GLOBAL CALL TO ACTION
TO STOP THE VIOLENCE
Kai Brand-Jacobsen, Director, Department of Peace Operations (DPO) – PATRIR
IMMEDIATE ACTIONS YOU CAN TAKE TO BRING ABOUT AN END TO FIGHTING AND JUST PEACE FOR
ALL THE PEOPLE OF ISRAEL-PALESTINE
*** NOTE: This may be reprinted, reposted, shared, translated (particularly into Hebrew and Arabic. Please share your own ideas as well, and make this available as broadly as possible if you believe it will help people to act ***
In the face of violence the overwhelming majority of us can often feel helpless and powerless, gripped by the belief that ‘there’s nothing we can do.’ The reality is: this isn’t true. There is a lot we can do, and we’re not alone. The overwhelming majority of people in Israel – Palestine and in all of our countries do not support war and do not support the policies and continual escalation of confrontation and militarism that feed it.
For war to continue it requires the overwhelming reasonable majority of citizens in Israel and Palestine – and around the world – to sit back and do nothing. To make it end, we need to stand up and take effective, direct and constructive action.
Below are 18 recommendations for the people of Palestine and Israel, and all of us around the world. It is not an exhaustive list. If you have more ideas please add your own. Share these with others.
And – most importantly: take action.
The values this global call to action is based upon:
Values matter. They express who we are, what we believe in, and the world we want to live in. When war and violence happen we often feel the need to express our solidarity with those affected. This is natural. In this current moment our hearts go out to all the people of Palestine and Israel – all Palestinians, all Israelis, all Jews, all Muslims, all Christians, all seculars, all children, all parents, all grand parents, all women, all men, all those affected by the violence, all those fighting – for freedom, for protecting their people, for ending occupation.
Too often, however, this falls into an ‘us’ vs ‘them’ or ‘weighting’ of suffering. We ask one thing of you. This call is based upon one single and fundamental principle: all the people of Palestine and Israel deserve to live lives in dignity, free from fear and the threat and reality of violence. Deep down we know this. Deep down we believe in and agree with this. Let us have the courage to say it.
This call refuses to accept the immaturity and illegitimacy of calls that believe that the rights of one can be achieved at the point of denying the rights of another. All the people of Palestine and Israel deserve to live lives with the full enjoyment of their human rights, free from threat and reality of attack, free from governments and authorities which promote constant messages of war, violence, hatred and aggression and which continuously ‘blame’ the absence of peace on the failures of the other side while waging war – through missile attacks, suicide attacks, settlement expansion, and hate media and hate speeches.
The reasonable majority of the people of Palestine and Israel – the reasonable majority of the world – want to be able to live in peace – for ourselves, for our children, and for their selves, and their children. The reasonable majority want an end to war, and end to violence, and an end to the occupation.
We therefore call upon every peace activist and every citizen, human being, journalist and politician to call – and take immediate action – for an end to all violence, on all sides, and to refuse to accept the illegitimate and dishonest rhetoric of ‘legitimate of defence’ to excuse belligerent acts in a context where the cycle of violence is bringing suffering to all people and all sides.
We call upon every peace activist and every citizen, human being, journalist and politician to express their support and solidarity for the people of BOTH Palestine and Israel, and to use this moment where once again irresponsible and illegitimate ‘leadership’ and bankrupt policies of war and violence have brought us back to war, to launch a true, sustained, and unrelenting movement of the people of Palestine and Israel – with support from the people of the world – for a just and lasting peace and end to occupation.
What practically can I / we do?
Here is a list of 18 ideas. You may not agree with or resonate with all of them. You may agree and resonate powerfully with some. Please look over them. Think about them. Add your own. Share them further, and, most of all please take direct, effective and constructive action.
In travelling to Israel and Palestine, listen to and respect the personal stories of suffering, experience, and perspectives of all people, no matter how challenging and difficult it is. If you truly believe in peace, social justice, human rights, dignity, freedom, and an end to the occupation for all the people of Israel and Palestine, transcending the logic of war, violence and demonization is critical. If people are going to take the steps for peace it is not enough to tell them they’re “wrong”. That will only deepen the conflict. Listen. Show respect. Build real relationships. And, at the same time: struggle, actively, with every fibre of your human and more dignity and intelligence, against all forms and manifestations of violence, dehumanisation, and hatred – but do so through deep, deep humanity and respecting the dignity of all people.
