Belief Beat

Israel’s raid on a flotilla of ships carrying aid for blockaded Gaza, resulting in the deaths of nine pro-Palestinian activists and injuries to seven Israeli soldiers, has prompted outcry and statements of concern from religious and political leaders around the world.

Predictably, most U.S. Jewish groups are firmly standing behind Israel, with the exception of a few left-wing organizations, such as J Street and Americans for Peace Now, which have called for an independent investigation of the incident.

Here’s a sample of what the rest of the world is saying (updated at 4:30 p.m. EST):

It’ll be interesting to see if Pope Benedict addresses this situation directly, given his trip to Cyprus in a few days. It’ll be hard to avoid the subject, given that the European/Middle Eastern island is where the Free Gaza Movement (which organized the flotilla) is based; in the “political minefield” the pontiff has to navigate there, it’s somewhat ironic that one thing that Greek and Turkish Cypriots in their own divided country can agree on is their Palestinian sympathies.

Check back for updates — I’ll post more links throughout the day — and share your thoughts in the Comments section below.

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