It began with the killing of the three young Israeli settlers Eyal Yifrach, Gilad Shaar and Naftali Frenkel. It was a heinous murder, heinous like every murder. The reaction of the Israeli government to this crime was the targeted bombing of Gaza, where 1.8 million people live penned up in one of the most densely populated areas on Earth, in a big open-air prison. (The Gaza Strip is approximately half as big as Hamburg.)
Hamas reacts with random rocket fire against Israel. If they had the technical equipment they would probably proceed similarly as cruel against Israel as Israel now fights against Gaza. But they do not have it and everyone knows it. You can already see it in the death toll. According to Palestinian sources 333 people were killed in the Gaza Strip since the beginning of the Israeli military operation on July 8th, among them at least 73 children. More than 2000 were injured. So far there were only a few injured and seven dead on the Israeli side. It feels like David is fighting against Goliath. Headlines like “Israel under heavy fire by Hamas” turn the facts upside down.
A few days ago in Tel Aviv Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu told journalists, “No international pressure will stop us from acting with full force.” The Israeli government has the power on their side. They could end the war immediately if they would offer the people of Gaza the opportunity to live in a humane way and would stop inciting blind hatred. Instead the Israeli army carries out a ground offensive; tens of thousands of Palestinian civilians abandoned their homes in eastern and northern Gaza. The borders are closed. People are desperately fleeing. Where should they go? Is it surprising that they side with Hamas in this misery?
The reaction of the Israeli government is unbearable and can by no means be justified. Human rights are being violated here in an intolerable way!
For twelve days we have been seeing this senseless killing. We can no longer be silent. The civil population is being lied to on both sides and the world public is mostly silent about it. One does not need to have a lot of political education in order to see this untruth. In reality, economic interests are behind every war. Germany and many others deliver weapons and enrich themselves through the war. But who sits next to the beds of the injured children and crying mothers and feels empathy with their bleak destiny? Who heals the wounds and pain of all the traumatized souls?
Most people on both sides do not want this war. They are caught under the hypnosis of fear! Our children and grandchildren will ask us one day, “Why have you been silent and allowed this insanity to happen?” It is the same question that some of us asked our parents after we had discovered that they somehow had to be involved during German fascism. Are we again going to repeat the answer they gave us, “We did not know all of this! And if so, what could we have done?”
Let us set an example! Let us step out of powerlessness! Let us step out of the hypnosis of fear. I would like nothing more than setting up a hospital for all the wounded people of Gaza together with likeminded Israelis, but they would hardly allow us to cross the border. This is the way a compassionate heart thinks! Our parents would have needed to do that under Hitler; many victims in the Concentration Camps would have been spared their cruel destiny. We need to do something similar now! Thousands of people are already taking to the streets with the call, “We refuse to be enemies!” There should be more, many more people! If we manage to transform the globally widespread feeling of powerlessness we will be astonished to see how much power to bring about peace is at our disposal already now. The global domination system calculates with our powerlessness. It is only due to this hypnosis of fear that more and more atrocities are being tolerated worldwide. With this call I also address all officers and commanders! Many of you have already known for long that this war is no longer fought in the name of your people. Many of you have already long been searching for a humane alternative. Refuse the order to kill! No longer allow politicians to carry out their economic power struggles at the back of uncounted innocent women, children and civilians. Take a step that will set a draw, a clear STOP, similar to what the Portuguese military did on April 25th 1974, when they ended the long-standing authoritarian dictatorship and helped bring the nonviolent revolution to victory. (The revolution was named after the red carnations that were put into the riffles of the insurgent soldiers, and it was carried out almost bloodless. There were four dead. Something similar could also happen now and would for sure also put an end to the violence of the other side.)
If asked the question “Do you want war or peace?” the majority of the population would answer, “We want peace. But what can we ourselves do?” If we succeed in bringing all these people together in a common initiative; if we succeed in making the knowledge and vision visible that carries more power than the globalization of violence, then this will lead to the decisive turning point for the peace movement.
Now it is our task to demonstrate credible alternatives. Our task is to initiate a powerful nonviolent revolution connected to the joy of life that everyone can join. Stepping out of the system of complicity, stepping into a system of peace. This requires us to alter the way we live on all levels; it needs a profound personal decision. For many years we have been working on a life model for a future without war. Whoever is against war needs a vision of peace. Decentralized self-sufficient models can be built everywhere on this planet. We call for a big think tank for peace! In the middle of the desert and in several places in the West Bank we want to make this vision visible and return the human right of freedom to the people. We call out to specialists from all areas – doctors, water experts, ecologists, technologists, etc. Together we will make completely new societal systems visible.
Our goal is to join together with at least two hundred committed peace workers in one place for several days – Israelis, Palestinians and internationals from all over the world. We want to show how powerful alternatives can be developed under the current circumstances. We cancel our affiliation to a political and economic system, which needs weapons trade and wars for maintaining itself. We declare ourselves to be global citizens for peace; we are planetarians!
In the middle of the war area we will hold a vigil for peace over several days.
Those who cannot be there personally are invited to support the initiative. We ask you to spread the word. Protect us through creating a lot of public attention! Spread the message of Terra Nova! Another life is possible. The upcoming International Summer University in Tamera (August 1st – 10th 2014) will accompany our work from a distance and will assure this action will have the necessary attention in the public.
We call out to all investors: No longer put your money into war and weaponry, invest it into peace. Together, we are working towards a huge vision – Terra Nova. We will transform an area of war into a peace research station. A peace research village instead of bombs!
We invite all who are ready to leave the inner and outer war behind. Please join this initiative!