Silcon Valley Interfaith Leaders Endorse Declaration for Peace on M.E. Crisis

Even on the toughest issues, Silicon Valley interfaith & mainstream religious leaders find common ground!


We members and leaders of the Silicon Valley interfaith community are anguished by the events that have unfolded in Israel and Gaza. While some of us—guided by faith and conscience—may in other venues express stronger statements of sympathy either for Israel or Gaza, we share a commitment to engage with one another, even, and especially, during times of great stress. We also affirm our common humanity and our common belief that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict must cease, that there is no violent solution to that conflict, that all human life is valued, and that all parties must cooperate to achieve a just and lasting peace on behalf of God’s children who reside in the land we call holy. Because we recognize the legitimate needs of all people for dignity, peace, safety, and security, we join with religious leaders around the United States in issuing this joint statement, hoping and believing that our interfaith voices will be heard clearly, above the din of war.

As guiding principles,

  • We acknowledge the long, complex, and painful history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict;
  • We acknowledge the wide range of deeply-held beliefs, and intensely-felt narratives on all sides;
  • We mourn the loss of innocent lives in Gaza and in Israel;
  • We deplore any invocation of religion as a justification for violence, for the deprivation of people’s dignity, or for the denial of human rights;
  • We decry any use of inflammatory rhetoric that demonizes others, fostering hatred and disrespect; and
  • We believe that just solutions to the conflict are better served by political and diplomatic means.

Guided by these principles, we recognize the urgent need for the prompt implementation of a just and lasting peace. Toward that end,

  • We call upon the United States and the international community to intercede with the goal of helping to establish a permanent cessation of hostilities between Israel and Hamas;
  • We call for an immediate and significant increase in humanitarian aid to address the needs of the people of Gaza, and we call upon all parties involved to join in taking responsibility to address those human needs;
  • We call upon all parties involved in the conflict to work sincerely and vigorously toward a just and lasting peace that addresses and promotes the national aspirations of both the Israeli and Palestinian peoples;
  • We call upon President-elect Obama to make it clear that, as President, he will assert US leadership to achieve a comprehensive diplomatic resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian and Arab-Israeli conflicts.

Signed: [Institutions are listed for identification only.]

1. Maha Elgenaidi (Islamic Networks Group)

2. Rabbi Melanie Aron (Congregation Shir Hadash)

3. Father Michael Engh, S.J. (President, Santa Clara University)

4. Most Rev. Patrick J. McGrath (Catholic Bishop of San Jose)

5. Rev. Joseph S. Lee (Presbyterian Executive Presbyter)

6. Rt. Rev. Mary Gray-Reeves (Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of El

Camino Real)

7. Rev. Margo Tenold (Council of Churches)

8. Imam Tahir Anwar (South Bay Islamic Association)

9. Rabbi Dana Magat (Temple Emanu-El)

10. Pastor Ben Daniel (Presbyterian Foothill Church)

11. Pat Mitchell, SFCC (Silicon Valley FACES)

12. Rev. Alan Jones (Campbell United Methodist Church)

13. Chaplain Berget Jelane (San Jose Insight Meditation)

14. Sohail Akhter (South Valley Islamic Center)

15. Rabbi Lisa Levenberg (Congregation Shir Hadash)

16. Rev. Michael-Ray Mathews (PICO National Network)

17. Judge LaDoris Cordell

18. Grace Fong (ING)

19. Imam Abdurrahman Anwar (Muslim Community Association of the Peninsula)

20. Rev. Bruce Bramlett (Silicon Valley Faces)

21. Rabbi Fleekop (Congregation Shir Hadash)

22. Mehboob Abedi (Shia Association of the Bay Area)

23. Rabbi Laurie Hahn Tapper (Yavneh Jewish Day School)

24. Rabbi Yitzhak Miller (

25. Cantor Devorah Felder-Levy (Congregation Shir Hadash)

26. Rowan Fairgrove

27. Professor Philip Boo Riley (Santa Clara University)

28. Maya Bohnhoff (Bahai’is of San Jose)

29. Geoff Browning (Stanford Campus Ministry)

30. Hamdy Abbass (South Valley Islamic Community)

31. Rev. Andrew Kille (Interfaith Space)

32. Rev. Ellen Grace O’Brian (Center for Spiritual Enlightenment)

33. Rabbi Sheldon Lewis (Congregation Kol Emeth)

34. Bishop Rosamonde Miller (Gnostic Sanctuary)

35. Rev. Aimee Moiso (Santa Clara University Interfaith Campus Ministries)

36. Rabbi Patricia Karlin-Neumann (Stanford University)

37. Pastors Oscar and Janice Dace (Bible Way Christian Center)

38. Chetan Sanghvi (Jain Center of Northern California)

39. Rev. Jose Antonio Rubio (Catholic Diocese of San Jose)

40. Haumaijeet Singh (Bay Area Sikh Community)

41. Richard Keady (Comparative Religious Studies Program, SJSU)

42. Kate Lazarus (First Church of Christ, Scientist, Sunnyvale)

43. Gerald Sakamoto (San Jose Buddhist Church Betsuin)

44. Michael Patrick Ellard (The Metropolitan Community Church of San Jose)

45. Rev. Nancy Palmer Jones (First Unitarian Church of San Jose)

46. S. Reshma Yunus (SEMAH)