The Hague, 14-10-2023
The world was shocked by Hamas’ attack on Israel last weekend and the violence that followed. We are deeply saddened by the loss of many civilian lives on both sides of the conflict, Israelis and Palestinians alike. We condemn all attacks on civilians, whether carried out by Hamas, or by the State of Israel as collective punishment of the Palestinian civilians in Gaza.
The current situation in Gaza is extremely alarming. Political and military leaders of Israel have explicitly stated it is their goal to destroy Gaza , to maximize damage, and to remove the entire population by military force. The actions and statements by Israeli officials amount to ethnic cleansing and an intent to commit genocide. We condemn those Western leaders who enable Israel to implement these intents by their political and military support.
Imprisoning more than two million people on a small strip of land without food, shelter, electricity and water, while bombing them from airplanes is deliberate cruelty that does not comply with any human values nor international law. The atrocities committed by Hamas do not legitimize the deliberate bombing of civilian neighborhoods of Palestinians, and the targeting of families, schools, hospitals, mosques, and humanitarian convoys.
As human beings we cannot remain silent or indifferent to these war crimes. Therefore, we call upon all decisionmakers in the US and the EU to intervene to stop Israels’ bombing campaign, and to open up all necessary humanitarian corridors to allow the supply of food, water, and medical care to enter the Gaza strip.
The unfolding violence is the result of an accumulation of many crimes and injustices over the past decades. This historical background requires a place in the mainstream political narrative to open the way towards dialogue and sustainable peace. For too long, the West has aided the colonial project of Israel and ignored the basic human rights of the Palestinian people and their legitimate claim to their land and dignity.
The Second World War is remembered as one of the most catastrophic events in human history. “Never again” was the slogan which carried the peace movement to rebuild a world where this was true. It is imperative that we emphasize the need for equal human rights for both Israelis and Palestinians, and recognize that crimes of colonialism, suppression, apartheid, and ethnic cleansing cannot be ignored no matter who commits them.
We urgently call for an immediate ceasefire on civilian targets in the Gaza strip and for negotiations to release the Israeli hostages. We strongly warn against a singular political narrative that needlessly accelerates this conflict. We believe that only dialogue and a mutual recognition of each other’s suffering can bring this war to an end. We therefore call for an honest, deep, and serious dialogue between all relevant actors in this conflict in order to advance towards a sustainable peace in the Middle East.
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Peace through Dialogue
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