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Statement on the Tragedy Unfolding in the Holy Land

October 17, 2023

Dear Members of the HJI Community,

As we observe the tragic circumstances that have unfolded in the Holy Land over the past several days, our hearts are overwhelmed with a deep sadness. The horrific loss of lives, many to senseless violence, leaves us in a state of shock. We are especially troubled in knowing that this tragedy is taking place in a region of the world—the Holy Land—that has given birth to Judaism, Christianity and Islam, religions of ultimate value and wisdom, revered and respected all across the world.

We know that these great spiritual traditions are surely capable of providing us with the needed enrichment and spiritual resources that can give us hope, and that can point a
way forward beyond the despair of the current moment, leading us toward a transformative and restorative opportunity for peace.

At this time, we call upon people the world over—especially Jews, Christians and Muslims—to draw prayerfully from the deep wells of their faith traditions. Our collective thoughts, prayers, words and deeds can contribute to peace, and can offer a glimmer of hope that the violence and suffering that darkens the heart of humanity at this time can cease, and the hope of reconciliation can re-emerge as a possibility.

Our mission at HJI is to promote peace and public leadership, including interfaith peacebuilding. We recognize the current crisis as a daunting challenge. However, we are committed to doing our best to be a voice for dialogue and mutual respect. We pray for the victims. We pray for the government leaders, the diplomats, the imams and the rabbis, the bishops and all ordinary believers and citizens of countries across the world, and especially those currently on the front line in a region that has generated so much of the light that has ennobled humanity, but which currently is stricken with unspeakable suffering.

Sincerely and hopefully,

Thomas G. Walsh, Ph.D.

President of HJI