American Attitudes about the Conflict in Ukraine


A survey by the Gallup Poll


° Republican support for Ukraine war has withered since start of conflict

° 41% of Americans say U.S. is doing too much to support Ukraine

° Democrats remain steadfast in support of current approach to Ukraine

° 64% of Americans say neither side is winning the war

1. Helping Ukraine Too Much or Too Little?

As the harsh winter months approach in Ukraine, Americans’ views on the war there have shifted, with a plurality now saying the U.S. is doing too much to help Ukraine. Forty-one percent of Americans overall say the U.S. is doing too much, which has risen from 24% in August 2022 and 29% in June 2023. Thirty-three percent, down from 43% in June, say the U.S. is doing the right amount, while 25% believe the U.S. isn’t doing enough.

2. The Partisan Divide on the War Effort

Both Republicans (62%) and independents (44%) increasingly see the U.S. as doing too much to support Ukraine compared with when Gallup began asking this question in August 2022.

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Questions related to this article:
Can the peace movement help stop the war in the Ukraine?

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3. Ending the War or Going Long?

Another key question that has loomed over the conflict since it began is how it ends. In August 2022, a majority (66%) of Americans believed the U.S. should support Ukraine in reclaiming its former territory, even if this resulted in a prolonged conflict. That view has waned but not completely shifted, as 54% of Americans maintain that view. Forty-three percent now favor the U.S. trying to help end the war quickly, even if that means Ukraine cedes territory to Russia.

4. Partisans on “Staying the Course”

Partisan shifts have been significant on the question of how to end the war, with a majority of Republicans (55%) now preferring to end the conflict as soon as possible. Independents have also shifted notably on this question and are now divided evenly between those who support a prolonged conflict, with Ukraine regaining all lost territory, and those who would like to see the war end as soon as possible. Democrats continue to favor helping Ukraine regain its lost territory.

5. Financial Aid and Its Limits

While nations across Europe have contributed to the war effort in Ukraine, the U.S. has provided the lion’s share of support, which has become a hot political topic among some congressional leaders calling for limits on the funds being committed to Kyiv. Today, 61% of Americans say the financial aid Ukraine receives from Washington should have limits, with over eight in 10 Republicans sharing this view. Thirty-seven percent of Americans, including 65% of Democrats, believe the U.S. should continue to provide aid as long as Ukraine requests it.

6. Who’s Winning the War?

And finally, a question Gallup began asking in June of this year is who, if anyone, is winning the war? Today, 64% of Americans say neither side is, a seven-percentage-point increase in this view since the summer, when the world was awaiting a Ukrainian counteroffensive that stalled because of Russia’s military entrenchment across the Donbas. Interestingly, the view that neither side is currently winning the war is the only question on the war where there is at least some consistency across party ID, with little to no differences among Democrats, independents and Republicans. Democrats, however, are far more likely than Republicans and independents to believe Ukraine, rather than Russia, is winning.

Russian Attitudes about the Conflict with Ukraine


A survey by the Levada Center

(Editor’s note: Although we cannot be certain that these polls are not controlled by the Russian government, the fact that prominent dissident Sergey Aleksashenko quotes the polls suggests that we should take them seriously.)

About half of the respondents follow the Ukrainian events. The level of support for the actions of the Russian armed forces remains high(74%). Most of the respondents believe that the “special military operation” is being carried out successfully. At the same time, the share of Russians advocating peace talks continues to grow (up to 57% in November). This opinion is more common among women, respondents who trust information from social networks and YouTube channels, who do not approve of V. Putin’s activities as president of the Russian Federation, as well as those who believe that the country is moving on the wrong path.

What is happening mainly causes respondents to be proud of Russia or alarm, fear and horror. One in four respondents (same as a year ago) donated clothes and belongings to refugees from Ukraine. At the same time, the share of respondents who collected money and things to help the participants of the “special military operation” increased to 40%.

The level of attention to Ukrainian events has not changed significantly in the last four months. So in November, 18% of respondents said that they were watching the events “very closely” and another 35% were watching them “quite closely”. 34% of respondents follow events without much attention, and 13% do not follow them at all. People aged 65 and older are following the events in Ukraine most closely (31% – very closely, 49% quite carefully).

The level of support for the actions of Russian troops in Ukraine has remained consistently high over the past year and a half of observations. The majority of respondents (74%) support the actions of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation in Ukraine, 18% of respondents do not support them.

Older age groups are more likely to support the actions of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation in Ukraine (89% among 65+ respondents); viewers (84%); those who believe that things in the country are going in the right direction (86%); those who approve of the activities of V. Putin as president (83%).

The level of support for the actions of Russian troops is lower among younger age groups (24% under the age of 24); viewers of YouTube channels (31%); those who believe that the country is moving on the wrong path (47%); those who disapprove of the actions of V. Putin as president of Russia (62%).

The share of Russians who believe that peace talks should be started repeated the highest figures for the entire observation period – just as in October 2022 (after the announcement of partial mobilization) 57% of respondents stated the need to start peace talks (24% definitely start peace talks, 33% – rather start peace talks). 36% of respondents are in favor of continuing military operations (21% – definitely continue military operations, 15% – rather continue military operations).

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Questions related to this article:
Can the peace movement help stop the war in the Ukraine?

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The opinion on the need to move to peace negotiations is more widespread among women (64%); youth (73% under the age of 24); villagers (59%); respondents who trust information from social networks (67%) and YouTube channels (68%); those who disapprove Activity V. Putin as President of the Russian Federation (79%) & those who believe that the country is moving on the wrong path (80%).

Men are more likely to believe that military operations should continue (48%) as well as those who trust information from television (42%); respondents 55 years and older (43%); those who approve of the president’s activities (41%); those who believe that things are going well in the country in the right direction (46%). Moscow stands out somewhat from other localities. Muscovites are less willing to move on to peaceful negotiations – only 43%, while in other localities about half of the respondents believe that it is necessary to start peace negotiations.

Over the past five months, the proportion of respondents who believe that the special operation is progressing successfully has continued to grow. In November of this year, 66% of respondents thought so (55% in June).

Those who trust the information from television (78%), those who believe that things in the country are going in the right direction (79%), those who approve of the activities of V. Putin (74%) are more likely to be confident that the special operation is going well.

