October 9, 2023

The Violence in Israel/Palestine

My dear Siblings in Christ,

News from Israel/Palestine has been devastating.  

The murder and kidnapping of innocent Israeli civilians by Hamas (an acronym for Harakat al-Muqawama al-Islamiya -- “Islamic Resistance Movement”), is horrendous. The images are shocking. Hamas is a group that evolved as the Palestinian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood in the late 1980s. A militant Islamist group, Hamas took over the Gaza Strip after defeating its rival political party, Fatah, in elections in 2006.

The terrorist actions of Hamas have provoked a military response from the Israeli government in the densely populated Gaza Strip (an area of 140 square miles with a population of over two million). The response will impact Palestinian civilians.  

As too often is the case in terror and war, it is the innocent that suffer. 

I urge you to explore the website of the American Friends of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem (AFEDJ). Episcopal leaders saw the need for a safe, secure channel to offer support to the humanitarian institutions owned and operated by the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem, and American Friends of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem (AFEDJ) was born. AFEDJ is a nonpolitical, nonsectarian 501(c)(3) organization. AFEDJ is dedicated to raising financial support for schools, hospitals, and centers for children with disabilities in Palestine, Israel, Jordan, and Lebanon. These institutions serve everyone, irrespective of their religion, ethnicity, or ability to pay. They build hope for all in the Holy Land. The Christian values of equity, justice, and respect for the dignity of all are at the heart of our efforts.

Among the institutions of the Diocese supported by AFEDJ is the Ahli Arab Hospital in Gaza City

Please look at the Reading List recommended by AFEDJ to find perspective on the tragedy of this decades old conflict.  

We are called to pray for all those caught in the crucible of terrorist attacks and war. 

Eternal God, in whose perfect kingdom no sword is drawn but the sword of righteousness, no strength known but the strength of love: So mightily spread abroad your Spirit, that all peoples may be gathered under the banner of the Prince of Peace, as children of one Father; to whom be dominion and glory, now and forever. Amen.

The promise of Isaiah 2:4 is still our hope:

God will judge between the nations,

   and settle disputes of mighty nations.

Then they will beat their swords into iron plows

   and their spears into pruning tools.

Nation will not take up sword against nation;

   they will no longer learn how to make war.

Yours in the peace of Christ Jesus,


The Right Reverend Robert L. Fitzpatrick

(Pronouns: he, him, his)

Bishop Diocesan 

The Episcopal Diocese of Hawai'i


The Episcopal Church in Micronesia

911 North Marine Corps Drive

Upper Tumon, Guam 96913

(At top: File photos from the AFEDJ website)

Quick Links to the Diocesan Websites:

Contact Information
Sybil Nishioka, Editor & Communications Specialist
The Episcopal Diocese of Hawai'i
229 Queen Emma Square, Honolulu, HI 96813
(808) 536-7776