all strikes on
civilian centers and citizens, both Israeli and
 We call for lifting of the blockade on Gaza as to all
non-military goods, for an immediate and significant
increase in humanitarian aid to address the needs of
the people of Gaza, and for all parties involved to
join in taking responsibility to address those human
 We call on all parties involved in the conflict to
work sincerely and vigorously toward a just and
lasting peace that addresses and promotes the national
aspirations of both the Israeli and Palestinian
 We call on President-elect Obama to make clear that as
President he will urgently assert US leadership to
achieve a comprehensive diplomatic resolution of the
Israeli-Palestinian and Arab-Israeli conflicts
Through this joint statement we affirm our commitment to
engage with one another, even, and especially, during times
of great stress. We also affirm our common humanity and
our common belief – as Jews, Muslims and Christians - that
the Israeli-Palestinian conflict must cease, that there is
no military or violent solution, that all human life is
valued, and that all parties must cooperate to make the
peace – a just and lasting peace desperately needed and
deserved by all the peoples of the region.


Salwa Abd-Allah, Executive Council, Muslim American Society of Boston (MAS Boston), Islamic
Society of Boston Cultural Center (ISBCC)
Tariq Ali, President, Harvard Islamic Society
Hossam AlJabri, President, MAS Boston-ISBCC; Trustee, Interreligious Center for Public Life
Rev. Dr. Jim Antal, President, United Church of Christ Mass. Conference
Abdul Cader Asmal, Past President, Islamic Council of New England and Islamic Center
of Boston; Trustee ICPL
Rabbi Al Axelrad, Hillel Director Emeritus, Brandeis University
Diane Balser, Executive Director, Brit Tzedek v’Shalom
Dorothy C. Buck, Ph.D., Director, Badaliya
Rev. Nick Carter, Ph.D., President, Andover Newton Theological School
Dris Djermoun, President, Islamic Center of Boston (Wayland)
Diana L. Eck, Professor, Harvard University
Imam Talal Eid, Islamic Institute of Boston; Chaplain Brandeis University
Ashraf Elkerm, Board Chairman, Islamic Center of Greater Worcester
Rev. Dr. Terasa G. Cooley, Unitarian Universalist Mass. Bay District Executive
Mercedes S. Evans, Esq., Committee on Contemporary Spiritual & Public Concerns (CSPC
Committee) (Civil Rights)
Imam Abdullah Faruuq, Imam, Mosque for the Praising of Allah (Roxbury)
Michael Felsen, President, Boston Workmen's Circle
Lisa Gallatin, Executive Director, Boston Workmen's Circle
Zekeriyya Gemici, President, MIT Muslim Students Association
Rabbi David Gordis
Rabbi Arthur Green, Rector, Rabbinical School, Hebrew College, Newton
Rev. Raymond G. Helmick, S.J., Instructor, Conflict Resolution, Boston College
Arnold Hiatt
Rev. Jack Johnson, Executive Director, Mass. Council of Churches
M. Bilal Kaleem, Executive Director, MAS Boston-ISBCC
Anwar Kazmi, Executive Council, MAS Boston-ISBCC
Alexander Kern, Executive Director, Cooperative Metropolitan Ministries
Nabeel Khudairi, Past President, Islamic Council of New England
Idit Klein, Executive Director, Keshet
Margie Klein, Co-Director, Moishe/Kavod House
Mary Lahaj, Muslim Chaplain, Simmons College
Geoffrey Lewis
Imam Taalib Mahdee, Imam, Masjid Al-Quran, (Dorchester)
Rev. Bert Marshall, Church World Service, New England Director
Jerome D. Maryon, Esq., President, CSPC Committee
Michael J. Moran, Pax Christi Massachusetts
Sister Jane Morrissey, SSJ, Pax Christi Massachusetts
Merrie Najimy, President, American Arab Anti-discrimination Committee, MA
Imam Khalid Nasr, Imam, ICNE-Quincy
Imam Basyouni Nehela, Imam, Islamic Society of Boston
Rashid Noor, President, Islamic Center of New England
Rabbi Sara Paasche-Orlow
Rabbi Barbara Penzner, Temple Hillel B'nai Torah
Rev. Rodney L. Petersen, Ph.D., Executive Director, Boston Theological Institute
Dr Asif Rizvi, President-Elect, Islamic Council of New England
Rabbi Victor Reinstein, Nehar Shalom
Rev. Anne Robertson, Executive Director, Massachusetts Bible Society
Qasim Salimi, President, Boston University Muslim Students Association
Robert M. Sarly, Trustee, ICPL
Rev. Mikel E. Satcher, Ph.D., Pastor, Trinity Baptist Church
Professor Adam Seligman, Boston University
Rabbi Sanford Seltzer, Chair, ICPL
Enid Shapiro, Trustee, ICPL
Rt. Rev. M. Thomas Shaw, SSJE, Episcopal Bishop, Diocese of Massachusetts
Alan Solomont
Rabbi Toba Spitzer, Congregation Dorshei Tzedek
Rev. John K. Stendahl, Pastor, Lutheran Church of the Newtons
Sidney Topol
Rabbi Andrew Vogel, Temple Sinai
Peter D. Weaver, Bishop, United Methodist Church, Boston Area
(Organizational affiliations for identification purposes only)

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