Russia’s military actions in Ukraine mainly cause Russians to be proud of Russia (45%) or alarm, fear and horror (32%), these feelings have prevailed among respondents since the beginning of the conflict. Since September, the share of Russians feeling proud of Russia has increased – 45% (38% in September).

Pride in Russia is mainly felt by men (47%) and older people (52% aged 55 and older). Anxiety, fear and horror are experienced more often by women (42%) and younger Russians (43% under the age of 24).

One in four respondents gave clothes and belongings to refugees from Ukraine free of charge (as well as a year ago). At the same time, the share of respondents who collected money and things to help the participants of the special operation increased in November – 40% (+13% compared to December last year).

Despite the fact that Moscow residents are more likely to talk about supporting the special operation and the continuation of hostilities, over the past 12 months they have been less likely to donate money for generally useful purposes (22%) and collected money and things to help participants in the special operation (25%), compared with residents of other localities.

In general, one in three respondents has donated money to socially useful purposes in the last 12 months, and their share has been gradually increasing since March 2020.


The all-Russian survey by the Levada Center was conducted November 23 – 29 2023, among a representative sample of all Russian urban and rural residents. The sample consisted of 1625 people aged 18 or older in 137 municipalities of 50 regions of the Russian Federation. The survey was conducted as a personal interview in respondents’ homes. The distribution of responses is given as a percentage of the total number of respondents.

The statistical error of these studies for a sample of 1600 people (with a probability of 0.95) does not exceed:
3.4% for indicators around 50%
2.9% for indicators around 25%/75%
2.0% for indicators around 10%/90%
1.5% for indicators around 5%/95%

Proposal to UN Summit of the Future from Fabrica dos Sonhos, Brazil


A submission on the UN Website for the Summit of the Future

From Fábrica dos Sonhos and Right to Dream Movement, /, Myrian Castello, Executive Director,


Embracing the urgency of our interconnected challenges and dreaming of the world we want to live in, we propose a Pact for the Future that amplifies commitment and action. Our vision is action-oriented, concrete, and transformative, fostering inclusivity, innovation, regenerative solutions and sustainability. By uniting nations and generations, we forge a path to a future where no one is left behind.


Embracing the urgency of our interconnected challenges and dreaming of the world we want to live in, we propose a Pact for the Future that amplifies commitment and action. Our vision is action-oriented, concrete, and transformative, fostering inclusivity, innovation, regenerative solutions and sustainability. By uniting nations and generations, we forge a path to a future where no one is left behind.

Chapter I. Sustainable Development and Financing for Development:

1. Transform the global financial architecture to be more inclusive, just, and responsive, investing upfront in SDGs, climate action, and future generations. Re-soul and open space for new economies supporting initiatives and grassroots movements.

2. Reform global economic governance to enhance the voice and representation of developing countries, fostering coherence under the United Nations.

3. Ensure fair and diverse representation, and data based driven in decision-making.

4. Partnership and commitment of 1st, 2nd and 3rd sector, also between countries and generations.

5. Incentivize family agriculture to prevent food deserts and create opportunities so that people want to stay and work with the soil and food production.

6. Support indigenous communities including the demarcation of indigenous lands to protect their rights and preserve biodiversity.

Chapter II. International Peace and Security:

1. Reform the Security Council to reflect the global South’s diversity and ensure equitable representation.

2. Promote the New Declaration for a Culture of Peace in the XXI Century

Question for this article:

What is the United Nations doing for a culture of peace?

3. Strengthen collective security through regional and local approaches and invest in sustainable development to address underlying drivers of conflicts.

4. Promote disarmament, prevent weaponization in emerging domains, and enhance peace operations with a focus on responsible innovation.

5. Invest in education and in a culture of peace.

6. Take care of the environment.

7. Exchange for good, knowing different realities is easier to empathize with and commit to make a change.

Chapter III. Science, Technology and Innovation, and Digital Cooperation:

1. Foster a culture of innovation, recognizing dreaming as a Universal Human Right and a new SDG.

2. Prioritize racial equality as a new SDG and human right, ensuring the inclusion of diverse voices in shaping the digital future.

3. Phase out fossil fuels, limiting global warming to 1.5°C, while supporting indigenous communities and embracing evidence-based decision-making.

Chapter IV. Youth and Future Generations:

1. Establish dedicated national youth consultative bodies to empower young voices in decisionmaking.

2. Create public policies and actions so that all can feel safe and with that they can dream and achieve more.

3. Recognize Dreaming as a Universal Human Right, infusing hope and aspirational thinking into policymaking.

4. Enshrine racial equality as a new SDG and human right, affirming our commitment to a diverse and inclusive global governance.

5. Cultivate opportunities for youth, mainly the ones living in outskirts and the countryside, ensuring their active participation in shaping the future.

Chapter V. Transforming Global Governance:

1. Decentralize decision-making to the local level, employing evidence-based approaches to address unique challenges.

2. Cultivate a culture of peace for all, emphasizing diplomacy, dialogue, and conflict resolution.

3. Bring culture and art to the local and global level.

4. Re-Humanize global leaders and people in power beyond their titles.

This concise document outlines actionable recommendations that, when implemented, will propel us toward a future characterized by sustainability, inclusivity, and a culture of peace.

We want to be part of the creation of the future that will make a better world for us all. Present and future generations.

Wives of Russian soldiers descend on Putin campaign office to demand demobilisation


An article from Novaya Gazeta

The wives of Russian men called up to fight in the war in Ukraine visited Vladimir Putin’s re-election campaign office in Moscow on Saturday (January 20) to demand the return of their husbands from the front line, independent news outlet SOTA reported.

frame from video in telegram social media

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Questions related to this article:
Can the peace movement help stop the war in the Ukraine?

(Continued from left column)

Upon arriving at the office, the women were reportedly met by members of a pro-Putin “Volunteer Squadron” and anti-extremism police.

In a heated exchange, footage of which was quickly made available by Russian Telegram channels, the women asked staffers when Putin would sign a demobilisation order that would allow their husbands to return home.

In response to their demands, one campaign staffer replied that demobilising the troops would “damage male dignity,” and that men should fight as if they were “warriors and God’s unique creations.”

The women, part of demobilisation campaign group The Way Home, were watched by around 10 police officers as they laid flowers at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier outside the Kremlin before entering the Putin campaign’s election office nearby. One journalist covering the protest was detained but later released.

