The ongoing conflict in the Middle East continues to cause intense pain, grief, and trauma for members of London's Jewish, Muslim, and Palestinian communities. They are mourning family members and loved ones killed, or agonizing over the well-being of those held hostage or unable to leave the region. What's happening right now is horrific, and the impacts on an increasingly large number of Londoners are undeniable.

I am joining with other voices across Canada and the broader international community in calling for the release of all hostages, a ceasefire, the surrender of Hamas, and safe access to humanitarian aid for those in desperate need. I want peace and security for Palestinians. I want peace and security for Israelis.

As Mayor, beyond issuing this statement, my ability to influence global events is limited. However, I will continue to do all I can to achieve those objectives here in London, and I would encourage all Londoners - regardless of religion, race, or ethnicity - to do likewise. Since the start of this war, we have seen a rise in anti-Palestinian acts, antisemitism, and Islamophobia. Londoners wonder if their Synagogues or their Mosques will be attacked as we've seen in other cities. Our neighbours are scared.

We have an opportunity and an obligation to promote here at home the peace and security we desire abroad.

Please, support one another in our neighbourhoods, workplaces, and schools. Choose calm and compassion over fear and division. These aren't just empty words, this is my sincere wish for all of us - especially those who are hurting the most - as we navigate our way through this period of immense grief and polarization.