A statement from the Board on the ongoing situation in Israel and Palestine

At its meeting on November 29, 2023, the BC Humanist Association Board of Directors ratified the following statement.

While the current war in Palestine/Israel will evoke strong emotions and opinions, we believe it is essential to emphasize values that transcend cultural, religious, and political differences. We are ever more devoted to our mission of fostering pluralism and reason in the face of rising violence and bigotry against Muslims and Jews in British Columbia and across Canada. Every person is important and has a right to be safe and to speak freely without fear of violent reprisal.

In these challenging times marked by conflict and division, the British Columbia Humanist Association stands firm in its commitment to fostering a pluralist society founded on the principles of reason, compassion, and secular humanism. Canada can be rightfully critiqued for a colonized history, yet we affirm that it now strives to be a multicultural and welcoming society -- a place where all people will find safety and be valued for their self-expression.

In the face of the ongoing Israeli/Palestinian conflict, we extend our support to all individuals and groups affected, regardless of their background or beliefs. Multicultural societies must live within the tension of opposing ideologies by sharing the core values of humanism. We believe that recognizing the shared humanity that unites us is essential for promoting lasting peace.

The mission of BCHA aligns with the broader vision of creating a world free from authoritarian doctrine, where humanistic values prevail. We advocate for education, communication, and democratic principles to bridge gaps between communities. By standing together and engaging in meaningful conversations, we can work towards a future when conflicts are resolved through understanding rather than violence.

Let us reaffirm our dedication to the principles of secular humanism and work towards a world where diversity is celebrated, dialogue is valued, and compassion guides our actions. Together, we can contribute to building a more inclusive and harmonious British Columbia where any form of violence is decried, and reason can prevail.

Thank you for your ongoing support and commitment to a pluralist world.

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