The gesture came in the wake of similar actions earlier this month, when around 15 women also laid flowers at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and picketed government buildings around Moscow to demand the return of their husbands from the front.

“Culture of Peace” Recommendation for UN summit “Pact for the Future”


Received at CPNN from Anne Creter, Peace Through Unity Charitable Trust

Today’s New Year’s Day opens with sharing the following “Culture of Peace “recommendation our UN NGO Global Movement for the Culture of Peace sub-group submitted yesterday (New Years Eve) as input to the big September 23-24, 2024 UN Summit of the Future “Pact for the Future” being developed now. 

The “actionable” evolutionary UN Declaration and Programme of Action on a Culture of Peace A/RES/53/243 adopted by the General Assembly (GA) in 1999 must be integrated into A Pact for the Future (PACT) for greater UN innovation and synthesis, as it can provide a missing link helping the UN fulfill its mission to “end the scourge of war.” Aligned with the science of nonviolence, Culture of Peace is a comprehensive, UN established “blueprint” or “roadmap” of actions necessary at all levels of existence to manifest sustainable peace. If utilized in the PACT, Culture of Peace could provide a new, unified global structure for the UN to connect and coordinate worldwide peace actions for greater synergy and effectiveness. War will be inevitable until a better, rational, productive system is solidly in place providing the structure and platform for conflict resolution to routinely happen.

Chapter II: International peace and security:

The UN’s 75-year-old quest “to end the scourge of war” has paradoxically devolved into a worldwide culture of violence at this most dangerous inflection point in history. Thus, it is imperative that the advanced peacebuilding concept of the Culture of Peace be a focal point within this futuristic PACT, for it has received growing understanding and appreciation both at the UN and within civil society in the last 25 years. In keeping with its recently evolved history at the UN, A/RES/53/243 adds clear “actionable” guidance aligned with the relatively new field of peace studies at a time when the world is hopelessly paralyzed by the existential escalation of violence at all levels which, in becoming normalized, threatens even greater planetary peril. Examples of civil society “Infrastructures for Peace” based on A/RES/53/243 now making a difference in the world are the Ashland Culture of Peace Commission in Oregon USA and Rotary International showing great progress of peace at local city levels.

The landmark UN Declaration and Programme of Action on a Culture of Peace (A/RES/53/243) was adopted by the GA on 13 September 1999 after nine months of hard negotiations skillfully led by Bangladesh Ambassador Anwarul K. Chowdhury, Former Under-Secretary-General and High Representative of the UN; Founder of the Global Movement for the Culture of Peace, who said: “I believe this document is unique in more than one way. It is a universal document in the real sense, transcending boundaries, cultures, societies and nations. Unlike many other GA documents, it is action-oriented and encourages actions at all levels, be they at the level of the individual, the community, the nation or the region, or at the global and international levels.” It defines Culture of Peace as a set of values, attitudes, modes of behavior and ways of life that reject violence and prevent conflicts by tackling their root causes to solve problems through dialogue and negotiation among individuals, groups and nations. Per the A/RES/53/243 mandate, the Programme of Action by its pure “action” structure speaks to the PACT’s goal of “action-oriented” recommendations, citing actions at all levels that are necessary to build the Culture of Peace within the following Eight Areas of Action:

1) Fostering a culture of peace through education
2) Promoting sustainable economic and social development
3) Promoting respect for all human rights
4) Ensuring equality between women and men
5) Fostering democratic participation
6) Advancing understanding, tolerance and solidarity
7) Supporting participatory communication & free flow of information & knowledge
8) Promoting international peace and security

UNESCO was charged with writing the “Declaration and Programme of Action” led by David Adams, Former Director, UNESCO Unit for International Year for Culture of Peace. It is not by accident that the term originated at UNESCO (the United Nations Educational, Scientific and “Cultural” Organization) at a meeting in Africa in 1989. For Culture appears in the very name of UNESCO which was established as the UN’s cultural organization. Culture here is defined in the broad anthropological sense, not in the narrow popular sense restricted to music, dance, and other arts. UNESCO was not concerned with culture for its own sake, but culture for the sake of peace. It made a distinction between the old concept of peace between sovereign states and a new concept of peace between peoples. UNESCO’s constitution preamble declared in 1946: “That a peace based exclusively upon the political and economic arrangements of governments would not be a peace which could secure the unanimous, lasting and sincere support of the peoples of the world, and that the peace must therefore be founded, if it is not to fail, upon the intellectual and moral solidarity of mankind.” As UNESCO stated: “Each of these areas of action have been priorities of the UN since its foundation; what is new is their linkage through the culture of peace and non-violence into a single coherent concept. This is the first time all these areas are interlinked so the sum of their complementarities and synergies can be developed.”

Question for this article:

What is the United Nations doing for a culture of peace?

A/RES/53/243 gives clear guidelines on a new mode of governance which calls on the entire UN system; all governments, and all peoples to work together to build a more free, fair, and peaceful global neighborhood through a positive, dynamic participatory process where dialogue is encouraged, and conflicts are solved in a spirit of mutual understanding and cooperation. It was a watershed moment when A/RES/53/243 was passed as never before had an “action-oriented” template been created based on the science of nonviolence articulating all the peacebuilding actions needed at every level from inner to international for world peace to take shape. A/RES/53/243 is innovative because it embodies this new peace knowledge by design, stating all the multi-dimensional, congruous actions that need to happen for the Culture of Peace to materialize. These preventative, multi-level actions by individuals and groups must be implemented and monitored in Member States to “end the scourge of war” – a function the UN could oversee by creating a “Culture of Peace Council” equal in status to the Security Council to balance its two main purposes of peace and security through developing national “Culture of Peace” Action Plans.

Culture of Peace is a clarion call for individual and collective transformation, indispensable for the safety, security and development of planet earth. Therefore, to make the PACT truly transformational, the concept of Culture of Peace must be integrated within it, reflective of the “new” positive view of peace. “Negative” peace is the absence of violence. Peace has traditionally been thought of simply as that. But we know now that peacebuilding is so much more. “Positive” peace is defined as the attitudes, institutions and structures that create and sustain peaceful societies, like better economic outcomes, measures of well-being, levels of inclusiveness and environmental performance. “Positive” peace is transformational in that it is a cross-cutting factor for progress. Use of the word ‘Peace’ connotes “negative” peace, old paradigm thinking whereas ‘Culture of Peace’ connotes a new-paradigm “positive” peace mindset.

