The Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) wishes to express its sadness and shock at the brutality directed at civilians, especially women and children, in Palestine.
Whilst we recognise that there is violence from both sides, there is nevertheless no excuse for the disproportionate callousness that is displayed by the Israeli army against Palestinian civilians. What is happening in Palestine is simply an investments by Israel and their allies in a future of hatred, anger, and despair by those at the receiving end of this violence.
There is a huge responsibility upon the political leaders on both sides of the conflict to think of the next generation. Is the current generation of political leaders going to bequeath the next generation a heritage of violence, hatred and the futility of war?
It is easier to fight; to shoot at perceived enemies and demonise those who are different from you, than to sit and talk and together and imagine an alternative future of peace and co-existence. Israel as the stronger and more resourced party has a moral responsibility to adopt a different approach in this conflict. The brazen stealing of Palestinian lands, killing of Palestinian civilians, and merciless torture of prisoners and destruction of Palestinian infrastructure does nothing to reduce the conflict. These acts are simply seeds of a holocaust against the Palestinian nation. How ironic that such treacherous violence is being perpetrated by the very people whose history is riddled with the blood of their martyrs. The question has to be asked whether Israel has become like the perpetrator who so mercilessly killed their ancestors.
There is too much anger and violence in Israel and Palestine. The region is at a tipping point and if not contained it can lead the region into a cataclysm. We call on the leadership of both sides to exercise restraint. Killing each other will not salvage anything. It will not heal nor remove the anger and hatred on both sides. The only credible process is talking and imagining together how Israelis and Palestinians can co-exist and build a future of friendship and neighbourliness. Israelis and Palestinians have to learn again the fundamentals of life which include forgiving each other, allowing children to love one another beyond ethnic divides and respecting the innate human dignity in each one of us.
Further, we implore the state of Israel to take the lead in the peace talks first by declaring a truce, stopping forthwith with the expansion of settlements and allowing for third parties to facilitate talks with the view to finding lasting peace. In addition, the international community including those countries that loudly talk about violation of human rights and killing of innocent and vulnerable people like women and children to take the lead. The UN is also strongly advised to be proactive and stop these killings.
Reverend Prince Dibeela (Dr)
UDC Secretary for International Relations