WRI Executive Committee statement in response to worsening situation in Gaza

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The WRI Executive Committee calls for the end of all violence – both the acts of war as well as the structural violence of occupation and oppression – and the release of all captives, political prisoners and hostages on both sides of the conflict in Israel/Palestine.

Atrocities committed in this ongoing conflict do not erase the atrocities that came before them, nor do they justify the atrocities that follow. The war crimes committed by Hamas fighters on October 7th of this year are horrible. However, the killings did not erase the memory of war crimes committed by both the Israeli army and various paramilitary forces in the past. Even though a deliberate political act, it nonetheless stands in a history of the ongoing occupation of Palestine and denial of basic human and civil rights to Palestinians in the Occupied Territories and Gaza. Similarly, Israel’s massive attack on Gaza (as well as on many Palestinian communities in the West Bank and some communities in Lebanon), which involved mass killing and displacement, and may well amount to an act of genocide, does not erase the Hamas war crimes that served as its pretext.

All these acts, each in their own inhuman way, are crimes against humanity, just as is war itself. They all must stop, and be replaced by a peaceful and just settlement, which would address the root causes of this conflict and recognise the full humanity of all individuals.

Even in these times, and despite many attempts to silence it, nonviolent resistance to war continues on both sides. We recognise, remember and support those individuals and groups who are part of this resistance, both in the territory of conflict and around the world. Their work against the militarisation and the dehumanisation of the “other” people is essential to overcoming the logic of violence.

We condemn the complicity of governments, companies and institutions that contribute to this violent situation, by pouring weapons and ammunition into the conflict zone, as well as by supporting the war with money and by blocking diplomatic efforts to stop the fighting.

We condemn all efforts to delegitimise non-violent forms of resistance and political action in the region. We also call on all those who delegitimise and despise pacifist, antimilitarist and non-violent alternatives to war to heed the voices of war resisters and conscientious objectors in the region.

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