Americans for Peace Now (APN) is horrified by the spiraling death-toll of the war between Israel and Hamas. Having urged a ceasefire for the past two weeks, APN welcomes the Obama administration’s efforts to achieve an immediate ceasefire, and urges it to resume diplomatic efforts toward a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
APN strongly supports Israel’s right for self-defense and its government’s obligation to provide security for its
citizens. As a Zionist, Jewish organization and as the sister-organization of the Israeli grassroots movement
Shalom Achshav (Peace Now), we fully share the security concerns of the people of Israel and the yearning of
Israelis for peace.
We mourn the death of Israeli civilians and of Israeli soldiers in the current hostilities. We also mourn the alarmingly spiraling deaths of hundreds of Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip – over 500 so far.
The Gaza Strip is one of the most densely-populated areas in the world. Its residents have no place to escape to from the fire. Continued fighting in such an environment is a recipe for more bloodbaths such as the one we witnessed Sunday in Shuja’iyyah, a neighborhood East of Gaza City. Thirteen Israeli soldiers and many dozens of Palestinian civilians were killed there.
At this time, it is clear that a ceasefire can only come as a result of international pressure. Only the Obama administration can lead such an effort to exert this pressure, particularly over Hamas. The Obama administration must muster all its influence with regional and international allies to stop the fighting and the bloodshed.
APN has been calling for a ceasefire for the past two weeks. We welcome the efforts of all the stakeholders in this conflict who are working to stop the hostilities and commend them for it.
A ceasefire is not an end in itself. For both sides to enjoy security, stability, and well-being, a truce must be followed up by a credible diplomatic process that addresses the underlying causes of the conflict.