Western States Center is outraged by the violence currently unfolding in Israel and the Palestinian Territories, and especially by the killing of a valued partner to Western States Center in the violence on Saturday. Our hearts go out to this partner and his family and community, as well as to all the victims of these unconscionable attacks and to Israeli and Jewish families living in fear and collective trauma. We are horrified by, and condemn in the strongest terms, the targeting of innocent victims and the use of terrorist violence against Israeli citizens by Hamas militants.
We have visited Israel and the Palestinian Territories with our board, staff, fellows and partners many times over the course of our work to counter the divisive impacts of antisemitism on American democracy. We know that complex histories of injustice, pain, and violence define every facet of this conflict, and that there can be no justification for violence.
We are heartbroken for all Israelis and Palestinians affected by this violence, and for Jews around the world for whom the land of Israel remains a symbol of hope and security in a world that has perpetrated exile and death upon their people for centuries upon centuries.
We are also troubled by the continued plight of Palestinians, who have suffered and will continue to suffer as a result of these attacks.
We know that any time violence in the region makes the news, incidents of antisemitic, anti-Arab, and anti-Muslim rhetoric and bigotry surge in the U.S. and abroad. As an organization whose mission and vision is centered on strengthening inclusive democracy in the United States, including justice and equity for all, we urge all who are concerned with these events to denounce terrorist violence and explicitly reject antisemitism and racism, as well as the politics of isolation, exclusion, and dehumanizing cruelty that accompany these bigotries.
We continue to hold out hope for a just and democratic society for the Israeli and Palestinian peoples, and a world free from bigotry and fear for us all.