The Unitarian Universalist Service Committee advances human rights through grassroots collaborations.
UUSC Response to Human Rights at Risk in Palestine and Israel
By UUSC Staff on November 30, 2023
On October 14, 2023, UUSC issued a public statement in response to the devastating violence in Gaza and throughout the rest of Palestine and Israel.
Our statement condemned violence against civilians and shared our concern for people and communities closest to the harm and those impacted by generations of fear, violence, and oppression created by racism and antisemitism.
We have deep concern, as well, about Israel’s long-term occupation of Palestinian lands and the brutal tactics used for years and recently in the wake of the Israeli government’s escalating military strikes and ground invasion. The brutal tactics amount to collective punishment and the dehumanization of all Palestinians and the killing of more than 10,000 people in the last weeks alone.
Our concerns are based on the many contexts and years in which we’ve fought against systems of settler violence, capitalism, and militarism:
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.
While UUSC does not have funded partners on the ground in Palestine, we work closely in coalition with groups that do. UUSC has supported a close coalition partner, Grassroots International, with a $25,000 grant to support their Palestine emergency fund. We’ve supported efforts within philanthropy to move money and joined as an initiating organization to support the November 2 Philanthropy Open Letter for Humanity and Justicestatement, which has almost 1,000 signatories.
Our commitments include a call for immediate ceasefire, the release of political prisoners and hostages, support for and the safe provision of humanitarian aid, and the end to U.S. military support for the Israeli army. We’re joining advocacy efforts led by coalitions in community with those impacted and we’re monitoring the increasing surveillance and criminalization of organizations supporting Palestinian rights and the restrictions on rights of free speech and association. We call for nothing short of an end to the antisemitism and Islamophobia driving this conflict in the Middle East and in the public discourse around this crisis.
Sunday, December 10 is International Human Rights Day, a time for the world to reflect on the signing of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, established 75 years ago. We hope you will join us in this opportunity to reflect on the state of human rights domestically and abroad, reaffirming our commitment to international justice and accountability.
We’ll continue to assess what is ours to do in this moment and how to support global movement-building for human rights. In our work we strive to address the intersecting oppressions that inevitably lead to violence and even genocide. We join with UUSC partners who are working for collective liberation—the embracing and honoring of the humanity of all people, regardless of any aspect of our multifaceted identities. We’re stronger together when we humanize the struggle of those most impacted and listen deeply to their visions for justice in the spirit of solidarity and accompaniment.
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