During a United Nation's General Assembly video conference that took place earlier this week, Rabbi Arthur Schneier, a prominent US rabbi, issued a call for global unity, the Algemeiner reported.
"During this tragic pandemic, it is essential that faith leaders help raise universal awareness about the multifaceted challenges facing each and every nation," said Rabbi Schneier.
"Religious leaders must create messages of hope, optimism, and solidarity by teaching the need to embrace the importance of working together not only to fight this pandemic, but also to emerge stronger in the post-COVID era," he added.
Schneier is an ambassador of the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC), president and founder of the Appeal of Conscience Foundation, senior rabbi of Park East Synagogue and a member of the UNAOC's High Level Group.
In addition to those titles, Schneier is also a Holocaust survivor, who during his address drew morals from the aftermath of World War II and the story of his liberation from the Nazi camps, that can be applied today.
Beginning with his liberation in January 1945, Schneier used the global unity that occurred after the world faced the mass loss of over 50 million people in World War II and the Holocaust, in which he lost family members in Auschwitz, as an example of what can be done today.
"At that time, the world was left with heavy losses and scars but with the aid of the Marshall Plan and the generosity of the victors, Europe was rebuilt. With hope the United Nations was established seventy-five years ago, a classic example of mankind’s history, destruction, devastation, loss of life, rebuilding, restoration as a result of united action and ultimately rebirth.
"Once again we have an opportunity to build a better world together. United we prevail, divided we fail. COVID-19 has shown no mercy; there is no immunity, no borders, no denominations, the young, the old, the rich, the poor; the have nots most of all, but not exclusively. Together we must be a source of comfort and strength to our children, the lost and the infirmed."
Addressing the responsibility world leaders, he said, "as people of faith, we must be in the forefront of countering the hatemongers in our midst who have invaded social media to disseminate xenophobia, antisemitism, bias against minorities and conspiracy theories exploiting this tragic time for hatred and division."
Schneier also touched on the leaders' responsibility for the youth. "We must also shield our children from the transmission of division and hatred. By example, we must serve as their moral compass to educate them of our commitment love your neighbor as yourself and respect for the other in a concerted effort to unite our divided human family."
He additionally made the call to stop the "finger pointing and blaming others," declaring that as "faith leaders we must fervently denounce and stem the scapegoating."
"We must isolate the lepers of bias, heal the divisions and strengthen those forces committed to uniting a divided human family through mutual acceptance and respect and peaceful coexistence.
"We all have responsibility to come together with all sectors of society in an alliance of civilization to establish a 21st-century recovery plan to repair and improve our wounded world,” Schneier concluded.