Even if the violence / fighting stops, still go. Much needs to be done to rebuild, and to show solidarity, real solidarity with Israelis and Palestinians if we are to force the cycle of violence, war and occupation to end.
15. Create a Facebook page to help support and make visible people’s actions, provide up-dates, encourage engagement, and show how people can become involved!
And, in the immediate short term as well as the medium and longer run:
If you can phrase these ideas in a way that’s more exciting, more inspiring, more empowering and better able to reach people and encourage them to action please do. If you have ideas of your own, please add them. If you believe some of the ideas here are important and can help people find ways of acting, please feel free to share it, post it, mail it, re-print it. If you can, please also translate this text into Arabic and Hebrew to be accessible to more people in Israel and Palestine and the broader Middle East and globally.
Dedicated to all the people of Israel and Palestine. Dedicated to a future in Israel and Palestine without war and violence. Dedicated to the knowledge that if I, you, any and all of us want this to happen, it’s up to us.
Thank you for posting this. This was very powerful and I love the suggestions.
Thank you Charles. We've been receiving feed-back on it from around the world, including from Gaza, across the rest of Palestine, and Israel, as well as people in Africa, Asia, Latin America, Europe and North America. It would be great if you could share it further, and, even more so, organise activities and engagements in your own community / city while encouraging others to more broadly. Making the global movement to bring an immediate end to the war visible in: 1. public; 2. media; 3. politics at the local, state/province and national levels - is critical. Wishing you the very best, and again, thank you for your comment.in peace Kai
This Call to Action is superior for many reasons!
1. Showing respect for both sides of a conflict is imperative!
2. The desire for a dedication and a commitment to NONVIOLENCE must be apparent!
3. The 18 steps are the elements for a long lasting affect
4. The people have to arise to influence their own governments and at the same time, show their support for the people in a conflict area.
5 These elements can lead to a Global Movement of Nonviolence as a proactive strategy once the violence stops
To break the cycle of hatred depicted in the photo, the idealistic goal of acting in behalf of the children, and their children, is needed as the motivation. Therefore, I would humbly like to submit a plan for a Gandhi / King-llike, people movement called a Global Movement of Nonviolence, For the Children (GMofNV). A GMofNV utilizes two main Gandhi aspects, obstructive (demonstrations - nonviolent direct action) and constructive (programs prioritizing children’s needs) components. The children are the common denominator. The families in every country want their children to grow up in a peaceful and nurturing setting, as was mentioned in the Global Call to Action..
Because the obstacles to change are so enormous, something different than the normal way of doing things is needed to stop war and violence! To implement a GMofNV, an unexpected source of strength, that is known for nurturing children, representing nonviolence, and not usually listened to will lead the way. The source recommended is WOMEN.
A GMOfNV, with women leading the way, is designed to be implemented immediately. The mechanisms are in place and a stimulus is prepared to set it in motion! All it needs is the last component.
There are TWO major initiatives coming in the next 2 to 4 months that are led by women.
BIRTH 2012 (B12) – December 22, 2012, led by Barbara Marx Hubbard, to spread inner peace
ONE BILLION RISING (BR) – February, 14, 2013, led by Eve Ensler, to stop violence against women
All these two initiatives have to do is promote the next step - a GMofNV - to stop violence for everyone!
Women lead the way, but it not exclusive to women, as the Civil Rights movement in the U.S. was not exclusive to African Americans. Men are included and should be willing participants. Ban Ki Moon recently said, "women are a powerful and yet untapped force for peace."
I have networked with non-governmental WOMEN leaders from around the world, planting seeds, informing them of a GMofNV, in preparation for the right moment. The right moment is here.
Precipitously, there is a woman in a position of prominence that can influence women leaders to make it all happen! MICHELE BACHELET, Executive Director of UN Women, whom has spoken out profoundly for nonviolence, can facilitate the women leaders coming together. The women leaders announce an initiative to implement a GMofNV called a CALL to WOMEN, a World-Wide Unity Campaign (C2W). When a GMofNV and a C2W begin, women’s voices will be heard and the movement will attain POLITICAL CLOUT! A GMofNV and a C2W are not just about women. They are about people working for humanity! Men are included.
