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NASW urges Israel and Hamas to reach peace agreement

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Association of Social Workers (NASW) urges Israel and Hamas to work with negotiators to reach a peace agreement in Gaza that would end the tragic loss of life, allow both sides to address the root causes of the conflict, and pave the way for lasting peace.

It is essential the agreement call for the immediate release of 120 Israeli hostages reportedly still held in Gaza and open transportation lines to allow for desperately needed medical, food, housing, and other humanitarian assistance to Gaza. More than a million people in Gaza could face death and starvation by mid-July if help does not come, according to news reports.

NASW’s mission is to enhance professional growth and development of its members, create professional standards for social workers, and advance sound social policies. Social workers also follow the NASW Code of Ethics, which calls on members of the profession to enhance human well-being and help meet the basic human needs of all people.

NASW’s primary focus is domestic. However, many of our members have ties to Israel, Gaza, and other parts of the Mideast, which has prompted us to weigh in on this matter. NASW is also a member of the International Federation of Social Workers (IFSW), and NASW President Yvonne Chase is president of the IFSW North America region. As a member of IFSW, NASW supported calls for a ceasefire as early as October 30, 2023.

NASW is also aware this conflict has had repercussions in the United States, dividing our nation and dramatically increasing reports of hate crimes. Social workers who are Jewish as well as those who are Muslim are facing increased incidents of antisemitism and Islamophobia, including being targeted and harassed on social media, online, in their workplaces, and at colleges and universities.

NASW vehemently condemns these incidents and encourages social workers to stand together to oppose any such attacks against our colleagues and our profession.

NASW encourages social workers to follow our Code of Ethics, treat each other with respect, and refrain from negative criticism of each other’s religion or ethnicity. We support protests on this issue, provided they are peaceful and are not used to inflame hate.

We urge social workers to listen to each other, learn the reasoning behind each other’s views, have respectful dialogue, and work together to help heal our profession and our nation’s divide over this conflict.

Additional statements:

NASW statement on the Oct. 7 terrorist attack on Israel

IFSW calls for immediate ceasefire

NASW denounces rising hate and violence in U.S. in wake of Israel-Hamas conflict


The National Association of Social Workers (NASW), in Washington, DC, is the largest membership organization of professional social workers. It promotes, develops, and protects the practice of social work and social workers. NASW also seeks to enhance the well-being of individuals, families, and communities through its advocacy.