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HRC statement on Mideast war urges honoring shared humanity

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The Arlington Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has issued the following statement about the war involving Israel and Gaza. Dated Oct. 22, the most recent newsletter acknowledges that it should have been issued sooner, as the first attack was Oct. 7. "It took us time to find the words we wanted to say and to find a unified voice while ensuring compliance with the Open Meeting Law," the commission wrote. 

"The commission recognizes the deep grief in our community in the wake of the horrifying terrorist attacks by Hamas and the inhumane response by Israel. We mourn the escalation of violence. We are devastated by the loss of thousands of Israeli and Palestinian lives and grieve with those who have lost loved ones.

"Our greatest strength at this time is to recognize and honor our shared humanity.

"We say to all those in Arlington with family and emotional ties to Israel and Gaza that we recognize your immense pain and stand with you.

"We recognize the intergenerational trauma that is being echoed and triggered through these horrific events. Especially in this time of fear and anxiety, we stand against anti-Semitism and Islamophobia.

"Please report anti-Semitic, Islamophobic, and other incidents of hate to the AHRC.

"We urge everyone in Arlington to take time for kindness and reaching out to neighbors in need. This is a moment for all of us in Arlington to show that we are a caring community coming together in unity and compassion. We encourage you to reach out to us if you need support or have suggestions. The AHRC stands with all our neighbors who are suffering, supporting you through love and friendship. 

"Even now, we know our words are imperfect, but we hope they can encourage us to take pause and share kindness in the wake of such tragedy." 

This statement was published Monday, Oct. 23, 2023.

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