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Milwaukee Faith Leaders Call for Ceasefire and Lasting Peace in the Holy Land - Jan 2024




 We, faith leaders in Milwaukee, as signed below, have joined together to bring a unified moral voice to the growing catastrophe in Gaza and increasing violence throughout Israel and Palestine. We are religious and lay leaders of the three Abrahamic Religions of the world (Judaism, Christianity and Islam) as well as Eastern religious traditions. We represent the voices of many who grieve the death of innocent human beings in a land called holy by our traditions. We mourn the decades of occupation and oppression, of terrorism and military violence. We are anguished by the October 7th Hamas attack on Israel and by the brutal and ongoing death and destruction brought upon the people of Gaza and the West Bank by Israel. Time and again it has been demonstrated that there will be no military solution to this conflict.

This is what we know has occurred in the land that holds so many stories central to our understanding of our creator God:


● Tens of thousands of innocent civilians, the vast majority Palestinian, have been killed, including over 10,000 children.

● Over 2.3 million people in Gaza have been displaced from their homes, with no shelter, no safe place to flee, and the total destruction of their community, including entire neighborhoods, schools, houses of worship, cultural centers and even hospitals. All has been turned to rubble.

● The civilians of Gaza continue to suffer from lack of clean water, lack of food, lack of medical facilities and the lack of other basic human needs. With little shelter or clothing during cold winter months, many will freeze if they are not killed by bombs or they do not die of thirst, hunger or disease.

● Attacks on Palestinians in the occupied West Bank have also resulted in significant injury, displacement, and death. This includes actions by the IDF as well as by settlers who have been provided arms by the Israeli government.

As leaders of various faiths, we believe we must:

● Uplift the Torah value of t’selem Elohim, the Divine Image. Every human life is a reflection of God and has infinite value.

● Uplift the value of the agape’ love of Jesus. An active love that is built on justice for all of God’s children.

● Uplift the value of ‘adl, justice. The Quran calls upon us to “uphold justice and bear witness to God, even if it is against yourselves, parents or close relatives.”


As Jews, as rabbis, as Christians, pastors and priests, as Muslims, imams and lay leaders, as Buddhists, as human beings—we are pleading with our communities to rise through despair and grief to save valuable human lives on all sides of this conflict and to call for a complete ceasefire now, brokered by the United Nations.

 

● We call for an end to all bombing and ground war..

● We call for an end of settler and IDF violence in the Occupied West Bank.

● We call for the release of all Israeli and international hostages being held in Gaza and all civilian Palestinians being held by Israel.

● We call for the immediate flow of aid to Gaza for humanitarian relief.

● We call for immediate engagement by the international community toward a just and lasting peace in Israel-Palestine.


We place a great deal of blame for the current conflict on the international community’s failure to find a diplomatic solution to the conflict and their failure to implement international laws and conventions, with the U.S. government playing a very destructive role by vetoing scores of international resolutions meant to address or resolve the conflict.

As Americans, we call upon our leaders to stop supporting and enabling this nightmare. Ceasefire is the only way to prevent more death and destruction. We call on Senator Tammy Baldwin, Senator Ron Johnson and Representative Gwen Moore to reflect on the suffering of the victims of war, especially the children, and to change their stance from a temporary “pause” on the killings to a “ceasefire.”


We make a stand for a sustainable peace, now. This peace must include a fight against rising antisemitism and Islamophobia in our communities.

We invite all people of faith as well as others of good conscience to join us in this call for a complete ceasefire

NOW!


Signed (organizations listed for identification purposes only),


Dr. Zulfiqar Ali Shah

Religious Director

ISM


Othman Atta, Executive Director

Islamic Society of Milwaukee


Rabbi Michal Woll

Congregation Shir hadash


Rev. Karen S. Hagen

PCUSA - retired

Wisconsin Christians for Justice in Palestine


Rev. Jonathan Jacobs

Redeemer Lutheran Church - ELCA

Wisconsin Christians for Justice in Palestine


Rev Barbara Rasmussen

ELCA - retired

Wisconsin Christians for Justice in Palestine

 

Janan Najeeb

Milwaukee Muslim Women's Coalition

Rev. Rachel Young Binter

ELCA

Lutheran Campus Ministry


Rev. Sarah Stobie

Bay Shore Lutheran


Rev. Dr. Kate Jones

Lead Pastor

Wauwatosa Ave United Methodist Church, Wauwatosa, WI


Father Thomas Mueller

Orthodox Church in America

St Maria of Paris Chapels Ministry


Rev. Joseph W. Ellwanger

Hephatha Lutheran Church


Rev. Michelle Townsend de López

Cross Ev. Lutheran-ELCA


Reverend Tory V. Topjian

Senior Minister

Milwaukee Metropolitan Community Church


Pastor Richard D. Shaw, D.Min.

