Gaza: We Cannot Be Silent!

photo of Palestine solidarity march. a sign reads: 'our voices will never be silenced'

Since October, all of us have seen the horrors of war and violence which continues to tear families apart, ruin childhoods and cause the deaths of thousands of civilians, mainly women and children.

The terrible attacks on the 7th October can never justify the killings of thousands of people in vengeful collective punishment.

Following the horrors of the attacks on southern Israel, the massive Israeli bombardments of the Gaza Strip has left Gaza in ruins and under constant terror from Israeli ground offensives where even dedicated ‘safe-zones’ are unsafe.

Hospitals, schools, Churches and Mosques have been flattened in grave violations of international law and tens of thousands have died, almost 1,800 Israelis and over 32,000 Palestinians in just 6 months.

On our TV screens, in our newspapers and countless reels on social media – we are witnessing a terrible war in real-time and an onslaught on journalists, medics and countless other civilians who now in the wake of war are facing famine with Israel blocking humanitarian aid leaving thousands, already grieving, and having lost so much already in desperate need.

At IJI we stand in solidarity with the people of Palestine and call on our friends and supporters to use their voice in the face of injustice.

Your solidarity can come in many forms: attend peaceful rallies, demonstrations, and marches in solidarity with the victims of war, contact local TDs and representatives with political platforms to champion for peace and amplify the voices and experiences of the people facing this brutal violence.

In our prayers and intentions, we call for peace and hope for an immediate and permanent ceasefire and justice following an unimpeded enquiry in line with international humanitarian law.

You can read the Society of Jesus statement on peace and solidarity below:

We, Jesuits, reiterate our commitment not to remain silent. It is unacceptable that, despite attempts, almost six months into the present round of conflict, no one has been able to stop the killing.

It is scandalous that no one has been able to ensure that the residents of Gaza have enough to eat. It is shameful that no one has been able to call the warmongers to account.

Sadly, we remember that an ongoing conflict in the land called to be holy has been allowed to continue and fester as an open wound on the face of the Middle East. Engaged for decades in the communities and societies of the Middle East, we, as Jesuits, want to say that it need not be this way.

The choice of death over life, vengeance over reconciliation, wrongdoing over justice, self-interest over relationship, violence over dialogue is a choice and not fated destiny.

There are other choices that could be made.

We will continue to foster a dream of a different future, a future already foreseen by the prophets in the Holy Scriptures. “They shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore” (Isaiah 2:4).

We join our voice to that of the Holy Father, Pope Francis, who has repeatedly warned: “War is a defeat! Every war is a defeat” (Angelus, 8 October 2023).

We repeat our call for an immediate ceasefire, for the release of all the 7 October hostages, for negotiations and for the beginning of a process that will bring freedom, liberty, and justice for all in the Middle East, the only road to true peace.


Photo credit: Şeyma D. @afitabgibi