Promoting international peace through education, intercultural communication, public witness, citizen involvement, and personal choices
STAND UP FOR PEACE!
Peace in the Middle East, peace everywhere
Fridays 3:30 to 4:30 pm at the intersection of Iowa Avenue and Clinton Street on the University of Iowa Pentacrest in Iowa City
This weekly gathering has been going on for years and welcomes participants who want to stand up for peace anywhere in the world. In the past few months, this weekly gathering has focused on advocating for peace in Gaza and has been joined by many UI students and others from Iowans for Palestine, Students for Justice in Palestine Iowa CIty, and Eastern Iowa Jewish Voice for Peace.
Give 10 minutes or an hour, but ADVOCATE for Peace and Justice. There will be handouts and signs, AND, invite a friend to join you, maybe someone who has never done this.
Sponsored by Veterans for Peace #161 and PEACE Iowa.
Peaceful Protest Guidelines
Conduct and Participation:
Follow protest leaders’ and peace marshals’ instructions.
Ignore hecklers when marching. Stay peaceful and focused on your message (e.g., "ceasefire now").
Remain calm at rallies or vigils, even when provoked. Don't let opponents divert the group's focus.
Remember, your response represents Palestinians, peace activists, and Jews who support peace and justice in Palestine and Israel.
Use De-escalation Strategies:
Avoid shouting at opponents; it causes defensiveness, escalation, and distraction.
The public and media are listening.
If safe, speak calmly and respectfully to those who disagree with you. Otherwise, ignore them or let someone else talk to them.
If an opponent is willing to engage:
Find common ground (e.g., acknowledging areas of agreement like the horror of the Holocaust).
Share your personal reasons for supporting peace and justice in Palestine and Israel.
Use personal stories and listen to theirs.
Share just a few key facts.
Thank them for the dialogue.
Respect an opponent’s choice not to converse.
The statement and the actions (at the end of the statement) reflect PEACE Iowa's values and mission, so we are posting it.
Solidarity with Palestinians and Jews
This statement was authored by:
Jonathan Kuttab, Palestinian Christian Theologian, Human Rights Lawyer, FOSNA and Nonviolence International
Rabbi Michael Lerner, Editor of Tikkun magazine
Rabbi Cat Zavis, Beyt Tikkun: A Synagogue without Walls, Civil/Women's Rights Lawyer, and Mediator
Rabbi Esther Azar, Arab Jewish Trauma Activist, and Rabbi: Trauma Informed Rabbinics
This statement is written and signed by Palestinians, Jews, and others who are committed to holding complex truths and striving to overcome polarization. We feel the pain of our people, identify with their pain, and need to work together to uplift our shared humanity.
The unfolding horror in Israel and Gaza is an escalation of decades of state-sanctioned violence by Israel against Palestinians. We condemn the horrific actions of Hamas against Israeli civilians. We likewise condemn Israel’s unbridled bombing and cutting off access to all basic needs, including food, water, electricity, and medical care. Attacks on Palestinian and Israeli civilians are repugnant.
Israeli violence against Palestinians has been intentionally hidden, slow, and steady. Contrary to what the media is reporting, this attack was not unprovoked. The Israeli and American governments have worked together to suppress and deny the inhumane acts against Palestinians that have led to this moment. There are Palestinians and Jews who have been raising red flags and warning about this inevitable outcome for decades, only to be dismissed and ignored.
The world’s failure to challenge Israel’s ongoing occupation, apartheid, and unbridled violence by settlers and soldiers in the West Bank provides the context for what is happening now. The recent Israeli government’s escalation of violence, encroachment of Al Aqsa Mosque, and its 16-year siege of Gaza has led to the current explosion.
We repeat: the brutality of Hamas’ attack on Israeli civilians is unjustified.
As we watch the violent attacks and rallying of xenophobia on both sides, we are brokenhearted. Although it feels like a time to stand with “our people,” we know this is a time to come together. This is a time of great suffering for all; a time of painful emotions. It is only by recognizing our shared fears and our shared tears that we will find our way through this nightmare. It is a struggle we need to undertake jointly.
When we fall back into our separate and distinct identities we risk becoming part of the problem, not the solution. Both peoples suffer from ongoing trauma. We are all on high alert. The fear is palpable. And it is easy for us to objectify the 'other.'
We seek a third path that neither perpetuates a xenophobic response nor sustains an unjust status quo. This moment calls us to slow down, sit with the pain and complexity, and grapple with our discomfort. It is a moment for digging deep, seeing across differences, and remembering our deep yearning for peace and justice. It is only through compassion and empathy that we will find a different way.
We recognize and uplift the humanity of all peoples in Israel/Palestine.
We call for an immediate ceasefire from Hamas and Israel.
We demand that basic needs be provided to Gazans.
We demand that the United States provide only humanitarian support to Israel and Gaza.
We support the creation of a movement that recognizes and affirms the humanity, dignity, and desire of both peoples to live in peace through reconciliation and justice.