It has been more than a week since the start of the current cycle of violence in Israel/Palestine and we at the Kroc Institute watch with despair and alarm as lives are lost, homes are destroyed, and chances for peace and justice seem further away than ever.
This new crisis did not appear in a vacuum, but arises in the context of ongoing Israeli occupation and dispossession of Palestinians in East Jerusalem and elsewhere. The Israeli government’s response to the challenge posed by Hamas rockets is directly tied to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s political survival in light of corruption charges and his inability to form a new government.
The internal mob violence is tragic and demonstrates the connectedness between Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands and the radicalization of the population inside Israel. It is yet another reminder that without addressing the epicenter of the conflict—the realization of Palestinian rights for self-determination and justice alongside Israel—violence will continue to fester and escalate.
The historic complicity of the United States in this conflict places greater responsibility on American citizens and this country to immediately advocate for the cessation of hostilities. We know that this alone will not address the root causes of the conflict. As peace studies scholars, students, and practitioners, we recognize that peace will not be achieved without justice.
John M. Regan, Jr. Director
Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies