East Orange, NJ, October 24, 2023: “Every day, as we watch the devastation and rising death toll in Gaza and Israel, our hearts break for the thousands of innocent lives claimed as a result of this deep-rooted and complex conflict. These heinous acts of terrorism and the massacre of thousands of unarmed men, women and children are unconscionable. There is never justification for apartheid or genocide in our world.
“Here in East Orange, we understand the
destructive impact of systemic and institutionalized oppression of the vulnerable and powerless. We are a Sanctuary City and our arms are always open to those seeking refuge from hate. East Orange embraces ethnic diversity and our community proudly celebrates the cultural and religious differences among us — Muslims, Jews, Arabs and Christians all working together toward the common goal of peace and progress.
“Democracy is the backbone of a government that respects and protects freedom, and we believe it is a fundamental right for all humankind. Today, and always, we stand and pray for every victim and all families torn apart by this horrific war. It is with a sense of urgency that my administration is imploring our international family to come together in solidarity against all crimes against humanity. Our prayers are that long-lasting peace will ultimately prevail.
“This is not the time to choose sides, but rather the time to choose compassion, love and unity. This is the time for the traumatic cycle of human suffering to come to an end.”