Image: Flickr/Helen Atkinson

Call for an end to war

Dear Editor, 

Gaza has now seen the arbitrary killings of over 10,000 civilians. In retaliation to Hamas, they’ve taken the lives of 7 times as many victims from the attack on 7 October 2023. 

“Over the coming days, we will remain united and coordinated, together as allies, and as common friends of Israel, to ensure Israel is able to defend itself, and to ultimately set the conditions for a peaceful and integrated Middle East region,” said our leading nations, as if humbled heroes here to save the day. 

Injustice speaks for itself. Just take a look at the mass public agitation against war across the world. Globally, tens of thousands have rallied in solidarity with Palestinians at the heart of the escalating terror, condemning these countless attacks and demanding an immediate ceasefire. In Cape Town, a collective of Jewish, Muslim, and Christian students organised an ‘Honour of All the Palestinian Martyrs’ vigil where candles were lit, flowers laid, and messages were written by activists. 

NGO-operated cruise ship, Pacific World, also hosted a demonstration carrying a banner stating ‘Stop killing Gaza’ with numerous travellers on board holding up signs in solidarity with Palestinians. Believe it or not, noble leaders of the West, Paris, Indonesia, Pakistan, Syria, Rome, and California have all protested. Even an Orthodox Jewish rabbi attended a rally in support of Palestinians in New York recently. So, surely, we’re not still excusing this as defence, right? 

Take a second to think about all the information presented. Political warfare, western incitement of that state of conflict, and a public response that is overwhelmingly against the stance taken by the government. Does that ring a bell? 1970s United States of America witnessed the peak of their historical peace movement in opposition to the USA’s escalating role in the Vietnam war, famously known for its slogan ‘Flower Power’. The anti-war movement in the US began with demonstrations in 1965 and blossomed into a broad social movement that continued for several years. The movement was salient in informing the polarising debate within the United States and ultimately contributed to the withdrawal of troops in 1972 and a complete end to US involvement by 1973. If they did it then, what goes to say it can’t be done now? More than ever, during this moment in time, anti-war propagation is in dire demand. 

Second to none is the proliferation of public protest. Needless to say, with that comes unity. Not bifurcations like supporters of Israel and defenders of Palestine or Jews and Muslims. Only one body with a common desire for world peace and an end to terror. We all want to see the end of traumatising our future generations, another wave of victims stifled in silence by the unimaginable bloodbaths that could have been stopped. The same veterans who defended their country in Vietnam swallowed their pride in the name of justice, throwing over 700 medals on the Capitol building in 1971. Equally, the 1970s peace movement grew its powerful force via the participation of the African American Civil Rights Movement, second-wave feminist movements, Chicano Movements, and organised labour groups. Once defined by their differences, from 1965 they were empowered by their common ground of humanity. 

Don’t settle with Sunak’s support for specific pauses. There is nothing humanitarian in gifting Gaza a ‘break’ in ceaseless rains of missiles. Humanitarian means no violence, no hatred, and an end to nurturing the ghosts that haunt Gaza. 

Yours truly, 

Lauren Hadeed 



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