Candlelight Vigil – Oct 22

Neighbors for Peace released a public statement and invitation.

Above: In 2019, community members held a vigil for peace and unity. The public is invited to another vigil to remember innocent victims of violence around the world and pray for peace. (photo left by Beth Melo)

The multi-faith community group, Southborough Neighbors for Peace, asked me to share their public statement denouncing the atrocities committed in Israel. 

The message includes their prayer for peace, not just in the Israel-Gaza conflict, but in other conflicts around the world, including Ukraine. It concludes with a call for the public to join them at a vigil on Sunday, October 22nd.

Here is their statement:

Neighbors for Peace Condemns Terrorism Committed by Hamas

This past weekend the Palestinian terrorist organization Hamas, which espouses destruction of Israel as a core tenet, engaged in horrific violence against the people of Israel. They perpetrated war crimes as they indiscriminately murdered civilians of all ages—from toddlers to respected elders—on the joyous Jewish holiday of Simchat Torah. Hamas took some 150 hostages and continues to lob rockets haphazardly into Israel with the desire to cause terror and to maim and kill.

We at Southborough Neighbors for Peace, who are from a number of different faiths, unequivocally denounce these acts.

As Israel responds to the Hamas attacks, more lives are being lost on both sides of the Israel-Gaza border. Hamas hides among innocent Palestinian civilians—civilians who cannot leave the Gaza Strip, and who now have no access to food, water, or electricity as Israel’s government implements a siege in the fight against Hamas. Each one who dies—Israeli, Palestinian, and those of other nationalities caught up in the crossfire—is a loss for all of us. Each person on our planet bears unique gifts that can help all of us move toward a better life. When this gets twisted—when other persons are seen only as animals incapable of any good—peace is hard to find. Yet we still continue to believe in the goodness of others to come together across difference to make a way forward that enhances the lives of everyone.

As this conflict unfolds—and as other conflicts continue in our world, most notably in Russia’s ongoing war against Ukraine—we pray and work for peace. For all people to be treated with respect and dignity. For the ones who mourn and for those whose lives have been forever changed. For those who have died. For the safe release of all hostages. And for the safety of those who are innocently caught in the fighting no matter which side of a border they live on. We pray for peace and for the end of all violence.

Please join us for a candlelight vigil on Sunday October 22 at 6:00pm on the corners of Routes 85 and 30 in Southborough as we remember those whose lives have been lost, for those caught in the violence, and for the end of this and other conflicts as we continue to believe in the power of peace to change our world for the better.

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Alex Neihaus
9 months ago

I hope for peace, too.

But drawing moral equivalence between inhuman, unprovoked attacks and laying siege to the territory that harbors terrorists, indeed voted for them as representative government (in 2006, the last time elections were held in Gaza, where democracy is also held hostage), is facile.

Take a look at what the terrorists did and what our Secretary of State said in Israel this week:

When we were attacked on 9/11, we started a 20+ year war and enacted laws (FISA) that were great sacrifices in blood, treasure and liberty to respond. And we inflicted enormous costs on the enemy to, hopefully, protect us.

This group’s “unequivocal” condemnation coupled with a guaranteed futile plea for peace undermines not just Israel’s right to defend itself but also turns us into hypocrites.

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