Statement on Israel and Palestine

Portland Interfaith Clergy Resistance
Statement on Israel and Palestine
May 2021

As faith leaders in the Portland area, Portland Interfaith Clergy Resistance stands in solidarity with Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank. In the past year, we have experienced in the streets of Portland a tiny fraction of what Palestinians have encountered for decades: a disproportionately violent response by law enforcement to people demanding human rights and just treatment. We see the parallels between the violence of the Israeli and United States governments, both sometimes claiming to follow religious traditions some of us ascribe to, Judaism and Christianity. We see the attempts to dehumanize people around the globe. Palestinian rights are human rights and oppression is unjust no matter where it occurs.

We hold governments responsible for the atrocities of state sanctioned violence, oppression, and occupation, and as interfaith leaders we declare: Not in our name.

Rather than supporting dehumanizing governments, our faith traditions invite us to create communities of belonging and care. We see in our faith traditions people who were dispossessed and displaced, who have been exiled and martyred, who have been excluded and enslaved.

The Jews among us remember our ancestors imprisoned in concentration camps, and we stand against this practice in Gaza, in the West Bank, and in United States ICE facilities. We acknowledge the need for Jews to live free from fear of anti-semitism, and we reject the idea that this must come at the expense of Palestinian lives and freedom.

The Christians among us acknowledge with humility and repentance that it is our ancestors who displaced Indigenous people in the US and elsewhere, white Christians who enslaved Africans, Christians who ran concentration camps in Germany, and Christians who led the Crusades against Muslims. It is also the Christian message that enlivened parts of the Civil Rights Movement and that continues to inspire movements for liberation to this day.

Together across our faith traditions we are saying, “Never again”: never again will we stand by when our neighbors are being oppressed, never again will we allow our religions to be used to support hate, bigotry, and violence.

In this stream, we join in solidarity with all who are being oppressed. We commit to being in the streets and speaking up in all places where we have influence, praying with our bodies and our lives, “Let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.”

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *