Friends of the Earth U.S. Statement on Israel-Palestine Conflict
Friends of the Earth United States deeply mourns the ongoing loss of life resulting from the Israel- Palestine conflict. War and the killing of innocents are incompatible with our vision of a healthy and just world. We believe that all people deserve to live in peace and security, including Palestinians and Israelis.
The surge of violence targeting civilians in Gaza and Israel is an affront to our core beliefs. As such, we strongly condemn Hamas’ brutal attack on October 7th that resulted in the death of nearly 1,200 people in Israel and the taking of more than 200 hostages. We also strongly condemn the Israeli government’s brutal and indiscriminate mass bombing campaign and intermittent blockade of food, medicine, fuel, and water, which has killed more than 22,000 Palestinians, injured more than 57,000 and dislocated more than 1.8 million people (80%+ of Gaza) to date. We mourn the generational impact that this violence will have on survivors, surviving family members, and the prospects for lasting peace in the region.
Our core vision also means rejecting hate, bias, and oppression. As such, we decry threats against Jewish, Arab, and Muslim groups and individuals on college campuses and in workplaces and denounce the rise of all forms of bigotry and racism while upholding foundational First Amendment rights to peaceably assemble and express political opinions. Given that the free exchange of ideas is fundamental to a just and democratic society, we encourage leaders to condemn actions meant to stifle such speech on campuses and other public spheres while also condemning any discourse which aims to incite violence, fear and hate.
Our commitment to a healthy and just world requires us to reject and work against militarism. Friends of the Earth has fought to decrease defense spending, oppose U.S. military interventions, and reduce the threat of nuclear war. While we acknowledge the right of countries and peoples to defend themselves and their territories, this defense must be conducted within international laws and conventions. We believe conflicts are resolved by focusing on root causes of the conflict through the recognition of our collective human dignity, and ensuring rights to clean water, healthy and culturally appropriate food, shelter, a right to self-determination, and a safe and healthy environment.
Friends of the Earth United States demands:
- The U.S. calls on the parties in Gaza and Israel to end the violence that is claiming so many innocent lives by implementing a mutual ceasefire that includes the immediate return of all innocent or uncharged detainees and hostages by all parties;
- All parties respect the distinction between government actors, combatants and civilians at the core of the post-World War II Geneva Conventions and International Humanitarian Law during this conflict, including the principle of proportionality.
- The U.S. insists Israel immediately stop the siege of Palestinian civilians and civilian infrastructure (including internet access) and allows for necessary food, water, fuel, medicine and humanitarian aid to enter Gaza to address the ongoing humanitarian crisis.
- The U.S. ends all military aid that supports bombing of civilians, indiscriminate operations that endanger civilians, or the removal or dislocation of Palestinians from Gaza and the West Bank.
Friends of the Earth United States calls on our leaders to advance these demands to achieve our humanitarian goals and ideals. The best reason for a ceasefire is that the war is a humanitarian disaster. As such, it is our hope that following a ceasefire the people of Israel and Palestine find their way to new leadership as a step toward achieving a lasting and just peace to end this tragic conflict.
Communications contact: Erin Jensen, [email protected]