Culture of Peace has a recent rich history of evolution at the UN in the last 25+ years since A/RES/53/243 was first adopted in 1999. We are told it takes between ten to twenty years from the time UN resolutions are passed for them to be fully understood and utilized. Culture of Peace is no exception. The term was hardly ever used at the UN in the first ten years of its passage (the first decade of the new millennium). It took 12 years before the major breakthrough of the first High Level Forum on the Culture of Peace took place in 2012. That big milestone was first conceived back in the year 2000 when the International Year for the Culture of Peace was declared, along with its 2000 Manifesto for a Culture of Peace and Nonviolence crafted by Nobel Laureates. Then from 2001 to 2010 there was the International Decade for a Culture of Peace and Nonviolence for the Children of the World, producing Mid-Decade and End-of-Decade Culture of Peace Progress Reports, including a continuously running virtual Culture of Peace News Network of actions taken each month around the world in all eight of the Culture of Peace Areas of Action. Also, a UN NGO Culture of Peace Working Group which morphed into the Global Movement for the Culture of Peace NGO Coalition, along with 12 annual Culture of Peace High Level Forums with yearly self-standing GA Culture of Peace resolutions passed. Now that these milestones have been achieved, it is time for A/RES/53/243 to be fully utilized by being integrated within this forward-looking PACT.

Integrating Culture of Peace wisdom into the PACT would make that document more UN synthesized and wholistically complete, better enabling full implementation of A/RES/53/243. Culture of Peace is a state-of-the-art concept in human consciousness aligned within the powerful new discipline of peace studies. A/RES/53/243 provides a currently missing overarching peacebuilding framework on how to construct true and lasting world peace. Rendering it essential to the PACT would endow this major futuristic document genuine “new paradigm” relevance. So let Culture of Peace (already existing in the heart of humanity) become the foundation upon which our children and their children’s children can continue building the future civilization. As unleashing the knowledge of how to cultivate world peace in this way will accelerate desperately needed UN reform and transformation.

Chapter V: Transforming global governance:

Article 5 of A/RES/43/243 states that “governments have an essential role in promoting and strengthening a culture of peace.” Per the 2023 UN New Agenda for Peace Action #3 – one recommendation is to develop national prevention strategies to address the different drivers and enablers of violence and conflict in societies and strengthen national “Infrastructures for Peace.” Further that Member States seeking to establish or strengthen national “Infrastructures for Peace” should be able to access a tailor-made package of support and expertise. Uniting these 2 UN guiding principles “Culture of Peace and “Infrastructures for Peace” together would be an impactful step forward in UN fulfillment of its peace mission. For Culture of Peace establishes this UN peace vision as normative and prescribes the roadmap of actions needed at all levels to actualize it. Governmental “Infrastructures for Peace” such as “Departments and Ministries of Peace” are the roadways or platforms of peace architecture that support essential peace actions (like diplomacy) to readily occur so peace can take root and grow. Coupled together these two constructs give shape, form, and substance to building the “capacity” for peace by operationalizing and institutionalizing peacebuilding as the missing connective layer needed to sustain peace. Both principles are designed to prevent and reduce violence thus are mutually reinforcing. Integrated within the PACT, their synergistic impact of collaborative connection would facilitate significant UN reform and transformation.

UN NGO “Global Movement for the Culture of Peace” Signatories:

Peace Through Unity: Kate Smith, Director; Iris Spellings, UN NGO Representative; Anne Creter, UN NGO Alternate Representative

Pathways to Peace: Tezikiah Gabriel, Executive Director; David Wick, President

The Good News Agency – Associazione Culturale dei Triangoli e della Buona Volontà Mondiale: Georgina Galanis, UN NGO Representative


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Revista CoPaLa, Constructing Peace in Latin America, July-December 2023


Extracts from the Revista núm. 18, introduction by Roberto Mercadillo and David Adams

. . . after long reviews and discussions, between 2019 and 2021, the three of us (Roberto Mercadillo, David Adams and Federico Mayor) undertook the task of shaping a new Declaration for the Transition towards a Culture of Peace in the 21st century following a cognitive approach to human consciousness with four axes: recognize, remember, understand and act. . . . (with regard to action) we propose 12 strategies that can be acted on in two simultaneous routes: local and global. The local route is fundamentally pedagogical to be carried out, mainly, by organized civil society supported by local governments. The global route involves the creation of a “Security Council of Mayors” made up of representatives of the major cities in all regions of the world and the expansion of the General Assembly of the United Nations to integrate citizens of the world in the analysis, proposals and resolutions of the problems that affect us.

In February 2022, with Cristina Ávila-Zesatti, Correspondent of Paz – Mexico, Myrian Castello from Fábrica dos Sonhos – Brazil, and Alicia Cabezudo from the Global Alliance for Peace Ministries and Infrastructures – Latin America and the Caribbean, we formed a group of academics, construction companies, peace educators and journalists in Latin America to discuss the relevance of the Declaration in this region of the world and join efforts for its dissemination. . . .

In September 2002, CoPaLa Magazine opened the call to publish a special issue that would give space to experiences, Latin American thoughts and proposals focused on culture and peacebuilding that coincide with the premises set forth in the Declaration for the Transition towards a Culture of Peace in the 21st Century. As a result of this effort, the current Number 18 of the CoPaLa Magazine provides Spanish-speaking readers with 15 texts with a diversity of ways of communicating and thinking about peace . . .

(1) The first essay exposes cognitive and universalist positions on the human mind. In “Culture of peace: A selfish paradox”, Clemens C.C. Bauer reflects on Nietzsche and the life of the Bodhisattva to argue that understanding our feelings and thoughts leads us to recognize our own well-being intertwined with the well-being of others. . .

(2) It is precisely from the historical approach and from his own experience, that Edgardo Carabantes Olivares writes “Peace and Human Rights in Chile fifty years after the overthrow of Allende”. Half a century after the coup d’état in 1973, the author wonders about the inadequacies of the political, social and cultural system that keeps the people Chile in a space that is neither dictatorship nor democracy, but rather a hybridocracy characterized by hidden violence, a negative peace and manipulation of the exercise citizen. He emphasizes civil disobedience, active nonviolence, and hope as acts of resistance to always choose life and peace.

