Statement on the current round of violence in the Middle East

We, the members of the Executive Board of the International Council of Christians and Jews, are deeply distressed and saddened by the current round of violence in the Middle East. We have always affirmed our commitment to the survival and security of the State of Israel. At the same time, we grieve for the loss of innocent lives on both sides.

Despite the political and ideological questions that may divide us, we re-affirm our common commitments to the sanctity of human life, the pursuit of peace as a religious imperative, and the importance of inter-religious and inter-group dialogue.

Of particular concern to us is the outbreak of antisemitic incidents, some violent, in different parts of the world, seemingly in response to the current difficult situation. There have also been incidents of discrimination against innocent Muslims living outside the region. We deplore this tendency to import the conflict into other regions.

We pray that the fighting will end as soon as possible and that Palestinians and Israelis will be able once again to sit together and resolve their conflict through negotiations based on mutual acceptance.

Dr Deborah Weissman