St. Matthew C.M.E. Church


Bishop Paul Erickson

Greater Milwaukee Synod, ELCA


Rev. Jane B. Anderson,

Associate Conference Minister

Wisconsin Conference UCC


Rev. Lisa S. Heckman

Presbyterian Church (USA) Pastor


Rev. Reirin Gumbel

Milwaukee Zen Center


Reverend Christine Wilke

Evangelical & Reformed United Church of Christ, Waukesha


Rev. Mindi Welton-Mitchell

Executive Minister, American Baptist Churches of Wisconsin


Dean Daniels

Retired Director of the Office for Worship

Former Director of the Office for Ecumenical and Interfaith Affairs

Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Milwaukee

 

Rev. Karl-John Stone

Mount Pleasant, WI


Jon M. Sweeney

Codirector, The Lux Center for Catholic-Jewish Studies at

Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology


Rev. Christie Melby-Gibbons

Moravian Church Western District

Tricklebee Cafe


Teresa Howell-Smith, Pastor

United Church of Christ


Rev. Jennifer Nordstrom

Senior Minister

First Unitarian Society of Milwaukee


Rev. Dena McPhetres

Unitarian Universalist

First Unitarian Society of Milwaukee


Rev. Dr Ebenezer K. Insor, Southeast DS

Wisconsin United Methodist Conference


Rose Stietz, OP

Catholic

Member of Racine Dominicans


Rev. Dennis Jacobsen

Hephatha Lutheran Church


Rev. Alexander M. Jacobs

ELCA


Rev. Dr. Thomas R. Gaulke

ELCA


Rev. Mary Martha Kannass

ELCA

Hephatha Lutheran Church


Rev. Erik David Carlson

Unitarian Universalist

Bradford UU, Kenosha, WI


Rev. Claire Beutler-Cruise

United Church of Christ


Eleanor Harris (Rep to MICAH)

Milwaukee Friends Meeting

 

Rev. David Rebey

Breaking the Chains Church, Milwaukee and Kenosha


Rev. Kimberlee Tomczak Carlson, Minister of Religious Education

First Unitarian Society of Milwaukee


Lisa Hart, Associate Conference Minister

Wisconsin Conference UCC


Rev. Dr. Steven W. Hecky

Retired Minister United Church of Christ


Rev. J. Eric Kirkegaard

Peace United Church of Christ, Kewaskum


Rev. Shelby Perez

United Church of Christ

UW Health--Trauma Chaplain


Rev. David J Gaeth

Greendale Community Church United Church of Christ


Rev John C Helt

Retired Pastor United Church of Christ


Rev. Tara L. Tetzlaff

Christ Church, UCC - Bayview, Milwaukee


Pastor Bridget Hill

United Church of Christ


Rev Nikkeya Berryhill

Bethel Bethany UCC


Rev. Leanne Rose

UCC


Rev. Meredith Anderson

UCC


Bethel-Bethany Milwaukee

Rev. Meredith Anderson

UCC

Bethel-Bethany Milwaukee


Rev. Emma Landowski, BCC

United Church of Christ

Ascension Columbia St. Mary's - Ozaukee, Hospital Chaplain


Carly Gaeth, Licensed Minister

New Hope UCC & Faith UCC


Rev. Kelsey Peterson Beebe

United Church of Christ

 

Jill Haberman, Peace and Justice

Sisters of St. Francis of Assisi

 

Rev. Glenn A. Danz

United Church of Christ

 

Rev. Dr. Bob Gross, OCC

United Church of Christ

 

Rev. Rachel Bauman

Associate Conference Minister

Wisconsin Conference United Church of Christ

 

Rev. Deborah A Payden

Retired clergy - United Church of Christ

 

Mark Peters

ParishConsultant (retired)

Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Milwaukee

 

Rev. Dale Stohre, retired

UCC

 

Rev. Kelly R. Fowl

United Methodist Shared Ministry Pastor

Our Lord’s and Caldwell United Methodist Churches

 

Rev. Jennifer C.M. Dawson

Retired clergy - United Church of Christ

 

Rev. James F.D. Martin

Retired clergy - United Church of Christ

 

Michael Whiteley, Moderator

First Congregational Church of Genesee - UCC

 

Rev. Dr. Bobbie Groth

Unitarian Universalist Congregations of SE WI

 

Pastor James Phillips

Blessed Deliverance Missionary Baptist Church

 

Rev. Ashley Nolte, Pastor

Pilgrim United Church of Christ

 

Pastor Brian Hooper

ELCA

 

Br. David Hirt, OFM Cap

Province of St. Joseph of the Capuchin Order

 

Rev. Dr. John A Jones IV

Associate Regional Minister-Education

American Baptist Churches of Wisconsin

 

Rev. Marty Coons

PC(USA) - Retired

 

Miriam Brown, OP

Catholic

Sinsinawa Dominican

 

Rev. Dr. Lisa Bates-Froiland

ELCA

 

Nicole Blanks

Presbyterian Church (USA)

 

Pastor Andrew Oren

UCC (retired)

 

Annemarie Adsen(rep to IFCGM)

Milwaukee Friends Meeting

 

Rev. Gail Brodersen-Heins

ELCA





Sent to WNPJ 1/17/2024 by Jerry Folk of the member group: Interfaith Peace Working Group https://www.interfaithpeacewg.org/


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