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Stand up for Humanity

forumZFD-Statement on Escalating Violence in the Middle East

We, staff of forumZFD, grieve for all victims of the war in Palestine and Israel. We strongly condemn all acts of aggression and violence committed against civilians. We urge the parties involved to agree to an immediate ceasefire, to negotiate the release of all hostages and to deliver the much-needed support for the people in Gaza, who are suffering an unprecedented humanitarian crisis.
Barbed wire fence on the border of the Gaza Strip
© forumZFD

As a German organization committed to peace and non-violence, who has been working with partners in the Middle East for more than two decades, we call on the German government to urge all parties to uphold the principles of International Humanitarian Law and commit to an immediate ceasefire. We further call on the German Government to actively support all international efforts aiming at ending the war.

Reoccurring and escalating cycles of violence have persisted despite peace efforts of actors on both sides in Israel and Palestine during the last 75 years. The ongoing scale of violence, atrocities and human suffering is beyond what we have seen in the decades-long history of the conflict and occupation. The continued militarization will only breed more violence and deepen the divides between people.

With deep concern we observe an alarming rise of anti-semitism, anti-arab racism and Islamophobia in Germany, in the Middle East and globally. As advocates for non-violence and peaceful transformation of conflicts, we believe that peace can only arise from respect for the dignity and fundamental rights to life and freedom of every human being.

We observe a rising number of incidents, where voices calling for an end of violence and oppression – Palestinian or Israeli, Muslim or Jewish or any other – are being sidelined or even silenced in public space, in the media, and in political debate. Threats against and suppression of people and groups who engage in non-violence and peace initiatives in the context of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict are increasing. These voices must not only be protected, but amplified. Thus, we call on the German government to support a long-term, non-violent transformation of the conflict, and to continue to support and engage with actors for peace and human rights.

As a peace organization, we will continue our work to counter growing enmity and polarization in Germany and in the Middle East. Even amidst an ongoing war, we will continue to support and encourage people to listen to different perspectives on the conflict and seek common ground. We call upon each and every one to do the same: Now is the time to stand up together and oppose division, discrimination, polarization, and be a voice for peace.

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