Statement on Sheikh Jarrah, Jerusalem

In response to increasing acts of injustice and violence in Jerusalem, the Sisterhood of Salaam Shalom stands behind our commitment to inspire Jewish and Muslim women and teen girls to support and promote nonviolent means of achieving peace and human and civil rights for all Palestinians and Israelis. We condemn the actions of the Israeli police in attempting to forcibly prevent religious worship in attacking Palestinian worshippers at a religious site and in instigating violence in the East Jerusalem neighborhoods of Sheikh Jarrah and Silwan. We condemn the brutality against Palestinian and Israeli protestors, which left more than 600 civilians injured, and the resulting increase in violence targeting innocent civilians. While we applaud the decision to delay a High Court ruling to evict Palestinian residents from their homes, the Sisterhood of Salaam Shalom calls on the Israeli government to stop falling victim to extremist groups who are fueling the aggressive police actions and the unjust and prejudicial actions targeting Palestinians and to end its systematic racism against and repression of the Palestinian people.We grieve the violent response on the part of Hamas and subsequently the IDF, which has caused fear, injury, and damage to areas of Israel and Gaza, as well as loss of life. We are deeply concerned about the resulting emotional impact, physical injuries, and deaths that will continue to mount as violence continues to escalate. As our colleagues in peacebuilding in the region believe, there is no military solution to this conflict. One act of violence evokes another, and from this cycle of violence no one benefits, as we are seeing with each passing day.The Israeli government has a responsibility to stop settlers and extremists from taking over the land and allow those who live in East Jerusalem to rightfully live there in peace. The ongoing actions jeopardize the tenuous situation between Israelis and Palestinians. As Muslim and Jewish women of faith who are members of the Sisterhood of Salaam Shalom, we have a responsibility to rise up and respond to injustice and prejudice. The situation that is taking place in the holy city of Jerusalem is kindling the flames of hate, injustice, and violence.  We ask our Jewish and Muslim sisters to stand up against oppression, human rights violations, and extremism. We ask our sisters to stand up for freedom, dignity, and equality for all people living in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories. Please reach out to your elected leaders and let them know that we will not stand for injustice, no matter who instigates it and no matter where it occurs. We ask all public officials in Israel and the United States to end overly aggressive policing, to commit to equalizing Israeli law to give the same rights to Palestinians, as have been given to Israelis, to live in their own homes without threat of eviction, and to commit to nonviolent means of achieving peace. Here is what you can do now: (1) Sign this petition from Peace Now;(2) Call your member of Congress encouraging American government pressure to stop the wave of violence and change Israel’s policy of depriving Palestinians of their homes; (3) Subscribe to peacebuilding organizations in the region for further updates on helpful actions. Examples include: Combatants for Peace, New Israel Fund, Parents Circle Family Forum;(4) Reach out to your sisters and consider making a space for sharing, to come together for prayers, and supportive listening.

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