A candlelight vigil was held on Dec. 4 by the pro-Israel group, J Street U, in memory of the Palestinian and Israeli victims of the recent conflict in Gaza. The event was held in front of the Kay Spiritual Life center.
Candles were lit in honor of the victims while Ibraheem Samirah, vice president of AU Jewish Voice for Peace, read the names of victims. The list was eight pages long and included six Israeli names along with 107 Palestinian names, according to Damián Fontanez, a member of AU Students for Justice in Palestine.
The names were intentionally scrambled in order to keep focus on the individuals rather than the ethnicity, according to Bradley Harmon, president of J Street U at AU.
“We are not here to mourn the loss on one side or another,” he said.
J Street U hosted the event after other chapters of the national organization held similar vigils, according to Harmon.
AU Students for Justice in Palestine, AU Jewish Voice for Peace and Christians United for Israel at AU co-hosted the vigil.
Prayers from the Jewish, Muslim and Christian faiths were then read in honor of the dead.
“If we can’t come together on this, we can’t come together on anything,” Harmon said.
Students in attendance found inspiration in the prayer service, according to Elana Friedman, a junior in the School of International Service.
“When I’m at school I don’t pray,” Friedman said, “so it’s nice to remember we can pray for things to get better.”