(3) Meanwhile, in “Total Peace: A New Opportunity for Peace Initiatives ex-combatants of the FARC”, Laura C. Fuentes and Juan D. Forero analyze peace initiatives from and for ex-combatants of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia. These initiatives form resistance to the Colombian conflict and constitute peacebuilding strategies. The “Total peace”, proposal of the recent and current administration of the Colombian government, could provide – the authors suggest – a stable framework for the construction of a more just and equitable society . . .

Citizen organizations

(4) In “The (re)construction of peace in Mexico through communication”, Lucía Calderón observes and analyzes the violence experienced in the state of Tamaulipas, Mexico. She describes how the population became managers of information that kept them safe from the actions of criminals. She emphasizes that, to a large extent, the recovery of peace depends on the willingness of the society to rebuild itself and to become aware of the alliances they can build with their peers.

(5) From Mexico City, Arturo Ramírez Ruíz writes “Rodar el pueblo: structures of youth learning and community reception”. He describes and analyzes youth actions organized to ride bicycles and, with this, to build learning structures, community centers and spaces to coexist and live with others. Pedaling the bicycle, says the author, becomes a political act of resistance and vindication of rights that imply knowledge and know how to organize ourselves, know how to take care of ourselves, know how to show solidarity, know how to resist, know how to transform and know how to sustain ourselves.

(6) In “Chiapanecas moving collectively towards a life free of violence: challenges and learning”, Mónica Carrasco Gómez shows us a meticulous and daring participatory ethnography of a collective project of women to build economic independence and live free of violence in San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico. After searching and creating safe spaces to express their voices, women reestablished a collaborative environmentthat favored their economic independence, becoming aware of their power relations and learning new ways of relating in which the intention to act or speak had no
objective of imposition, but rather the possibility of cooperation.

(7) Carolina Escudero gives us “Culture of peace in the TEB campaign on forced disappearances in Spain.” Through qualitative research, she analyzes the “We Are Here” campaign with families who are victims of the forced disappearance of babies in Spain. She describes the alliances between organizations that ensure Truth, Justice and Reparation that lead to, as one of the participants says, accepting that “We are all equal, we are a family”. The TEB campaign contributes to managing conflict, by denouncing and recognizing the abuses by the State and institutions during the dictatorship, by placing democracy as an antidote to violence, and by strengthening cohesion and group action.

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(Click here for the original article in Spanish.)

Questions related to this article:
Latin America, has it taken the lead in the struggle for a culture of peace?

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(8) In “Teaching ethics in the face of the Technological Revolution (CRI). A hermeneutics-analogue perspective”, Alfonso Luna Martínez raises relevant ethical dilemmas for the assimilation if technological and industrial change in education. He concludes with an ethical proposal, presenting us with the need to overcome the neoliberal capitalist world and to regulate access to the data about people’s interests, so that they are not used in mass manipulation to define market and consumption trends.

(9) Jair Alejandro Vilchis Jardón writes “Thinking about neoliberalism. A critical view from analogical pedagogy of everyday life.” The author calls us to understand that the capitalist model not only acts in the economic sector, but has managed to permeate the educational system through excessive loads and/or work hours justified under the logic of production. He also invites us, collectively, to think about more humane ways of doing science with aspiration of social justice and not as productive agents of knowledge.

(10) In “Understandings about interculturality and its pedagogical implications”, Ximena Marin Hermann reflects on the relationships between interculturality and pedagogy. Interculturality, she suggests, emerges from the need to build public policies focused on social differentiation and globalization, from the resistance and defense of cultural particularities and their identities, and from the investigation to understand the problems of diversity and cultures. Its pedagogical implications lead to the construction of an inclusive intercultural citizenship that would allow us to answer the question “Can we talk about citizen and social construction based on pluriversity and what would be the keys to being able to travel this path?”

(11) Elia Calderón Leyton presents “Education for peace: reflections from literacy criticism”. Her text shows us the importance of writing and critical reading in education. Alluding to the thought of Husserl, Arendt, Habermas, Foucault and Cortina, she points out the need to practice the confrontation of knowledge and experience, as well as to distinguish inequalities in pedagogical practices. Critical thinking contributes to the pedagogy of peace and the ability to listen to others as a political act, because it places the individual in a community to transform doubt into truth, to understand and achieve authentic dialogue in Latin America.

(12) In “Educating towards a culture of peace in the 21st century: Guidelines for thinking and acting”, Anita Yudkin Suliveres proposes a positive vision of peace and a critical approach to education that prioritizes creative thinking, awareness of local problems and global, novel ways of investigating, experiencing and knowing, the cultivation of empathy and solidarity, the arts and the generation of spaces for participation. As educators, we must rethink what happens in educational processes, the experiences of training at all levels and reconsider both the study contents and the capabilities and knowledge that we aspire to promote.

(13) Mónica Lizbeth Chávez González in “School violence and interstitial spaces in Mexico. An ethnographic approach in Uruapan, Michoacán” presents an ethnography of focus groups in a secondary school. She describes how young people, through pedagogy of violence, build relationships and spaces of risk, vulnerability, impunity and defenselessness. Youth are presented as perpetrators of school violence and power through threats, certain criminal practices or the exercise of violent sexual-affective behavior. She urges us to attend to the intersection between these manifestations of violence to collectively them as daily problems.

Action and innovation

(14) In “Culture of peace, service-learning and citizen training: Experiences and reflections”, Benilde García-Cabrero, Alejandro R. Alba-Meraz and María Montero-López Lena reveal to us their proposal for education-action arising from the analysis of three psychosocial interventions carried out by themselves in Mexico. They describe the philosophical underpinnings and pedagogical methods of service-learning as an alternative to promote a culture of peace and citizen training in higher education institutions. With this, they deploy the transformative role of higher education for social awareness, the assumption of collective responsibility and the sense of responsibility. Service-learning enables groups who have a peace or social justice mission to reap the benefits of mutual support and collective action.

