Statement on Israel/Palestine By John Slocum, Executive Director, Refugee Council USA

As executive director of Refugee Council USA (RCUSA), I have the privilege of leading a coalition that brings together nearly forty US-based nonprofits that advocate for and alongside refugees, asylees, and other forcibly displaced people.

As with many coalitions made up of diverse organizations, backgrounds, and strengths, at times we know that it is best to embrace our diversity by allowing the coalition’s individual member organizations to speak for themselves. I therefore offer this statement strictly in my capacity as Executive Director.

The violence and persecution that forces millions of people from their homes, and the hatred and bigotry that greets all too many of them in their places of sojourn and destination, are forces we oppose and seek to counter with love, support, and acceptance.

We recognize the deep complexities of the present conflict. We mourn the lives lost in Israel – Israelis and others. We mourn the lives lost in Gaza — Palestinians and others.

We acknowledge that there is much work to do to ensure that human lives are valued, protected, and held sacred not only in this conflict, but across the globe.  

The RCUSA coalition is united by a shared vision of a just world in which people forced to flee their homes have agency, access to safety, and opportunity to thrive.

This statement replaces an earlier statement released on November 3, 2023, which did not have the endorsement of the coalition.

Media contact: Sarah Seniuk,