Prayers for Peace and Responses to war between Israel and Gaza
Words seem inadequate when deeds are so horrific as to defy the ability to string together anything that can ease the pain, lessen the fear, defuse the anger, and move the broken and wounded to doing anything other than striking back. Yet as people of faith committed to peace, we must speak words of compassion and solidarity, aloud and in silent prayer, as well as seek actions that foster healing, justice and peace.
In the face of shocking and deadly attacks by Hamas against civilians in Israel and the Israeli military response to those attacks, adding violence to violence, we grieve for each and every human being lost, wounded, suffering loss, and despairing the coming nights and days of uncertainty and pain.
We pray for the violence to cease and for the world to come together to support all who have been harmed and bring a lasting peace to a land that has suffered too much for too long. Within our own communities and nation, we commit to stand against antisemtic, anti-Arab, and anti-Muslim occurence or rhetoric of any kind, and work for relationships of respect, open-heartedness and healing. Although war often leads us to think in terms of "us" and "them," we know from the very nature of our organization, that coming together in the richness of diversity is the only path to peace.
ACTION: We urge you to join with the Friends Committee on National Legislation (Quaker-based) in their call to our U.S. government to act to de-escalate the violence. Click here to TAKE ACTION NOW and send a letter to your Senators and Congress Representative. Their website makes this easy, and personalizing the letter can make it even more effective.
Peace with Justice: We affirm these words from Rabbi Jill Jacobs, CEO of T'ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights. "We mourn and we pray for the safety of everyone in harm's way... We know that a true and lasting peace will not be acheived until there is a just, negotiated political solution that protects the human rights of everyone."
Contribute and Support: Here we highlight a few organizations, mostly led by both Palestinians and Israelis who are working for healing, justice and peace. We offer links for you to consider making donations or supporting in other ways.
Rebuilding Alliance - dedicated to rebuilding war-torn communities. Currently their NGO partners in Gaza are delivering food and hygiene supplies.
New Israel Fund - prodemocracy organization in Israel already mobilized with war relief.
UNRWA-UN - relief for Palestinian refugees - is already established in Gaza.
IsraAid - partnering with local and civil society organizations to coordinate humanitarian efforts, providing psychosocial support and urgent aid. International NGO.
Gisha - protecting the freedom of movement for Palestinians, especially in Gaza.
Listen, Learn and Pray: Below are links to various organizations that include Muslim, Jews and Christians, with statements offering their insight and perspectives from their own experience. MVPJ does not advocate any specific statement or response. We offer these with the prayer that we can learn from one another, even when we disagree.
Prayer for Peace in Israel and Palestine - Click here to read from Sojourners website
American Friends of the Parents Circle Family Forum Statement
Sisterhood of Salaam Shalom - offers connection and personal reflections from friends from Ofakim near the Gaza border, and from East Jerusalem
Churches for Middle East Peace - Click here for the latest "Public Statement" including those condemning violence, calling for prayer, imploring de-escalation and addressing core issues of conflict.
Fellowship of Reconciliation Statement
T'ruah: The Rabbic Call for Human Rights Statement
Combatants for Peace - Click here to download pdf of statement