Unitarian Universalists to Vote on Ending Gaza War and US Complicity

For Immediate Release – June 19, 2024

Much of the world is crying out for an end to the genocidal or near genocidal Israeli war on Gaza. This humanitarian crisis continues in front of us with over thirty-seven thousand people killed, eighty thousand people injured, and hundreds of thousands made homeless. Famine has begun, international law is being violated, and a major regional war is possible.

It will take many voices to end this catastrophe and the General Assembly of Unitarian Universalists will vote on June 22, 2024 on adding their voice with a resolution calling for a permanent ceasefire in Gaza, an end to US military support for Israel, and for Unitarian Universalist congregations and groups to declare themselves Apartheid Free. The resolution is known as an Action of Immediate Witness (AIW) within the Unitarian Universalist framework.

The vote will occur during the Unitarian Universalist General Assembly to be held online from June 20 to June 23, 2024. The text of the resolution is here and a list of denominational endorsers to that resolution can be found here. The Action of Immediate Witness has been proposed by Reverend DL Helfer, Lena K. Gardner, Reverend Abhi Janamanchi, and Reverend Katie Romano Griffin.

Millions of ordinary people, student groups, and unions here in the US and around the world have called for an end to the war and an end to US and European support for the violence. Faith groups too have raised their voices. The National Council of Churches has joined with other faiths in calling for a ceasefire. Churches for Middle East Peace, a coalition of leaders of religious denominations has called on President Biden to demand a permanent ceasefire. The Unitarian Universalist Association is a member of Churches of Middle East Peace, and it is fitting that Unitarian Universalists now declare their support for a permanent ceasefire and an end to US complicity.

Unitarian Universalist principles insist on the worth and dignity of every human being and on a world community with peace, liberty and justice for all. Individual groups within the Unitarian Universalist faith have already declared their support for a permanent ceasefire and an end to US military support of Israel. These include Black Lives of Unitarian Universalism, Diverse Revolutionary Unitarian Universalist Multicultural Ministries, Unitarian Universalists Service Committee, and Unitarian Universalists for Justice in the Middle East. Now it is time for Unitarian Universalists as a body to do the same.

Contact Persons:
Reverend DL Helfer, davidlhelfer@gmail.com, (562) 760-4020
Reverend Joseph Santos-Lyons, jsantoslyons@uuma.org, (503) 512-0490
Dana Ashrawi, uujme@uujme.org, (281) 698-0797
Website: https://uupalestineaction.org/

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