Fasting for Peace- Muslims and Jews

Circle of handsNews of the escalating violence in Israel/Palestine over the past several weeks has troubled people around the world. Concern for the people of that area who suffer on both sides of the conflict has led Jews and Muslims to pledge to join in a “Hunger Strike Against Violence” on Tuesday, July 15.

That day falls at the midpoint of the Muslim month of Ramadan, and in the Jewish calendar is the 17th day of Tammuz. Ramadan is the month during which Muslims fast from sunup to sundown, refraining from eating or drinking as a spiritual discipline. For Jews, 17 Tammuz is a fast day recalling the day in 63 C.E. when the Romans broke through the walls of Jerusalem and subsequently destroyed the city and the Temple. It commemorates the suffering of people caught in war.

Proposed by a group of Israelis and Palestinians in response to the cycle of escalating violence that includes the murders of teenagers on both sides and military action in Gaza and adjoining areas, the “Hunger Strike Against Violence” seeks to bring together Jews, Muslims and others to join in the daylong fast on Tuesday and, if possible, to join together in sharing iftar (breaking the fast) in the evening.

The call has been shared in this country by Sheila Musaji, the editor of The American Muslim, and Rabbi Arthur Waskow, director of The Shalom Center. You can read more about the effort and allied activities here.

Locally, Samina Sundas of American Muslim Voice is sponsoring an iftar at her home in Palo Alto on Tuesday, July 15. The gathering will begin at 6:30 pm, include dinner, and end with a candlelight vigil. The location is 120 Park Avenue, Palo Alto. PLEASE RSVP to

Find more details on Facebook:

#FastForPeace has created a website with information about gatherings around the world; they also have a Facebook page.

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