Press Release: Hawaiʻi Interfaith Call for a Permanent Ceasefire in Gaza


February 19, 2024

Contact: Cassandra Chee,

Hawaiʻi Interfaith Call for a Permanent Ceasefire in Gaza

We, faith leaders of Hawaiʻi, undersigned, are calling for an immediate and permanent ceasefire in Gaza. We live in the Hawaiian Kingdom which has been illegally occupied by the United States since January 17th, 1893. Now over a hundred years later we join the many who call for the de-occupation of Hawaiʻi, Palestine, and all occupied nations across the world.

We are calling upon Representative Jill Tokuda and Representative Ed Case to support House Resolution 786 “Calling for an immediate de-escalation and cease-fire in Israel and occupied Palestine”; and we are additionally calling upon Senator Brian Schatz and Senator Mazie Hirono to support a Senate counterpart when and if it surfaces. We thank Senator Hirono for being the first congressperson from Hawai’i to publicly call for a ceasefire.

We are calling upon Governor Josh Green and all members of the Hawai’i State House of Representatives and members of the Hawai’i State Senate to support measures which call for an immediate ceasefire including Senate Resolution 6 and Senate Concurrent Resolution 13 “URGING MEMBERS OF HAWAII’S CONGRESSIONAL DELEGATION TO SUPPORT THE CEASEFIRE IN GAZA RESOLUTION INTRODUCED BY UNITED STATES CONGRESSWOMAN CORI BUSH.” We thank Senator Maile Shimabukuro and Senator Mike Gabbard for introducing these resolutions.

The conflict between Israel, Hamas, and other armed groups has taken a devastating toll on civilians. The level of casualties is unprecedented. Nearly 30,000 civilians have been killed since October 7th and the majority of them are women and children. (An additional credible-but-as-yet-unverified 7,000 civilians are “under the rubble” of the northern area of the Gaza Strip and presumed dead. Also, some 68,000 Gazan civilians are in a “wounded” category.) A ceasefire would put a stop to unlawful attacks by all parties, halt the ever-surging death-and-wounded toll in Gaza and enable aid agencies to get life-saving aid, water and medical supplies into the Strip to address the staggering levels of human suffering. It will also allow hospitals to receive life-saving medicines, fuel and equipment they desperately need and a repair to damaged wards. Importantly, a ceasefire would lead imminently to a resolution of the hostage crisis (Israelis taken into Gaza on October 7th; thousands of Palestinian prisoners languishing without legal recourse in Israeli prisons) on both sides.

We reject Settler-Colonial Zionism, the extremist ideology which displaced some 750,000 Palestinians from their homes, towns, and land in 1948-9 plus many thousands more in the intervening 75 years (many of them, effectively imprisoned via siege/blockade in the Gaza Strip). We condemn all forms of religious violence and intolerance including Islamophobia, anti-semitism, and Christian supremacy.

“Why is it totally acceptable and commendable to resist oppression in other contexts, yet there is a double standard when it comes to Palestinians? Why is every Israeli violence “self defense” while every Palestinian violence “terrorism”? . . Repeatedly throughout the years, the Palestinian Christian community and the great majority of Muslims have been committed to non-violence and to dialogue. Even in the midst of violence and oppression that we face daily in every aspect in our life.” (Rev. Dr. Munther Issac of Christmas Evangelical Lutheran Church in Bethlehem) We support nonviolence as the de-escalation of violence and we support Palestinians in their rights to defend their land, families, and selves. 

As South African Anglican Bishop Desmond Tutu said, “If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.” While we are people of many faiths and cultures, we are united in demanding an immediate and permanent ceasefire for true peace and an end to violence.

Rev. Alan Mark
Retired United Methodist Pastor
Honolulu, Hawaii

Rev. Amy Chieko Wake
Trinity United Methodist Church
Pearl City, Oahu

Rev. Bob Miyake-Stoner
United Methodist
Aiea, Oahu

Rev. Brittani Alexander Honolulu, Oahu

Pastor Cassandra Chee
Wahiawā United Church of Christ
Wahiawā, O’ahu

Senior Pastor Rev. Darren Galindo
United Church of Christ
Honolulu, Oahu

Fr. David Gierlach, SCP
Episcopal Diocese of Hawaii
Honolulu, Oahu

Eric Paul
Church of the Nazarene
Kailua Kona, Hawai’i

George M Hudes
Jewish Voice for Peace Hawaii
Honolulu, Oahu

The Rev. Prof. Gregory Johnson
St. Elizabeth of Kapalama
Honolulu, Oahu

Dr. Kahu Haaheo Guanson
Pacific Justice & Reconciliation Center Honolulu, Oahu

Kahu Mua Heather Barfield
Kaumakapili Church
Honolulu, Oahu

Imam Dr. Ismail Elshikh
Muslim Association of Hawaii Honolulu, Oahu

Rev. Dr. Jack E. Belsom
United Church of Christ
Wailuku, Maui

Rev. Jessica Kawamura
Aiea, Oahu

Jim Albertini
Malu ‘Aina
Ola’a (Kurtistown), Hawaii Island

Rev. JP Sabbithi
Joy of Christ
Honolulu, Oahu

Dr. Kahu Kaleo Patterson
Pacific Justice and Reconciliation Center
Honolulu, Oahu

Kristen Young
Faith Action Hawai‘i
Honolulu, O‘ahu

Rev. Mary K. Herbig
United Church of Christ
Kailua, O’ahu

The Rev. Dr. Moses D. Barrios
Faith Action Hawaiʻi President
Honolulu, Oʻahu

Makaiwa Kanui
Hilo, Hawai’i

Rev. Mary Paik
Kailua, Oahu

Kahu Napua McShane Burke
Hawaii Conference United Church of Christ
Waiakea Uka, Hawai’i

Noel J. Kent
UH Manoa
Honolulu, Oahu

Rev. Piula Alailima
Wesley United Methodist Church, Kahala
Honolulu, Oahu

Rev. Pua Kekaula Kānealiʻi
Church of the Nazarene
Kalama’ula, Molokai

Rebecca Woodland
Central Union Church
Honolulu, Oahu

Kahu Rennie Mau
Hawaii PAAM
Honolulu, Oahu

Rona Mangayayam
Honolulu, Oahu

Ronald Fujiyoshi
Retired missionary, United Church of Christ
Hilo, Hawai`i

Rev. Dr. M. Scott Landis
Ordained Minister – United Church of Christ
Kihei, Maui

Venerable Rev. Steven Costa
Episcopal Church
Honolulu, O’ahu

Wally Inglis
Catholic Worker House
Honolulu, O’ahu

Pastor Wayne Ibara
Makiki Christian Church
Honolulu, Oahu