(15) In “Psicocalle Colectivo: A university proposal for education and construction of peace”, Lorena Paredes, Mosco Aquino and Roberto E. Mercadillo narrate the trajectory of a transdisciplinary university initiative to understand by means of neuroscience, anthropology and psychology the phenomena of street life and psychoactive substance use. They propose an action research model framed in the culture of peace and compassion as ways to connect with others and to use scientific knowledge in everyday life. Compassionate feeling and acting should motivate our action when confronted with the suffering of others. The culture of peace leads to actions towards the construction of an
active peace, conciliatory, emancipatory and resistant for life on the street and in the use of psychoactive substances.

Issue 18 of CoPaLa closes with a review of two relevant books

“The right to peace and its developments in History” (2022) published by Tirant lo Blanch, edited by María de La Paz Pando Ballesteros and Elizabeth Manjarrés Ramos: a review written by Erika Tatiana Jiménez Aceros. The book covers the history of Human Rights and the history of peace and peace research, thereby, unfolding the methodologies and objects of study of peacebuilding and allowing us to understand our history with new configurations.

“The other in the sand: 20 glances and a blink at Western Sahara” (2014) published by Gedisa and by the Metropolitan Autonomous University and coordinated by Roberto E. Mercadillo and Ahmed Mulay. This book, reviewed by Luis Guerrero, presents the vision of academics, activists and journalists from Latin America on the war, the conflict and the peace strategies developed in the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic. With this review, we stand in solidarity with the Sahrawi circumstance, we remember it and make it visible in Latin America in this year 2023 that commemorates the 50th anniversary of the Polisario Front, an organization that has maintained the survival of the Sahrawi people, their quest for peace and their demand for autonomy

Message from Ukrainian pacifist Yurii Sheliazhenko


Text of Youtube video by Yurii Sheliazhenko

Dear friends, greetings from Kyiv. Air raid alerts, cold shelter in the nearest underground parking and tragic updates about new deaths are my daily life under martial law during the criminal Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Additionally to regular pains of war experienced by all relatively lucky citizens who managed to survive mass killing, life of a pacifist is full of additional hardships. I am talking not only about everyday nonviolent resistance to war and militarism in words and deeds, burden of responsibility for a better future depending on conscience and efforts of a few enthusiasts who dare to dream and work for a world without wars in a hostile environment.

Frame from video

More painful is that peace dreamers are repressed. Conscientious objectors are jailed. I am under house arrest and risk to be tried and jailed for up to five years for alleged justification of Russian aggression in antiwar statement which condemns it. My letter to President Zelensky was dangerous, they say, because nonviolent resistance is utopia and the army don’t like conscientious objection.

See, you can’t dream about peace, you must adopt utopian ideas of the propaganda of war to make all people soldiers and to wipe Russia out from the world map. You should also think that Putin just bluffed when he said these horrible things about nukes and why he would not need the world without Russia. You must want to defeat Russia, they call it “morale.”

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Questions related to this article:
Can the peace movement help stop the war in the Ukraine?

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And if you live in Russia, the same sort of immoral “morale” requires to kill Ukrainians, portrayed as Nazi, and defeat Ukraine. A picture with woman showing heart by hands from behind the bars in Saint Petersburg captured my imagination: Sasha Skochilenko said “When you imprison pacifists, you delay peace,” and she was jailed for 7 years.

More than a half million people were killed, but that don’t stopped Presidents Putin and Zelensky from announcements of more military recruitment to sacrifice more lives in endless, pointless and senseless war. No equivalence here, of course: aggressor must be held accountable and reasonable self-defense is right thing to do, though I would rather do it without violence.

When you respond violently to violence, suffering and destruction multiplies. People feel it and knew it, that’s why people vote by foot against the war when it is possible. More than a million of Russians escaped Putin’s tyranny, not to mention those who fled from his complicit dictator Lukashenko, and more than a half million of Ukrainian refugees hide in Europe from cruel conscription, from abduction of draftees on the streets.

Every person saved from the meat grinder of war is a triumph of life and a step towards peace. That’s why we need to support Object War Campaign aimed at providing protection and asylum to all those who risk to be repressed for  refusal to kill in Russia, Belarus and Ukraine.

Right to refuse to kill is absolute, because human life and dignity is sacred. I wish the serfdom of conscription could be prohibited by international law, because without such an authoritarian tool it would be hard to wage long and monstrous wars.

Peace is human right, it demands care instead of hate towards others, and war is no excuse for violations of freedom of conscience. We should remember and advocate that on the eve of Human Rights Day. I congratulate you with this meaningful date coming, and I wish you peace and happiness.

Never give up your hopes and your efforts for the world where people will forget how to wage wars.

Nuclear Abolitionists Occupy New York


An article by Robert Dodge from Common Dreams (reprinted according to provisions of Creative Commons)

This past week New York City was invaded by nuclear abolitionists from around the world coming together as part of civil society, scientific, and affected communities, to support, strengthen, and move forward with the universalization of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, TPNW, as the United Nations convened the Second Meeting of States Parties to the Treaty . They gathered to celebrate what has been achieved and with hope and conviction for the complete elimination of these weapons to achieve a future free from the threat of their use.

closer to nuclear war  than any time since the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki 78 years ago. This risk is heightened by the current war in Ukraine, where Russia has threatened the use of nuclear weapons, the ongoing nuclear weapons research by North Korea, the buildup of China’s arsenal and the current war and humanitarian crisis in Israel/Palestine, where there have been suggestions of using nuclear weapons against Palestinians. The risk of nuclear war by intent, miscalculation, or accident coupled with the growing concern over cyber-terrorism and AI is growing.

The new arms race is driven in large part by the United States’ modernization of its entire arsenal in the coming decades at an estimated cost of between $1.5 and $1.7 trillion. The false illusion of deterrence theory has been the largest driver of the new arms race, resulting in every other nation following suit at modernizing and/or enlarging their new arsenals to not be outdone. This reality was acknowledged by this week’s meeting of state’s parties that correctly identifies deterrence as a significant security problem.

Trillion dollar question

The Treaty on the Probation of Nuclear Weapons arose out of the realization of the humanitarian consequences of even limited nuclear war, and the fact that all of life and everything we care about is at risk from a large scale nuclear war. A limited nuclear war using less than 3% of the global arsenals in a distant region could result in nuclear famine  killing over 2 billion people in the years that follow. The International Committee of the Red Cross notes that there is NO adequate humanitarian or medical response to nuclear war. Understanding this, the global majority represented and supported by civil society, has come together, refusing to be held hostage or bullied by the nine nuclear nations.

