It is hard to be in the middle of a process that we trust will bring a new and healthy child into this world, and not be touched, moved, and feel a twinge of desparation at the state of the world we are inviting her to.
We cannot bear to watch the continuous carnage. We cannot bear to hear the screams of children. We cannot bear to stand by as the United Nations and the G 8 abrogate their responsibilities to stop a war that should never have been started.
We call for a rapid deployment of diplomats from the Quartet, (US, UN, Russia and EU) to talk with all parties involved in Iran, Syria, Israel, Palestine, and Lebanon and the region. We call for a cease-fire and simultaneous exchange of prisoners including the three soldiers initially captured by Hamas and the Hizbollah.
Above all, we call for an end to the occupation of Palestine and the establishment of two sovereign states, Israel and Palestine, living side by side in mutual respect. We call for the withdrawal of foreign troops from Iraq. We call for the force of law, not the law of force. Who will teach the powerful that overwhelming force can only result in overwhelming catastrophe.
War is not a solution. As long as people are dominated, humiliated, marginalized, kept in poverty, excluded because of their religion, color, identity or gender we will see violence and revenge.
As long as the world spends a trillion dollars a year on weapons and war and pathetic sums on health, education and the elimination of poverty, we will continue to witness violence. We know too much about root causes of violence, about what makes for peace, to still resort to old destructive violent forms of behavior.
We appreciate the courage of so many journalists who have brought the sights and sounds of the brutality from Israel, Gaza, Lebanon and Iraq to our living rooms. Our tears flow with those of the parents without children, the children without parents, the dying, wounded and traumatized.
How will this end? How will the healing begin? Who will rebuild homes, communities, factories and bridges? Who will start schools that promote reconciliation and prevent further violence? Let us see courage, compassion, vision and action in the diplomats who now hold the future in their hands.
Civil society has for years made efforts to bring people together, to sow the seeds of peace. We care deeply about leaving a safe world for our children and grandchildren. We say, STOP the fighting, START the talking.
Drafted by Cora Weiss
President of the International Peace Bureau
777 United Nations Plaza,
10th Floor New York, NY 10017,
USA International Peace Bureau Head Office
41 Rue de Zurich,