Ceasefire

Scott Steward
4 min readOct 26, 2023

The horror of the attack and loss of life in Israel has its military in full mobilization. As of yesterday’s UN, report there are over 5,000 dead in Gaza, 14,000 injured,1,000 missing. Instead of a ceasefire, more bombs. The tragedy is leading to a multi-regional war. A few voices for peace from the Davis Peace Network, Jewish voices and Muslim voices, showed up at our local Congressmember Mike Thompson's office to ask for ceasefire.

The US has the power to stop this, but if you don’t speak up for peace, you will find we are primed for war. Look at how we declared a war on Iraq under false pretense. We entered Afghanistan after the Russians spent two decades failing to quell anti-west fundamentalism, that before we even started our twenty-year war there also ending in retreat (better that than continue).

What amount of good work could have been done with $21Trillion dollars over those 20 years? (the cost of the Iraq and Afghan wars). How much more understanding and common ground could have been gained with people wearing or not wearing hijabs. What amount of good work could we do for Palestinians and Israelites with the hundreds of billions and tens of thousands of lives we are about to lose on a war there?

For some in the US, the Israeli Palestinian conflict is the way into a war with Iran. US troops are all about the conflict zone and surely some will be killed. Self-defense could then be cited as the rational for our further involvement. Correctly or not, Iran will be identified as the source of hostility and loss of life. The Arabophobic hegemony will have its war with Iran. That plan is obvious and stupidly tragic. The lives of Palestinians and Israelis would be an afterthought. Israelis, Palestinians, Iranians, Americans — everyone needs to condemn this plan.

For the Israeli Zionists, they will likely use their country’s pain and control of the Israeli military to not just defend Israel, but to implement ethnic cleansing with the theory that Israel is not safe so long as Palestinians are allowed to dream of a Palestinian state. At this point it looks as if the US will not be able to reign in its long time most favored nation as it conducts small talk in the region, US soldiers try to avoid starting World War three, and only a symbolic amount of aid reaches Gaza as thousands more citizens die. We can hope Israelis themselves will reject this outcome.

For Hamas it will be a time to count martyrs to fuel their own attempt to use resentment and their own self-fulfilled impasse for a two-state solution. The Hamas solution, no Israel, is no better and they don’t have the upper hand. Should the rolls be revered, Hamas would likely be equally brutal. Hamas can only win if it is able to have the conflict spill out to Israel’s neighbors. We know that neither the Zionists or Hamas speak for all in Israel and Palestine.

The Palestinian crises is the longest US military engagement in our history. In this most recent escalation we see the result of militant culture producing impossibly entrenched feelings of retribution on both sides. Decade after decade. In the face of that hurt and fear, We feel compelled, required, to use our freedom of movement, freedom of speech, security of shelter and food to speak to our leaders and say — do not let this continue!

A call to stop this waste is necessary and can make stepping back at any moment possible. We can always step back. We just did it in Afghanistan. Are things better there, no, but a military solution was never going to work. So why would we every think it would work now?

We need to stop giving up on the hard work and instead chose war. War is the easy way out for those of us not in uniform. Are we that dazed or uninspired?

If we can avoid a multi-regional war, we might be able to get back to the conversation of insisting on peace between Israel and Palestine. For 70 years the US has held almost all the cards of influence in this conflict. We have not dealt well because we have not consistently insisted on peace and by avoiding the harder choice for compromise and peace, the world could be at war again.

Stand up to the war status quo. War needs to be the exception not the rule. Write, call or show up at the office of your representative. Mike Thompson was in Woodland. Congress should INSIST ON A CEASEFIRE to accompany Aid to Israel and Gaza. That’s the first step.

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Scott Steward

Using what we have, recognizing where we are and expecting things to be better — because we can. Bringing science, art and culture building to his writing.