We are overwhelmed with grief over the violence in Israel and Gaza. We know that the feelings of many of the members of our community regardless of their religious tradition are raw. Folks are exhausted and confused as we all try to understand the atrocities visited on our brothers and sisters that are resulting from the conflict. As the Celebration of Abraham tried to discern how to respond, we received the International House email that expressed that group’s distress and then affirmed the statement developed by the University of California Davis Cross-Cultural Center. The carefully crafted statement of the Cross-Cultural Center reflected the Celebration of Abraham’s thinking and, so we like International House are choosing to uphold the following statement:
“While no statement or message can encompass the historical breadth and political depth of this complex conflict, we want to acknowledge that the language and narratives used by media and in various statements can compound and increase feelings of vulnerability and distress.
We recognize that words matter and are concerned about dangerous rhetoric that can lead to increased anti-Arab sentiment, anti-Semitism, and Islamophobia. This impact can include but is not limited to, people feeling unsafe emotionally and physically due to doxxing, surveillance, threats, and fear of voicing their opinion or perspective.
As a community, we encourage folks to be mindful of where they receive information, apply critical thinking skills when evaluating sources, and be open to deepening their knowledge around multiple perspectives.”
We, like International House, thank the UC Davis Cross Cultural Center for naming concerns and encouraging thoughtful consideration. We also thank the International House for reminding us that if we work to deepen our knowledge of others and practice deep compassion, we can realize what connects us as humans is stronger than the difference that divides us.
With a prayer for peace for all,
Helen Roland Cramer, Chair
Celebration of Abraham