Responsive Resolution: UUA General Assembly Support for October 7 Hostages

Ballot Result from General Session IV
This Responsive Resolution was adopted. It received more than 2/3 vote of support.

Responsive Resolution: UUA General Assembly Support for October 7 Hostages

Option Votes
Adopt responsive resolution 1705 (77.0%)
Do not adopt responsive resolution 508 (23.0%)
Total 2545
Abstain 332 (13.0%)

Whereas, UUA President Rev. Dr. Sofía Betancourt’s report beautifully reflected upon the profound horror and loss in the Middle East, which is amplifying growing antisemitism and anti-Arabism and islamophobia in the U.S. and beyond;

Whereas, real harm that has come to and continues to be suffered by those affected by the October 7 attack;

Whereas, 120 hostages are still missing, and only about 50 are currently believed to be alive;

Whereas, a call for recognition of only the harm on one side without regard for the other creates an environment of existential threat to Jewish Unitarian Universalists; and

Therefore be it resolved that the General Assembly of the Unitarian Universalist Association (GA of the UUA) calls for the immediate release of all Hamas held hostages. Further, the GA of the UUA acknowledges the real suffering of Jews within our association and beyond. There can be no peace and no justice unless it is for all people.


I support a demand for release of hostages, those captured by Hamas and other groups on October 7 and those in so-called administrative detention in Israeli prisons. Anguish and suffering both for those abducted and for their families is deep and prolonged.

The “whereas” that suggests the AIW Solidarity does not acknowledge the violence and harm of October 7, however, is inaccurate.

As UUs we want ALL people to flourish, including those frequently overlooked or not seen.


I am delighted to support this responsive resolution, which is an important corollary to the AIW on Palestine which did not adequately support the people of Israel, identify Hamas, or the rise threat of antisemitism in the US and beyond. I hope that all who support that AIW will understand why they must demonstrate their support for this responsive resolution.


Please consider revising this responsive resolution to include a demand for Israel to release the thousands of Palestinians from Gaza who were abducted and are being tortured by the Israel Defense Forces. Most of the prisoners are men and boys who had nothing to do with the October 7 attack and many are medical staff, abducted while on duty when hospitals were raided by the IDF. I also suggest including a call for a permanent ceasefire as the best way to secure safe return of hostages and prisoners.


Thank you for speaking up about antisemitism! Luckily, the proposed AIW already addresses these concerns.

“Our faith community has long recognized the horrors of violent antisemitism against generations of Jewish people and we reaffirm our commitment to their safety. Our support for Jewish well-being was never meant to undermine the rights and lands of Palestinian people. We seek a world where our Palestinian and Jewish kin are safe. We believe that until Palestinians are free, none of us is free. We decry all the violence of October 7.”


Thanks for this. What report is this RR referring to? It would be great for it to be named specifically and also if there is a link to view/ read it.
Thank you!


Responsive Resolutions cannot be revised. They must be voted on as they are.


I join in the call for the immediate release of all hostages and witness the trauma and horror suffered by Israeli society and so many people on October 7 and its aftermath. I also witness to the horrors and ongoing violence against Palestinians in Gaza, Israel, and the West Bank.

And also, would the proposers be able to share what “creates an environment of existential threat to Jewish Unitarian Universalists” means? I legit don’t know what that means.


The comments made during the pre-GA on-line discussion of the Palestinian AIW identified these issues and disparities and suggested minor modifications to title, etc. to address the issues. I don’t know why the authors of the AIW chose not to amend the AIW to address these concerns. I would prefer that the AIW be amended, but since that is no longer possible, I support this resolution. This issue is very complex, with heartbreaking implications for the people in the region, especially the Palestinians. The news source Tangle ( has multiple balanced articles and coverage of the issue, including a recent thought-provoking and informative interview by Isaac Saul, the news editor, with Haviv Gur, a journalist and historian from Israel. I recommend checking it out- hearing reasonable voices from multiple sides of complex issues helps us break out of our silos and bubbles. (I’m also a recent “convert” to Braver Angels.)


