The Unitarian Universalist Service Committee advances human rights through grassroots collaborations.
UUSC Joins Calls for an Immediate Ceasefire in Israel/Palestine
In the face of devastating violence in Israel and Gaza, UUSC is joining many others in sharing our deep concern for the people and communities closest to the harm and those impacted by generations of fear, violence, and oppression created by racism and antisemitism.
No civilians should ever be targeted or killed, whether they live in Israel, Gaza, or elsewhere. The exploding violence is deeply rooted and can be traced through centuries of persecution and trauma, political “solutions,” U.S. government policy, and colonialism. The vestiges of colonialism have created many of the conditions that have led to the current global state of displacement, including violence, persecution and human rights abuses.
In the midst of atrocities arising in this very particular context, and in the shadow of layers of oppression and trauma that generate strong and often revenge-filled responses, there is growing intimidation and vilification directed at those who are working for liberation of the Palestinian people in the face of the Israeli occupation. Among some—especially right-wing media, politicians, and pundits—the strategy is designed to create an atmosphere of fear and silence within movements for peace and democracy.
The calls from UUSC, our allies, and partners for Israel’s response to Hamas’ attacks on Israeli civilians to follow international humanitarian and human rights laws and for an immediate ceasefire do not condone Hamas’ actions. To point out the grave violations of human rights committed by the Israeli state against Palestinians is not a justification for Hamas’ actions. Human rights work requires us to hold a multiplicity of perspectives and to reject simplistic, binary accusations. The narrative we must bring to these tragic circumstances is rooted in multiple truths, a commitment to justice, and accountability.
In our work around the world, for more than 80 years, UUSC has supported partners striving for liberation, fighting—and even dismantling—narratives that support and further oppression, occupation, and even genocide. We know that this is the tragic trajectory when powerful actors dehumanize and marginalize communities based on race, religion, and ethnicity.
Countering these violent narratives requires our own work to understand histories and listen to communities facing dehumanizing strategies. UUSC will be working with others in the coming months to support people of faith and people of conscience who want to learn and hold a multiplicity of understanding as we are required to do in the work for human rights. We hope you will join us in listening, processing, and learning.
We join you and many others in calling for action—an immediate ceasefire and movement of humanitarian assistance to those most impacted.