Peace Requires Freedom and Justice

Image by Joshua Sukoff.

The mass slaughter of Palestinian civilians by Israel has shaken people throughout the world. It is a brutal, unfathomable expression of hate and violence; systemic genocide, long in the planning, that can only be described as an act of evil.

Whilst the Israeli government and their henchmen are the principle perpetrators, they have been supported by the US and a coterie of timid western governments, plus much of mainstream western media from day one. And despite the current political rhetoric of restraint, they continue to supply the weapons that are being used to murder Palestinians.

It is not a war it is a genocidal massacre, which could potentially fuel decades of conflict, not just between Palestinians and Israel, but between Arabs throughout the region and Israel. This merciless barbaric act will define how Israel is seen by generations of people throughput the world, and to a lesser but significant degree, the way the US is viewed. A nation that is already despised and distrusted by people in various parts of the world, particularly the Middle-East.

The decades long subjugation of Palestinians by Israel, the killings and arbitrary arrests, the house demolitions and illegal settlements, have led to the current genocide. A barbaric act that will be the undoing of Israel, the final merciless straw in 57 years of abuse.

Within the International Court of Justice the truth is and will be revealed. Israel is a terror state and it can no longer hide behind the US. No matter what lies the Israeli lawyers spin, whatever the final judgment, Israel will rightly be seen in the eyes of the world to be guilty.

A world in conflict

The world is besieged by conflicts – individual and collective strife, but all stem from some form of division. And we are living in a world that is perhaps more divided than ever, economically, socially and politically.

All ideologies – religious, social, economic and political, are divisive, tribal nationalism, which has been growing in recent years, being one of the most toxic. The socio-economic system, The Ideology of Greed, which dominates virtually all areas of life is probably the most divisive element, or ideology, in contemporary society. Selfishness, individual success at the expense of the group, conformity, and possibly the most divisive strand, competition, all flow from this poisonous source.

The result is conflict, across society and within the individuals that make up society. Conflict that is intensifying, adding to the collective blanket of anxiety and mistrust, which in varying degrees impacts everyone.

Murderous conflicts like Israels Campaign of Hate against Palestinians highlight the fragmented, infantile state, of human consciousness, and the absence of intelligence and compassion; certainly among political ‘leaders’.

Violence begets violence, hate begets hate. Despite this fact, the common, seemingly instinctual response to violence is more violence.

Hamas launches a vicious attack on Israel, killing 1200 Israeli’s, and Israel massacres 30,000 Palestinian civilians and destroys Gaza. The Houthis attack ships in the Gulf, so the US and her mates launch air strikes against the ‘rebel’ group, which then carries out more offensives. The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps stages an attack in Syria, killing an “American contractor wounding five US troops”, so the US launches an air assault on 85 targets in “Iraq and Syria used by Iran-backed militias……killing at least 16 people, including civilians, and injured 25 others.”

And on and on it goes, tit for tat, tat for tit; the playground bully with the biggest stick demanding his way and beating anyone who refuse to bow down. It is pathetic. And the politicians, who declare they are working for peace and stability, while bombing, killing and destroying, well, these men, and some women, know nothing of the subtlety and beauty of peace, and are in fact facilitating cogs in the machinery of war.

Instead of this juvenile habitual way of reacting, men, and women of power, stop and reflect for once – if peace is the goal that is. Look with honesty at the underlying causes; practice forgiveness and understanding, not revenge; inculcate tolerance by demonstrating it. Create systems that promote social justice and freedom for all people, irrespective of race, nationality, social standing or beliefs.

If there is ever to be peace, the root causes of division need to be understood and addressed, and systems and modes of living inculcated that encourage a sense of oneness. This requires an examination of the socio-economic system, education methodologies, and the media. The natural resources of the world should be shared, as well as the knowledge the skills and technical know how, based on need, not on ability to pay. Sharing enables relationships to evolve, it creates trust and where there is trust much can be achieved.

Peace and brotherhood

Like love or joy, peace is not something separate from us, it is inherent – despite the cynical, but understandable argument that maintains human beings are just violent and selfish. This point of view not only allows violence and hate to perpetuate, it actually feeds such destructive behaviour. Yes, the potential for violence exists within the shadows of us all, but so does the shining light of the good, of love and compassion.

Peace is present always. All that is required is for the causes of conflict to be removed and it will naturally come into being. The requirements for its realisation are straightforward and well known: freedom and justice, brotherhood and compassion. Divine principles, human qualities, that sit within everyone, but which are crushed, denied by the existing socio-economic-political structures, and the attitudes and values that they encourage.

A fundamental, but basic change, simple and clear is therefore needed if peace is to be made manifest. A shift in values and approach, change that people throughout the world long for. The rejection of selfishness and competition and everything that feeds division, and the creation of modes of living that encourage cooperation, tolerance and understanding.

The recognition that beyond surface differences, people everywhere are basically the same. That we share a common home and are part of one family or group is fundamental to such a movement, and would do more to facilitate the needed changes than anything else. Humanity is one, and if there is ever to be peace, the systems and structures that shape society must be designed to reflect and strengthen this timeless truth.

Graham Peebles is a British freelance writer and charity worker. He set up The Create Trust in 2005 and has run education projects in Sri Lanka, Ethiopia and India.  E:  W: