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Reflections on participation in Interfaith March in Jerusalem

Reflecting on the event, Rev Dr Stewart Gillan and Rev Muriel Pearson wrote: -

"Two very different marches made their way down Jaffa Street, Jerusalem under the shadow of the war in Gaza.

An Interfaith March for Human Rights and Peace was followed two days later by the annual Jerusalem Day march, also known as Flag Day.

Where the peace march, with Rabbis for Human Rights taking the organisational lead, bore witness to an inclusive vision of a city in which Israelis and Palestinians are honoured equally, the Flag Day march asserted the exclusionary nationalism of the settler movement and its violence.

The Interfaith March or Peace and Human Rights is timed to counter the extreme nationalism of Flag Day and decried the use of religion to exacerbate division.

The words of former Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, taken from his compelling argument in Not in God's Name, serve to summarise the position.

He wrote: ‘Too often in the history of religion people have killed in the name of the God of life, waged war in the name of the God of peace, hated in the name of the God of love, and practised cruelty in the name of the God of compassion.

‘When this happens, God speaks, sometimes in a still, small voice almost inaudible beneath the clamour of those claiming to speak on his behalf. What God says in such times is: Not in my name.'

The planning process for the Interfaith March for Peace and Human Rights began in January and was itself a journey towards mutual care and trust between and among Jews, Muslims, Christians, Buddhists, and people from human rights and peace organisations.


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