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Israel-Palestine: Our Complicity, Our Compassion (CST)

October 19, 2023

Beloved Community,

We come to you filled with so much pain, grief, and mourning.

These past days have been heavy with the weight of loss, grief, horror, and the compounding effects of the traumatic violence we have witnessed from afar. Part of our silence and paralysis comes from the fact that our CST community, though Methodist in affiliation, is a multi-religious institution with many connections to Israel and Palestine. And we are devastated by the unimaginable violence and loss of life, familial ties, water, land, and communities we are seeing as they erode before our eyes.

As a teaching community deeply formed by liberation, emancipation, justice-seeking, and decolonial praxes, CST strongly condemns the violence suffered by Israelis and Palestinians. We stand firmly against genocide and dehumanization of any kind. We recognize that our shared humanity cannot flourish within practices of violence, execution, actions of terror, occupation, violation of international laws, and colonization.

We admit that we are complicit in these sins. We cannot escape the political, economic, militaristic, imperialistic, colonializing, and theological ways that our lives continue to support conditions for death, violence, terror, wars, and genocide worldwide. Words cannot begin to articulate the magnitude of the loss, despair, and utter destruction. We acknowledge we have been implicated in creating these and other conditions for violence, and through our silence we have failed to face that reality.

As a community of teacher-learners and spiritual leaders, we commit to spending some time creating sacred space and processes for collective sharing, compassionate listening, and mourning in the following weeks and months. We hope to respond to these compounding crises by coming together to listen, learn, and grow with one another. We hope to move at the speed of compassion, knowing this work takes time, and it takes us all coming together.

With deep regard,

President Grant Hagiya, the Deans of Claremont School of Theology, and Activating Change