Navigating the War on Gaza – Executive Summary

The current surge of violence in Israel and Palestine demands urgent attention and a departure from militarized responses. The War Prevention Initiative recognizes the gravity of the situation, acknowledging the complexity of historical traumas and contemporary war crimes committed by both Hamas and the Israeli government. We fear that the current conflict trajectory in Palestine and Israel has set back efforts for long-lasting peace by generations. 

An immediate ceasefire, the release of hostages, and the swift delivery of humanitarian aid to Gaza are prerequisites for initiating negotiations toward de-escalation and lasting peace. The resolution of the Israel-Palestine conflict necessitates a fundamental transformation in the relationship between the two parties, driven by grassroots movements amplifying the voices of peacebuilders dedicated to coexistence, justice, and freedom. 

This briefing emphasizes the role of U.S.-based peace organizations in advocating for a demilitarized approach, challenging the unquestioned flow of weapons to Israel, and promoting structural changes that address the root causes of the conflict. A forthcoming briefing will delve into core problems in the discourse on Israel and Palestine, offering recommendations for remediation. 

Recommendations for U.S.-Based Peace Organizations: 

1. Information Sharing and Advocacy: 

a) Incorporate nuanced language in discussions and publications to allow for informed analysis. 

b) Reject oversimplified narratives and promote a balanced understanding of the conflict’s complexity. 

c) Support peace journalism to encourage deeper insights beyond mainstream narratives. 

2. Guidance for Decision-Making:

a) Call for an immediate ceasefire to ensure the safety of all parties involved. 

b) Challenge militarized approaches, advocating for non-militarized alternatives. 

c) Tailor peace and security programs addressing dehumanization, contextual understanding, and peacebuilding. 

3. Networking and Collaboration: 

a) Engage with diverse perspectives, enriching the understanding of the conflict through historically excluded voices. 

4. Advocacy: 

a) Advocate for policy changes that reject the failed status quo and instead call for humanitarian aid and an immediate ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, considering the complex context and multifaceted narratives in the conflict. 

b) Take a stance against dehumanizing language and narratives perpetuating violence and oppression. 

c) Advocate for policies combatting antisemitism and Islamophobia related to the Israel-Palestine conflict. 

5. Promote Contextual Understanding: 

a) Emphasize the importance of understanding the historical, social, and political context shaping the conflict to inform more nuanced narratives, programs, and policies. 

This briefing serves as a call to action for the broader peace and security community in the U.S. to contribute to a peaceful, non-militarized resolution to the war on Gaza. The recommendations can also benefit other conflict contexts and organizations beyond the peace and security sector.