I stand with the many human rights organizations, including Combatants for Peace, the Parents Circle Family Forum, and Women Wage Peace who write:
Hamas’ horrific crimes against innocent civilians – including children, women, and the elderly – have shaken us all, and we are struggling to recover from the unbearable sights and sounds. Some of us were in the Israeli communities on the Gaza border during the assault; many of us have family, friends, and colleagues who endured and are still in the
midst of the harrowing events; and we all know people who were murdered, injured, or abducted. It will take time to fully understand the implications and consequences of Hamas’ heinous attack, for which there can be no justification.
Most of our teams include Israelis and Palestinians; therefore, some of us have relatives and colleagues in Gaza currently living under the ongoing assault of the Israeli military. Children, women, and the elderly are being indiscriminately attacked with nowhere to hide. Even now – especially now – we must maintain our moral and humane position and refuse to give in to despair or the urge for vengeance. Keeping our faith in the human spirit and its inherent goodness is more vital than ever. One thing is clear: We will never surrender our belief in humanity – even now, when doing so is more challenging than ever.
Having always opposed the harming of innocent civilians, it remains our duty in these terrible times – as we count our dead on the Israeli side and worry about wounded, missing, and abducted loved ones, and as bombs are being dropped on residential neighborhoods in Gaza, wiping out entire families with no possibility of burying the dead – to raise our voices loud and clear against the harming of all innocent civilians, both in Israel and Gaza.
We call for the immediate release of all hostages and an end to the bombardment of civilians in Israel and Gaza. Humanitarian aid must be allowed to reach civilian populations, medical facilities and places of refuge must not be harmed, and vital resources such as water and electricity must not be cut off. The killing of additional civilians will not bring back those who were lost. Indiscriminate destruction and a siege harming innocents will not bring relief, justice, or calm.