This is the test, for men and women. If men fought in every war, and people do not want war, doesn’t it seem logical that women should work to prevent it? Men should be courting women to prevent war and violence, if they truly believe they don’t want war.
A Call to Women promotes kindness, generosity, compassion and all that the UN promotes with the Culture of Peace and the Millennium Goals. The 18 steps explain beautifully the pragmatic steps the people can take during the Palestinian / Israeli conflict. A GMofNV promotes an IDEAL (the children) and leaders (women) to motivate the people to promote nonviolence globally, now during the conflict and for the continuation afterwards!
The movement must be called a Movement of Nonviolence to set a precedent "For the Children." Please contact me at your earliest convenience.
The Children are Watching!
Peace and Love,
Facilitator, A Call to Women
Cell # 617-413-9064 Home # 617- 964-5267
P.S. On October 9, 2012, I was interviewed on local TV about the strength of WOMEN and how women, at this time in history, have an incredible opportunity to “Take a Voice.” Here is the link: http://www.newtv.org/video/that-s-the-law-with-b-j-krintzman/global... The show was about women leaders and the opportunity at women’s fingertips..
Sister Joan Chittister, September 11th, 2004, at the Omega / V Day conference, “Women and Power” said, “The lives of our children, the protection of millions, the hopes of all humankind, wait again now for women, from opposite cultures, opposite tradition, to step over the line of political hatred to save them.”
Louise Diamond, author and activist, 11/22/11: Andre, Thanks for sending the information on your wonderful project. The children are indeed a unifying force, and women are indeed the active agents of a most great peace. Your GSofNV/Call to Women can enliven the spirit of peace that we so desperately need on the planet in these days.
Adil Najam, Boston University, International Relations: “If a person with black hair sees a person with red hair, he or she sees someone different, but, if a person with black hair sees a child with red hair, he or she sees a child.”
Martin Luther King wrote in Strength to Love, about nonviolence, “It gives them new self respect. It calls up resources of strength and courage that they did not know they had. Finally, it so stirs the conscience of the opponent that reconciliation becomes a reality.”
Thomas Merton – in Ghandi and the One-Eyed Giant , Chapter One, stated,
“Non-violence heals and restores man’s nature, while giving him a means to restore social order and justice.”
The Dalai Lama is half right -- "The world will be saved by the western woman." Andre Sheldon says, but not just the western women. Women from everywhere must participate.
From Global Peace Initiative of Women, “…the cry from creation compels us to continue and to deepen our commitment to a world waiting for women's energy to embrace the whole of creation in a spirit of love and forgiveness.
Let us know if there are any movements on peace workers going there as suggested. I am very curious about that.
I adore the principles behind this. However, as someone working in the West Bank, I feel responsible for highlighting two things.
1) From a practical perspective, Palestinian activists getting into Israel to support Israelis is an impossibility because the Israeli government and militants (army or otherwise) will prevent this. For one thing, they have made separation systemic but also because this campaign thrives in dehumanizing Palestinians. I am sad for this: I would love to join a group of Palestinians going into Israel to support their safety. That would be wonderful!
2) The impetus and responsibility for this conflict is located solidly inside the Israeli government. I know it is not fair to blame the Israeli people as a whole, especially since they are put at risk (even to a lesser extent). However, I cannot be more clear with you: Israel's government must be held responsible because they possess the power and it has become crystal clear that this regime is antagonistic -- anachronistically citing rocket attacks that it (seemingly intentionally) provoked.
Regime-change in the middle-East: something sorely needed, for the sake of both Palestinians and even the Israelis who, not knowing any better, support their government's behavior. False balance will not bring peace: we need to hold the responsible party up to the light.
Wonderful and insightful. I am going to share it on all our forums. Thanks!
Many thanks Maheswar. It can be very helpful to get the call out broadly, and, even more so, to act directly upon the recommendations or develop other actions as appropriate. Best wishes, Kai
Thank you for Monica! We'll distribute broadly. Best wishes, Kai
One other idea would be to make pressure on Worldwide Governments to stop supporting this war!