An open statement to the international community from Nobel Peace Prize Laureates.
As Nobel Peace Laureates, we join others worldwide who are calling on the international community to secure an immediate ceasefire to prevent any further deaths among Israelis and Palestinians. As the situation continues to deteriorate and the disproportionate number of deaths in Gaza mounts, we are called by conscience to speak out in every way possible not only to end the current violence, but to address the roots of violence.
There have been attacks on Gaza before. There have been cease-fires declared before. And yet the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territory grinds on. One million and seven hundred thousand Palestinians continue to live under Israeli siege in Gaza. Immediately after the last cease-‐fire in 2012, calm did return to Israel, but Israeli attacks did not stop in Gaza.
Peace is more than the absence of outright war. Peace requires the presence of justice, of equality, of recognizing our common humanity. Those who would be brokers for peace must first acknowledge and address the coercive and corrosive power that Israel wields over Palestinians. As Nelson Mandela said in 1985, “Only free men can negotiate: a prisoner cannot enter into contracts."