Why is this a call only for release of Hamas-held hostages, when over 7,000 Palestinian political prisoners, hundreds of them children, are held without charge or trial in Israeli occupation jails? For years now, Israeli occupation forces in the West Bank have been essentially kidnapping Palestinian children from their homes, allowed access to neither legal representation nor their families, and often held in unknown locations, and subjected to systematic abuse. In total disregard of international law, these children are tried on military law (if they are tried at all), with a conviction rate of over 99 percent, the “crime” usually being resistance to Israel’s illegal and brutal occupation of Palestinian land by throwing stones at armed soldiers. This is a form of terror, and it is unconscionable for there to be nothing but a one-side recognition of Hamas-held hostages accompanied by total disregard for Palestinian hostages. Furthermore, the 50 or more Israeli hostages have been killed not by Hamas, but by Israeli airstrikes.


I believe because that is covered more fully in the AIW Stand with Palestinians which e are also voting on today.


The Solidarity AIW on these pages is listed as “[Amended]”; I did not think to check for when those amendments were made, but I am suspecting that they could have been after the preGA discussion, which was in actuality the miniassembly, or close to it. If you have been following more closely than I and am aware that this is not the case, I sit corrected.

(I am hereby going on record to note the change in habit and the extra time required of delegates to attend those at various times throughout June, in some cases when credentials have not even been assigned—did not think to bring a responsive resolution on this, not sure what the request would have been. Food for thought for postGA feedback.)

It’s problematic to equate Judaism with the government of Israel.


From the AIW: Solidarity with Palestinians:

“We seek a world where our Palestinian and Jewish kin are safe.”
“We decry all the violence of October 7.”
“Call for an immediate permanent ceasefire, massive humanitarian aid, the release of all captives, and an end to genocide around the world.”

The assertion in this document that the AIW is a “call for recognition of only the harm on one side without regard for the other…” is blatantly untrue, not only in the text of the AIW but in the clear, repeated expressions by AIW sponsors that we hold all lives and the right to safety and liberation of all people, with absolute certainty. It is, in fact, this RR which centers one group–Palestinians are not even named here.

I see nowhere in this Responsive Resolution an acknowledgement of the Palestinian captives held by Israel–some for years, without charges, and including children. This document is not a holding of collective pain, and it doesn’t bear a moment of witness to the tremendous loss of Palestinian lives. To my Palestinian UU beloveds feeling the sting of this document, many many of us do bear witness–you are loved and you are seen!

What I see in this Responsive Resolution is a desire to veer us away from the path of collective liberation articulated in the AIW, where Jewish people, Palestinian people, and all people are safe and free.

I am so deeply saddened that folks have missed the opportunity to understand that this doesn’t have to be about a “Jewish side” and a “Palestinian side,” and that it can instead be about how we can take care of each other, name and advocate for the safety and liberation of all, and that that must include a centering of Palestinians in this moment, who are literally being extinguished–land, culture, and lives–by the state of Israel.


I support this responsive resolution. If I strive to be love-centered, for me, I must act out of love, which includes the practice of hard love and easy love, to move away from the concepts of them and us, wherever they may arise.

Thank you for this responsive resolution.


I speak here as Jewish UU who lost a family member in Oct 7th. My cousin Guy Illouz was the sound tech at the Nova Festival. He was brutally taken hostage. We now know that he died in Gaza from the wounds he received when he was taken. His body has yet to be returned. This resolution is necessary so that we hold the suffering of all in this nightmare. The proposed AIW is deeply painful to me wondering if there will still be a place for me. A Jewish UU who is a progressive Zionist. After 54 years as a UU and 35 years as a UU minister this is place I never thought I would be. With this responsive resolution I feel seen and heard.


Please do not dismiss our voices or our pain.


My cousin Guy Illouz was not killed by Israeli bombs but by the wounds he received when he was brutally taken hostage by Hamas on October 7th.


This is not a response to the AIW. It is in response to President Betencourt’s report, and references harms that have been experienced in other ways.


Your concern is addressed in the AIW for Palestine. These are not mutually exclusive. This RR addresses specifically the harm that has come to Jewish UUs and to those directly affected by the October 7 Hamas attack. Including at least one individual who has commented here.