Leaders of all major faiths in the UK have joined Christian Aid today in calling for an immediate ceasefire and unfettered humanitarian access to Gaza.
News – HCEF
In a joint call, faith leaders including the Bishop of Exeter the Rt Rev Michael Langrish, Rabbi Danny Rich and Dr Muhammad Abdul Bari, Secretary-General of The Muslim Council of Britain, demanded that Prime Minister Gordon Brown take further action to end the suffering of "the powerless and the vulnerable".
Sharjng "a basic commitment to human rights", they also call on ordinary citizens of the UK to take action because "we all bear responsibility for what is happening".
“Behind all the horrors of death and destruction in Gaza are human faces and human stories. Behind all the statistics for those killed and wounded, on either side, are human beings, each one a child of God” said Bishop Langrish.
In a call on UK citizens to take a stand the bishop continued, "When a child of God suffers no believer in God can stand idly by.
Rabbi Danny Rich, chief executive of Liberal Judaism, said continuing violence in the region would "exacerbate tensions, nurture hatred, and make more difficult a peaceful resolution" that the Palestinian people and Israel can both agree to.
Dr Bari said the scale of "this man-made tragedy" required "maximum" international support and participation.
The Muslim Council of Britain praised Christian Aid for its efforts in delivering relief to Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.
"While this emergency aid will undoubtedly go a long way toward easing the pain and distress the MCB reaffirms its call for a political solution that ensures an end to the siege of Gaza, a reopening of all border crossings and "an end to Israel’s illegal occupation of Palestinian land".
Stephen Poxon, President of the Methodist Conference, condemned Israel's attacks on schools and other civilian targets as "absolutely unacceptable under any circumstances".
So often during violent conflict the powerless and vulnerable suffer most … Our hearts go out to the people of Gaza. They have suffered from lack of food and fuel and yet over the past 18 months Israel has often blocked or limited the passage of relief aid," he said.
He called for an immediate end to fighting and appealed to Barack Obama to make the achievement of international consensus a high priority when he enters the White House on 20 January.
Graham Sparkes of the Baptist Union of Great Britain, said that the current situation should not be left unchallenged.
"The crisis unfolding in Gaza should fill us all with horror because we all bear responsibility for what is happening … When power is used to kill innocent civilians, then it is an abuse of power and must be condemned. A new future can never be shaped by violence; it will come about only through a just settlement that allows the people of Gaza to live with freedom and hope."