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YWF Statement on October 2023 Israel/Palestine War

We at the Young World Federalists are deeply horrified by recent events occurring in the conflict between Israel and Palestine and unequivocally condemn the attack by Hamas against Israel, the targeted attacks against civilians regardless of nationality, and the countless human rights violations that have and continue to occur in this conflict.

We demand that Hamas immediately and unconditionally release all civilian hostages. Although we recognize Israel’s legitimate right and responsibility to self-defence in accordance with Article 2 of the UN charter, it is crucial for all parties to prioritize the well-being and safety of the people living in the region. We call on Israel to avoid the collective punishment of the residents of the Gaza Strip. Israel should immediately lift its blockade on humanitarian aid, allowing the passage of food, water, and medicine into the Gaza Strip. The Israeli Defense Force must exercise restraint in its military operations against Hamas and adhere to the laws of war, particularly the principles of distinction and proportionality, to protect civilians. Additionally, we call on Egypt to adhere to its obligations in the 1951 Refugee Convention and allow Gaza residents to temporarily enter and remain in Egypt for the duration of the conflict to escape war and violence in the Gaza Strip.

We firmly believe that only world law can achieve a just, durable, and positive peace. Therefore, we urge the parties in the conflict to seek arbitration through the ICJ, implement the relevant UNSC and UNGA resolutions, and fully cooperate with investigations into and solutions for human rights violations and crimes against humanity. The State of Israel and the Palestinian Authority owe it to the dignity of their citizens to negotiate in good faith regarding obstacles in the way to a permanent resolution to the conflict. The negotiations and peace process must involve a recognition of the human rights and self-determination of both the Israeli and Palestinian peoples.

However, it is necessary to recognize that the main contributor to the current cycle of violence is the anarchic international system that both the Israeli and Palestinian people inhabit. In this system, there exists a lack of guarantees for the rights and security of ethno-religious minorities. This has both historically and currently led to the persecution of the Jewish people, and well-founded fears of continuing or worsening persecution were there not to be a Jewish state. This led to the Zionist movement and the creation of the State of Israel as a homeland for the Jewish people, and a refuge for Jews facing persecution globally. However, the existence of a Jewish state is no guarantee for the security of the Jewish people as there exists also no substantive guarantee for the security of the Israeli nation. This state of fear has led successive Israeli governments to take increasingly callous military and political actions which deny the rights and dignity of the Palestinian people in the name of national security, made possible by the lack of international guarantees for the security of the Palestinian people. This denial of the rights and dignity of the Palestinian people too leads to support for more radical factions including ones linked to terrorism and which engage in militant actions that endanger Palestinian civilians and continue to worsen the conflict and the vicious cycle of violence.

To break this vicious cycle of violence, we must move on from this anarchic international order and recognize that the only way to world peace is through world law. As world citizens, we must advocate the creation of enforcement mechanisms for international law including strong protections for human rights and security guarantees so that the Israeli and Palestinian people can live in peace.


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