LTSC stands in solidarity with communities experiencing hate-based violence fueled by the crisis in the Middle East - Little Tokyo Service Center

LTSC stands in solidarity with communities experiencing hate-based violence fueled by the crisis in the Middle East

10/19/2023

Over the past week, we have watched along with the rest of the world as the crisis in the Middle East has unfolded. We, like so many others, are horrified by the loss of more than 4,000 innocent civilian lives in Israel and Palestine, and we fear for the lives of hundreds of thousands more who are at imminent risk without a cease-fire, release of hostages, and immediate humanitarian aid. 

This global crisis has also directly impacted local communities, fueling dangerous and deep-seated Islamophobic and antisemitic rhetoric and hate-based violence here in the States. While Anti-semitism and Islamophobia have been present for generations, the crisis has triggered a recent spate of hate-based incidents.

As a horrific example, we are appalled at the hate-based murder of Wadea Al-Fayoume, a 6 year old Palestinian-American child, and the attempted murder of his mother, Hanaan Shahin, in Illinois. With parallels within the Asian American community from Vincent Chin’s racially motivated murder in 1982 to the “China virus” rhetoric of 2020 that sparked a wave of anti-Asian hate crimes (and so much more), our community knows all too well how dangerous, powerful, and fatal rampant discriminatory hate is. So when we see it happening to other communities, we can not stay silent. 

We acknowledge that our voice plays a supporting role to much more important voices in this global conversation. And, candidly, we’re unsure of the pathway forward to resolve the complex crisis in the Middle East. But we do know that we need to stand in solidarity with the civilian communities affected. At LTSC, we lean into our values in times of crisis and we encourage our supporters and networks to be part of positive change, however you’re able. Speak up against hate. Be a good bystander. Learn more about the root causes of the conflict. Engage in meaningful and open minded dialogue with your networks. Donate to relief efforts. Check on your loved ones. To those in the Palestinian, Arab, Muslim and Jewish communities who are affected by violence abroad and domestically–we see you and stand with you in solidarity. 

During a truly horrific time, we look to our shared humanity to move us toward peace, mutual understanding and co-existence, so that all communities can thrive.

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