We must not remain silent in the face of hate and violence


[NOTE: This blog post was updated on 12/1/23 to reflect updated information on the number of causalities since the start of the conflict.]

We must not remain silent in the face of hate and violence. 

That’s the wisdom shared by every organization that addresses violent extremism, and it’s something we’ve learned over many years of work at Futures Without Violence. We also know that speaking publicly in support of people who are the targets of violence and hate demonstrates that rejecting hate is the responsibility of each one of us.

I also believe that every human being should be protected from violence and harm, and anyone being harmed deserves our compassion. Full stop.

And so I say unequivocally: Futures Without Violence condemns the heinous act of terrorism committed by Hamas in October, that killed over 1,200 innocent people in Israel, took hundreds hostage, and included mass rapes against women and girls. It was the deadliest single day for Jewish people since the Holocaust.

We also condemn the heinous killing of 15,000 Palestinians since the start of the conflict in Gaza. The innocent civilians in Gaza are caught in a tragic spiral of violence that must come to an end. Their families deserve peace and their children deserve to grow up free from violence.

We share the grief and anguish of every family who lost someone, have loved ones who have been taken hostage, or are seeking refuge from the violence.

There are no easy answers. The days and weeks ahead may bring more terrible events, that will test our compassion for one another. But here are some things those of us looking for answers can do:

  • Condemn all forms of violence and terrorism, everywhere, by anyone. Full stop.
  • Hold respect for each other. Recognize we may have different historical traumas, and hold different political and religious convictions. But we can agree to condemn all forms of violence, and that every human deserves compassion. It’s a start.
  • Help our children and young people make sense of these events while protecting them from traumatic images and helping them feel safe. FUTURES has produced resources on this topic including “How to Talk to Children About Witnessing Violence.” 

We all bring a different history to the current events that are unfolding. But I am hopeful we can agree on one thing: every human deserves to live a life free from violence. Achieving that goal is the cause of my lifetime.

Thank you for walking on this journey with FUTURES.