The entire cycle of nuclear weapons from mining, manufacture, testing, storage, and potential use impacts communities every day. Their very existence threatens communities around the world. As stated by the author Arundhati Roy, “It is such a supreme folly to believe that nuclear weapons are deadly only if they’re used. The fact that they exist at all, their presence in our lives, will wreak more havoc than we can begin to fathom. Nuclear weapons pervade our thinking. Control our behavior. Administer our societies. Inform our dreams. They bury themselves like meat hooks deep in the base of our brains. They are purveyors of madness. They are the ultimate colonizer. Whiter than any white man that ever lived. The very heart of whiteness.”

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Question related to this article:
Can we abolish all nuclear weapons?

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While the United States and other members of the P5 appear to be ignorant of, or oblivious to, these humanitarian consequences by giving lip service to them or simply ignoring them, there is a growing chorus in each of these nations supporting the Treaty.

While the United States and other members of the P5 appear to be ignorant of, or oblivious to, these humanitarian consequences by giving lip service to them or simply ignoring them, there is a growing chorus in each of these nations supporting the Treaty. In the U.S. this comes from the grassroots level and from a growing number of local elected officials who recognize that nuclear weapons are a local issue. A letter was presented to Biden from over 230 local elected officials  asking his administration to send an observer to the meeting. This largest U.S. intersectional movement to abolish nuclear weapons is “Back from the Brink” and has been endorsed by 471 organizations, 334 municipal and state officials, seven state legislative bodies and 76 cities and counties across the United States.

Back from the Brink works in coalition for a world free of nuclear weapons and advocates for common sense nuclear weapons policies to secure a safer, more just future. It calls on the United States to lead a global effort to prevent nuclear war by:

*Actively pursuing a verifiable agreement among nuclear-armed states to eliminate their nuclear arsenals

*Renouncing the option of using nuclear weapons first

*Ending the sole, unchecked authority of any U.S. President to launch a nuclear attack

*Taking U.S. nuclear weapons off hair-trigger alert

*Cancelling the plan to replace the entire U.S. nuclear arsenal with enhanced weapons

Supporting this effort in the United States Congress is H. Res. 77  introduced by Representatives Jim McGovern of Massachusetts and Earl Blumenauer of Oregon that embraces the goals and provisions of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and Back from the Brink’s comprehensive policy prescriptions for reducing nuclear risks and preventing nuclear war. Currently there are 42 members of congress cosponsoring. Every member of Congress must be asked to take a stand and make their views of this greatest existential threat known.

Forty years after Carl Sagan and other scientists first described the concept of nuclear winter following a large scale nuclear war, the world is moving together for the total elimination of these weapons.

94 nations participated in this week’s Meeting of States Parties. The Treaty currently has 93 signatories and 69 States Parties whose nations have ratified the Treaty. In the closing declaration of the meeting the nations stated:

“We are resolutely committed to the universalization and effective implementation of the Treaty… We will work relentlessly to achieve a world free of nuclear weapons for the sake of current and future generations. We undertake and recommit to ensure that nuclear weapons are never again used, tested or threatened to be used, under any circumstances, and will not rest until they are completely eliminated.”

UN Rights Chief Says Israel’s Collective Punishment in Gaza Is a War Crime


An article by Jessica Corbett from Common Dreams (licensed under Creative Commons CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). 

United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Türk declared  Wednesday that “the collective punishment by Israel of Palestinian civilians amounts… to a war crime, as does the unlawful forcible evacuation of civilians.”

Frame from video interview with Commissioner Türk at the Rafah Crossing

Israel’s monthlong war on Gaza has killed over 10,500 Palestinians, wounded thousands more, displaced 70%  of the strip’s 2.3 million residents, and decimated civilian infrastructure, including homes, religious buildings, and hospitals.

Türk’s comments came after he visited the Rafah border crossing that connects Egypt to Gaza, which he described as “the gates to a living nightmare—a nightmare where people have been suffocating, under persistent bombardment, mourning their families, struggling for water, for food, for electricity and fuel.”

Long before October 7, when a Hamas-led attack killed over 1,400 Israelis and triggered Israel’s retaliation, Gaza was “described as the world’s biggest open-air prison… under a 56-year occupation and a 16-year blockade by Israel,” he highlighted.The U.N. rights chief also stressed that “the atrocities perpetrated by Palestinian armed groups… were heinous, brutal, and shocking. They were war crimes—as is the continued holding of hostages.” Israeli officials say there are about 240 hostages.

“We have fallen off a precipice. This cannot continue,” he warned. “Even in the context of a 56-year-old occupation, the current situation is the most dangerous in decades, faced by people in Gaza, in Israel, in the West Bank, but also regionally.”

Türk emphasized that “parties to the conflict have the obligation to take constant care to spare the civilian population and civilian objects,” and as an occupying power, Israel is required “to ensure a maximum of basic necessities of life can reach all who need it.”

“I call—as a matter of urgency—for the parties now to agree [to] a cease-fire on the basis of three critical human rights imperatives: We need urgent delivery of massive levels of humanitarian aid, throughout Gaza,” he declared.

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Questions related to this article:
How can war crimes be documented, stopped, punished and prevented?

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The official also called for all hostages to be freed without condition and said that “crucially, we need to enable the political space to implement a durable end to the occupation, based on the rights of both Palestinians and Israelis to self-determination and their legitimate security interests.”

U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres—who has also been pushing for a cease-fire—called out  Israel’s aerial and ground operations for their impact on civilians during a Reuters conference on Wednesday.

“There are violations by Hamas when they have human shields. But when one looks at the number of civilians that were killed with the military operations, there is something that is clearly wrong,” he said.

“We have in a few days in Gaza thousands and thousands of children killed, which means there is also something clearly wrong in the way military operations are being done,” the U.N. leader added.

According to the Palestinian Ministry of Health in Gaza, the Israeli war against Hamas has killed over 4,300 children.

“It is also important to make Israel understand that it is against the interests of Israel to see every day the terrible image of the dramatic humanitarian needs of the Palestinian people,” Guterres said. “That doesn’t help Israel in relation to the global public opinion.”

While French President Emmanuel Macron’s plans to hold a Gaza-focused “humanitarian conference” in Paris on Thursday, the government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is refusing to participate in the event.

