We need peace in the world, from Putney to the Middle East

PUTNEY — Putney Friends Meeting (Quakers) joins the growing chorus of those reaching out to our friends and neighbors in light of another antisemitic symbol showing up in town.

Even before the terrible war in the Middle East, a swastika was painted on the sidewalk near Putney Central School. Such a senseless act of hate hurts us all.

We grieve for the violence in Gaza, Israel, and elsewhere. We mourn every life lost, every injury, and every hateful word and symbol used to harm.

We grieve for every child growing up in a world without seeing peaceful solutions to conflict modeled by their communities. We grieve for every person leaving with fear and hate.

With xenophobic acts against both Jews and Arabs continuing to increase across the world, we stand against such acts and call for everyone, ourselves included, to look, listen, and join together to find ways for achieving true peace and justice. Every human deserves to feel safe and loved in their home and their community, and violence can never achieve that end.

We also see this as a teachable moment for all of us: to learn - or relearn - how the Nazis appropriated the swastika from other cultures and turned it into something that represents violence and hatred with their attempted genocide of the Jewish people in Europe.

In hope for all our friends, family and neighbors, we pray you will join us as we seek a way forward.

This Voices Letters from readers was submitted to The Commons.

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