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Escalation in Palestine and Israel

Now more than ever voices for peace must be heard!

Krieg in Nahost
© Peter Tobiassen

Our thoughts and empathy are with the victims and berieved families of this war in the Middle East. forumZFD condemns the attacks of Hamas, the bombing of Israeli cities, the kidnapping and murder of civilians. These crimes cannot be justified. With its politics of retaliation, Israel has launched extensive airstrikes in the Gaza Strip and is reportedly preparing for a ground incursion. A total blockade has been established, and the supply of electricity, food, water, and gas has been cut.

This new, terrible war claims hundreds of innocent victims on both sides. As always, it is the civilian population that suffers the most from the terrible violence. The protection of civilians must now come first.

The attack on Israel shows in a depressing way that walls do not bring security and peace. The call for peace now threatens to be silenced in the deafening noise of explosions and firefights. We must not allow this to happen. We are convinced that the majority of the people in Israel, Gaza and the Westbank want one thing above all: An end to violence and a life in security and peace.

We are in close exchange with our long-standing and experienced partners on the ground. In this new war in the Middle East, we have pledged our increased support to them. Our team in Jerusalem is working tirelessly to strengthen the efforts of our partner organizations and the groups we work with to promote dialogue and understanding. This important work must not stop now; on the contrary, we must intensify it.

Now more than ever voices for peace must be heard!

Standing Together

A message from Standing Together, the largest grassroots Jewish-Arab Movement in Israel-Palestine.

We are hurting. We are all hurting.

We all know people who are still missing, have been captured, or have been killed. People killed by Hamas in Israel, and people killed by the Israeli army in the West Bank or in Gaza by rocket fire.

Nobody deserves to be murdered. Nobody deserves to lose their loved ones, their homes, and their communities. Nobody, from the river to the sea, should have to pay for the actions of their leaders - or their neighbor’s leaders - with their lives.

This war is bad for everyone. Israelis and Palestinians will continue to be killed. Entire communities will never look the same. Palestinian citizens of Israel have already begun to feel the effects of heightened ostracization and discrimination in Israeli society.

Our collective trauma fuels fear in all of us. The damage to the psyche of our nations in Israel-Palestine has already been done. We are all led by cowards who exploit this fear, refuse to act in our interest, and have led us to a dead end.

We must not buy into the illusion that security can be achieved through military action. There is no future here - for any of us - without ending the occupation and guaranteeing independence, freedom, and security for both nations.


Combatants for Peace

“We declare our desire to live together in peace, free from wars, occupation, and hatred. We were born to live, not to die.” Jamil Qassas, Combatants for Peace Co-Chair

The events of the past few days have shaken us all to our core. Our hearts are with all of the victims and their families, and hope both for the safe return of those held captive, and for the safety of the civilians trapped inside Gaza.

Combatants for Peace strongly and unequivocally condemn all acts of violence. There can be no justification for the targeting of children, or the collective punishment of the innocents. Together, we must retain our humanity, and value all human life as equal, sacred and cherished.

The situation is still unclear and unfolding, but the difficult questions are already beginning to be asked, and rightly so. What is painfully clear is that this extreme right-wing settler government is showing their inability to keep anyone safe. A government that since its formation has only focused on itself and their agenda to occupy and annex the West Bank, appease those that stand in their way, and entrench the separation of Israelis and Palestinians. We as a community can not detach ourselves from the extremism and incitement that this government has been promoting since it formed, and the result is the biggest security failure that the State of Israel has ever known. For the sake of every Israeli and Palestinian life - it must go.

For our movement, this is a crucial moment where we must all dig deep to find our resolve to move ahead together. The only solution is ending the occupation, uniting Israelis and Palestinians and focussing our collective efforts on achieving peace. We call for non-violence, a renewed sense of humanity, and better days ahead for all of our children.



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