Amidst the unfolding crisis in the Middle East, Gray West Construction’s CEO, Brian Silver, recently addressed our company through a heartfelt email. In his message, he passionately implored team members to embrace empathy, compassion, and a profound dedication to our shared humanity.
From the desk of Brian Silver on October 19, 2023
Team Gray West:
I’ve struggled mightily with the decision to send this e-mail for a variety of reasons. You all know how important transparency is to me and consequently that is why we have made it a cornerstone of the Gray West culture. So, it is in the vein of me being transparent with my compelling need to share this with you that I am sending this out.
We are all in a state of trauma as we watch this human tragedy in the Middle East unfold day after day. Captured on phones and shared on social media, we’re seeing unthinkable tragedy in real-time.
The grief, shock, and anger flowing from this situation will bring out the worst in human behavior. It’s already happening throughout the world…people reactively sharing their opinions about Israelis, Palestinians, and Hamas.
This is when we need to be very intentional with our words and actions. This is when we need to shift into gear as humanitarians and stop the hate.
Our Israeli and Jewish colleagues are in a state of trauma. Our Palestinian and Muslim colleagues are in a state of trauma.
These communities have all been victimized, in different ways and by different people, for hundreds of years and the situation does not lend itself to simplistic soundbites. Please do not make them.
If you want to show up as a humanitarian, do the work. Educate yourself. Take the time to learn about the issues beyond a simple soundbite.
Below is a list of resources to help you unpack the complex layers of this situation. Take the time to understand your coworkers, friends, and acquaintances, be an upstander, and act with empathy. Whatever you do, please do not add to the hate that these communities are already experiencing. Stop the Hate. Pray for Peace.
- My Promised Land: The Triumph and Tragedy of Israel
- The Hundred Years’ War on Palestine
- Arabs and Israelis: Conflict and Peacemaking in the Middle East
Articles & Interviews
- The New Yorker: Where the Palestinian Political Project Goes from Here
- Conversation with Fareed Zakaria — The Conflict in Israel and the State of Foreign Affairs (YouTube video)
- The New York Times Opinion Article: Piling Horror Upon Horror
- The History of Palestine
- Al-Jazeera: What’s Israel-Palestine Conflict About?– A Simple Guide
- What are the roots of the Israel-Palestine conflict?
- Jewish News Syndicate: How Jews in Palestine were persecuted during the 1915 Armenian Genocide
- Reuters: A brief history of Gaza’s centuries of war