JCRC Issues Statement on Condemning Terrorism

October 17, 2023

The Jewish community of greater Indianapolis continues to mourn, with so many others, the horrific acts of violence perpetrated on thousands of civilians in Israel since October 7. The numerous reports, videos and eye-witness accounts documenting rapes, beheadings, burning alive of entire families, murder of hundreds of teenagers and young adults attending a “peace” concert, parading of lifeless bodies and kidnapping of children and the elderly is beyond comprehension in the civilized world. The depravity of this evil inflicted on Jews by Hamas has not been seen since the Holocaust.

All the world can now see which individuals, communities, and organizations have the moral clarity to condemn these unspeakable crimes. It is similarly clear now for all observers with a functioning moral compass to see the inhumanity and outright antisemitism of those individuals, elected officials, and organizations who choose to celebrate, rationalize, or excuse Hamas’ terrorism. Let us be clear – political disagreements cannot and do not supply a moral justification for the atrocities perpetrated against innocents as part of a premeditated terrorist action. This is not “resistance” or the action of “freedom fighters” any more than were the actions of the terrorists who carried out the 9/11 attacks. These are crimes against humanity. This is the very definition of terrorism.

The Indianapolis Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) is heartened by the outpouring of support from so many fellow Hoosiers from different faith communities and by so many of our civic leaders who have spoken out strongly against the barbarism inflicted by Hamas. We share our deep appreciation for those individuals and organizations who have taken a clear moral stand against Hamas and recognized its actions for what they are – terrorist attacks. We implore our interfaith partners, elected officials, community organizations, and academic institutions who have not done so already to take a clear moral stand by condemning, without reservation, Hamas as a terrorist organization. Failing to unequivocally condemn the evil that Hamas perpetrated serves as tacit support for Hamas in the eyes of your respective constituencies. There is simply no room for equivocation or nuance on this point.

We sympathize with the Palestinian people and those in the Muslim community who genuinely seek peace and justice and support them in their fight to separate Islam from radical Islamism, and to separate the many peaceful Muslims from the violent Islamists. This war that Hamas started is not about a territorial dispute or building a better future for Palestinians. What Hamas did to innocents in Israel and continues to do to innocents in Gaza are crimes against humanity, no less disgusting and repugnant than those committed by ISIS and Al-Qaeda. The depravity that must permeate a group to enable its members to kidnap and torture children and the elderly can only occur if the victims are seen as less than human. These are not the efforts of those who seek peace. We join our partners in praying for a brighter future for the Israelis suffering from Hamas terrorism and for the Gazans who have suffered for too long under the oppressive rule of Hamas.