01 November 2023
In response to ongoing events in the Middle East,
political, community and faith leaders in Jersey have jointly agreed a Unity
Statement setting out Jersey's position
On behalf of Islanders, we jointly support a swift end to the violence and suffering that continues to harm millions of people in Israel, Gaza, and the surrounding region, and to affect the lives of everyone in our connected global community who shares our belief that everybody deserves the chance to live in peace, security, and mutual respect.
Jersey is a small yet diverse community: one that is proud to be home to people of all cultures and beliefs, but consequently one that is affected profoundly by such events, however distant they may appear at first. Our thoughts remain with those who have lost their lives in this conflict, and with their families and communities. We condemn any loss of life, and share in the profound sense of shock and sadness that has reverberated around our Island, and the world, in recent days.
There can be no justification for the heinous acts of terrorism wrought upon Israel and Israelis by Hamas. We recognise the right of Israel to protect itself against such terrorism; every country would do the same. Likewise, we deplore the actions of Hamas terrorists in taking and holding Israeli hostages who must be released immediately.
It is crucial that Israel's activation of its right to self-defence preserves the fundamental rights of innocent Palestinians living in Gaza and the West Bank. We support the efforts by the UK Prime Minister, the US President, and many others, during recent meetings with regional leaders, to restate the vital importance of acting in line with international humanitarian law and to avoid endangering civilians.
In responding to terrorism, Israel must protect and uphold these key principles, and should work collaboratively to enable the safe passage of international aid and aid workers as a primary responsibility. The growing humanitarian crisis cannot be ignored, and we are inspired by the generosity of Islanders wishing to provide their assistance to affected communities.
In recent days, the conflict has escalated with appalling loss of civilian life in Gaza. We therefore believe that efforts to achieve a lasting de-escalation of the conflict must now go further and faster. We maintain that the pathway to peace lies in cooperation instead of confrontation, and strongly encourage the work of international partners, including the UK Government, to help achieve this. This cooperation may require all sides to adhere to a pause in hostilities to allow the proper provision of humanitarian relief.
More than anything, however, we stand together in solidarity with the vulnerable and innocent people on all sides, particularly children and those taken as hostages, and we have come together deliberately with one voice to express our determination that the violence and hatred we have witnessed will not create division amongst our own community.
In making this joint statement, which brings together representatives from across the perceived divides, we hope to signal our resolve that Jersey stands for tolerance, inclusivity, and generosity and an end to the violence and oppression. As we lend our unified voice to the urgent international calls for humanity and restraint in the Middle East, it is imperative that we too display those values amongst ourselves.
We urge all Islanders to come together to support this statement and show through this unity and mutual respect that we oppose those who seek to divide.
Deputy Kristina Moore, Chief Minister of Jersey on behalf of the Council of Ministers
Connétable Karen Shenton-Stone, Chair of the Privileges and Procedures Committee
The Very Reverend Mike Keirle, Dean of Jersey
The Reverend Canon Dominic Golding, Catholic Dean of Jersey
Reverend Dawn Saunders, Chair of The Methodist Channel Islands District
Mr Stephen Regal, President of the Jersey Jewish Congregation
Dr Sarfraz Jamali, Leader of Jersey's Muslim community