In a public statement issued on Thursday the 16th, the executive director of CASA, Gustavo Torres, made a strong “call for peace” on behalf of his organization, in the midst of the humanitarian crisis that impacts Israel and Palestine “and in the face of the growing loss of innocent lives.”
Referring to an initial statement released last week on social media, Torres said “we wanted to draw direct attention to the innocent Israeli and Palestinian children and families who are caught in the middle of this horrendous conflict.”
“We wanted to condemn the violence and ask for the protection of all civilians. This crisis evokes the violence that CASA members have witnessed in their own countries of origin, of which many – including myself – have experienced horror, displacement and loss of family members.”
In this regard, he said that by doing so “we caused pain to dear friends and partners,” adding that “our message was wrong, undermined the Israeli people, hurt many of our Jewish allies and was contrary to our goals of moving towards peace. For that, I'm sorry. “We immediately retracted that statement and removed the content from social media.”
He also announced that he has apologized “to our allies who have been harmed by our words and now we do it with all of you.”
“We sincerely regret not reaching out to allies and communities mourning the terrorist attack carried out by Hamas in Israel on October 7 when it occurred. In the weeks since then we should have done more in-depth work to understand the crisis and the ways of understanding language by people much closer to the situation. “We mourn all the innocent lives lost in this latest conflict, regardless of their faith or ethnic identity,” Torres said in his statement.
“We have improved our processes and we will carry out internal training on anti-Semitic, anti-Arab and anti-Muslim prejudices,” he highlighted.
After remembering that CASA “has been a pillar for more than 35 years in the community” for all the work carried out, its executive director finally expressed the solidarity of the institution “with those who advocate for peace and the end of human suffering in Israel and Palestine".