Statement of Lament issued by Musalaha on 24 October 2023. Musalaha exists to bring reconciliation between Israelis and Palestinians.
We at Musalaha lament the devastation and unfolding tragedies in Gaza and Southern Israel. We stand firmly against the embrace, use, and justification of violence against civilian populations in the name of justice, vengeance, and liberation. We are distressed and overwhelmed, never having seen this scale of inhumanity, anguish, rage and hatred before.
As the number of people killed continues to rise daily, we lament for all those who have lost loved ones and pray for comfort over their bereaved families. We mourn all the lives of civilians killed and the ones fleeing for their lives; we mourn for all homes destroyed and futures interrupted. We pray for the medical teams and journalists facing chaos and adversity, healing for the injured, and for the release of all civilian (Israeli and foreign national) hostages in Gaza.
We lament these recent events as part of the larger context we have been writing and warning about for years. We grieve the normalized systemic policies and practices that have been oppressing and denying Palestinians their basic human rights and freedoms. We call for the immediate lift of the indiscriminate siege of Gaza where over 2 million people are currently enduring collective punishment, cut off from water, food, fuel, medicine, and electricity. We call for the deployment of humanitarian aid and vital resources to be fully restored.
We lament people who, in the name of justice, have allowed rage to perpetuate the cycle of dehumanisation and excuse bloodshed; as seen with Hamas’ attacks and the Israeli army’s response. We lament the rhetoric fuelling exclusive and racist narratives that can only lead to further vengeance and violence. We lament the damaging and barren role international state actors have played, sabotaging the possibilities of a just reality.
Musalaha purposefully exists outside this ongoing cycle of violence, believing in challenging systemic violence as well as vengeful violence reacting to it. As we imagine a better world, we call our friends to practice empathy, express comfort, and support our vision of a just peace.