Ahead of the conference, 13 human rights and relief groups called on attendees “to do everything in their power to achieve an immediate cease-fire; take concrete steps to free civilian hostages and protect all civilian populations; and ensure the entry of humanitarian aid into Gaza and respect for international humanitarian law.”

Among them was Amnesty International—which, over the past month, has compiled  “damning evidence of war crimes as Israeli attacks wipe out entire families.”

Some global experts and critics have demanded  action from the International Criminal Court on “escalating Israeli war crimes and genocide of the Palestinian people” in Gaza.

In a resignation letter to Türk last month, Craig Mokhiber, who was serving as the New York director for the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, condemned  Israel’s war as “a textbook case of genocide.”

“In the immediate term,” Mokhiber wrote, “we must work for an immediate cease-fire and an end to the long-standing siege on Gaza, stand up against the ethnic cleansing of Gaza, Jerusalem, and the West Bank (and elsewhere), document the genocidal assault in Gaza, help to bring massive humanitarian aid and reconstruction to the Palestinians, take care of our traumatized colleagues and their families, and fight like hell for a principled approach in the U.N.’s political offices.”

1,500+ Israelis Urge ICC Action on ‘War Crimes and Genocide’ in Gaza


An article by Jessica Corbett from Common Dreams ( licensed under Creative Commons CC BY-NC-ND 3.0)

Israelis Against Apartheid, a group representing more than 1,500 citizens, this week  urged  the International Criminal Court’s prosecutor “to take accelerated action against the escalating Israeli war crimes and genocide of the Palestinian people” in Gaza.

An injured child is brought to the al-Aqsa Hospital after an Israeli attack on Maghazi Refugee Camp in Deir Al-Balah, Gaza on November 3, 2023. (Photo: Ashraf Amra/Anadolu via Getty Images)

“For the safety and future in the region, all elements of international law must be enforced and war crimes should be investigated,” declares the letter to the ICC’s Karim A. A. Khan, noting his ongoing Palestine investigation  and recent remarks  on the war.

The letter, dated Thursday, explains that “as Israeli anti-colonial activists, we have joined our voices to the voices of Palestinians for decades warning on the dangerous course of action pursued by the Israeli state and repeatedly called for international intervention.”

“Persistent impunity has created the conditions for the consolidation of the Israeli apartheid regime, which is intent on committing ethnic cleansing and genocide of the Indigenous Palestinian population,” the letter continues. “The acute deterioration in basic conditions of life that we are now witnessing could have been avoided if Israel had not been continuously granted impunity for its ongoing crimes.”

Officials believe Palestinian militants took around 240 hostages in a Hamas-led surprise attack on Israel October 7, which sparked Israeli forces' retaliatory air and ground assault of Gaza. Since the war began, more than 1,500 Israelis and 9,400 Palestinians in Gaza have been killed, along with at least 133 Palestinians in the West Bank, which has seen a surge in Israeli settler violence.

Over the past four weeks, as Israeli forces have killed thousands of civilians and bombed residential, medical, educational, and religious buildings, allegations of war crimes have mounted. Critics worldwide have accused Israel of committing "a textbook case of genocide," citing not only the bloodshed but also comments from Israeli leaders including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

“We are extremely concerned by the Israeli institutional calls for genocide that are being loudly and clearly voiced in Hebrew and believe that they should be seriously taken into consideration as thousands, if not millions, of lives are at stake,” says the letter to the ICC prosecutor.

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Questions related to this article:
How can war crimes be documented, stopped, punished and prevented?

Can International Pressure Stop the War in Gaza?

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“Israeli military personnel and journalists are now openly calling for ethnic cleansing and genocide,” the letter adds. “It is evident that Israel is disregarding the lives of civilians in Gaza, ordering them to evacuate vast areas even as there is no safe place in Gaza to which people can flee.”

The letter to Khan details the remarks from Netanyahu and others calling for or justifying genocide, and urges him to:

° Issue immediate arrest warrants against Israeli political and military-security leaders who are committing war crimes and crimes against humanity;

° Accelerate your investigation into the ongoing crimes being perpetrated at this very moment by the state of Israel, its military forces, and armed Israeli citizens under military protection; and

° Be a validated and balanced platform for alleged crimes arising from the current situation, rather than making reference to unvalidated and unverified claims.

While applauding some of Khan’s statements  in Egypt after his trip to the Rafah border crossing with Gaza last weekend, the letter also says that “we deeply regret that, despite the opening of an investigation, followed by the Pre-Trial Chamber I’s 2021 decision that the court may exercise its criminal jurisdiction over the situation in Palestine, you have so far failed to take concrete action to stop the tragic trajectory of events in our region by holding Israel accountable.”

Khan said that “we need the law more than ever. Not the law in abstract terms, not the law as a theory for academicians, lawyers and judges. But we need to see justice in action. People need to see that the law has an impact on their lives. And this law, this justice, must be focused on the most vulnerable. It should be almost tangible. It is something they should be able to cling on to. It is something that they should be able to embrace when they are faced with so much loss, pain, and suffering.”

The prosecutor spoke about both the Hamas-led attack on Israel, including hostage-taking, and the Israeli war on Gaza, where civilians have been cut off from essentials like food, water, electricity, and medicine. He also highlighted an online portal to which anyone can submit information on alleged war crimes, crimes against humanity, genocide, and crimes of aggression.

Khan asked civil society organizations “to send us any and all evidence that underpins their reports or their communiques or their notices that they issue,” stressing that “reports by themselves are, of course, not evidence and I cannot and will not act pursuant to my oath of office without reliable evidence that we can validate that can stand up in a court of law.”

“I also want to be clear that my office is in the business of conducting credible, relevant, professional, and independent criminal investigations,” he said. “And so I don’t, I haven’t, and I won’t be giving a running commentary on social media, or anywhere else for that matter, regarding the state of investigations in this or any other situation. But the absence of commentary does not mean the absence of investigations.”

(Editor’s note: Public opinion in Israel is seriously split, as indicated by the announcement of another group, calling itself “Doctors for the Rights of Israeli Soldiers” that called for the bombing of Gaza Strip’s largest hospital, claiming that Hamas fighters were using the civilian facility as a base. This was condemned by doctors working in Gaza.)