Dear Arlington friends and neighbors,
The Arlington Human Rights Commission (AHRC) strongly condemns the recent escalation of armed conflict and violence by the Israeli government and its military forces, which have resulted in the loss of hundreds of Palestinian lives, the displacement of thousands, and the destruction of hospitals, schools, and other civilian infrastructure in Gaza. Likewise, the AHRC strongly condemns the actions of Hamas fighters, which has resulted in the loss of Israeli lives and has threatened the safety of the region. Indiscriminate use of deadly force violates international standards of human rights and only serves to intensify the conflict.
People from all parts of the world call Arlington home. It is important to speak out against ethnic and religious violence around the world that may directly impact those who live, learn, and work in our community. The escalation of this conflict has contributed to the rise in Islamophobia and anti-Semitism in the United States. Hatred and violence directed toward any group or religion has no place in Arlington. The AHRC consistently advocates for peaceful coexistence among people of all backgrounds and religious practices.
The AHRC welcomes the recent cease-fire, but such an agreement is just one necessary step to continued negotiations promoting political stability and a lasting peace in the region. The AHRC recognizes that such negotiations are fraught with difficulty, but without them, violence, injury, destruction, and death will continue.
The AHRC urges the US government to use its considerable power and influence to assume a larger role in working toward a long-term peace, advocating for human rights and liberties for all who live in this region. The US government should work to create space for mediation in this devastated region and re-examine its use of the UN Security Council veto power.
We ask our community to remain unified and stand in solidarity with those that are oppressed. Please report incidents of anti-Semitism and Islamophobia to the AHRC at firstname.lastname@example.org and learn to be an active bystander.
Arlington values equity, diversity, and inclusion. We are committed to building a community where everyone is heard, respected, and protected.
By Mail: 27 Maple Street
Arlington, MA 02476