Israel / Palestine

A new war between Hamas and Israel threatens to change the modern landscape and draw the entire Middle East into conflict. Millions of innocents are in the cross-fire.

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Your support helps HUMANITE respond with food, shelter, and medical support to the 100,000+ innocent civilians who have been displaced.
Israel / Palestine

Crisis Briefing

On October 7, 2023, Hamas launched the deadliest terror attack on Israel in 50 years, killing hundreds of innocent Israelis and displacing tens of thousands more. Hamas characterizes the attacks as a response to decades of oppression by the state of Israel.

In response to the Hamas terror attacks, Israel Prime Minister Netanyahu announced that the country was “at war” and warned of a massive retaliatory response. By day’s end, Israeli airstrikes had killed hundreds of Palestinians, destroyed buildings, and displaced tens of thousands of innocent civilians.

While it is hard to say what precisely comes next, it is our anticipation that the future of this conflict has just been reshaped for a very long time. This is not “just another one” like the past.

I’m confused by all the stories I see online. Who is the good guy or bad guy here?

For decades, innocent people across Israel / Palestine have been attacked in their offices, cafés, buses, and beds. Airstrikes kill innocents in Gaza. Rockets and suicide bombings kill innocents in Israel. It is tempting, indeed easy, to join the throngs of people unilaterally declaring one side holy and the other side evil. But when it comes to long histories and entire populations, this is reductionistic and harmful. Two ruling powers can both be wrong. Two ruling powers can both be right. And two ruling powers can be both wrong and right at the same time.

Each ruling power gives up the moral high ground of their position and their people when they wantonly attack innocent civilians. Each ruling power risks dragging out or escalating the conflict for another generation. In fact, sometimes it seems this is exactly what both sides want, as it justifies their struggle, their relevance, and their existence. 

But innocent Israelis and Palestinians should not be targeted for the actions of their governments. Non-combatants are always protected under international law.

When the ruling powers of Israel or Gaza repeatedly violate these humanitarian principles, they reveal the worst parts of themselves and make it harder and harder for people of good faith to support the just merits of their cause.

But each community is also capable of compromise, goodwill, and selfless leadership. And when ruling powers risk something they hold dear in order to affirm the humanity of the other side, they reveal the best parts of themselves and make it easier for people of good faith to support the just merits of their cause.

Who started it? 

The creation of the modern state of Israel in 1948 resulted in the catastrophic displacement of the majority of Palestinian Arabs—Christian and Muslim. This annexation and dispossession is precisely the kind of ethnic cleansing that the modern West has sought to denounce and prevent (see Saddam Hussein’s “Arabization” of the Kurds in Iraq or the Russian annexation of eastern Ukraine). But in this case, the state of Israel was allowed to take land from indigenous communities, and continued doing so mostly unabated for 75 years.

But was this the start? Jews who came to Israel at that time had just lived through the Holocaust, the catastrophic event that killed millions and forced millions more from their countries (Germany, Poland, etc), making them refugees. For many, the Holocaust was the start.

Still, those who focus on the conflict through a religious lens go back to the Crusades.

There are no easy answers. There are only points of view, dominant narratives, and strongly held positions. In a conflict this old and complex, “who started it” is not the path to peace. Who will end it? And how? These are the pressing questions of life and death today.

Do you condemn Israel / Hamas?

Yes. When the ruling powers target and/or indiscriminately kill innocent civilians and non-combatants, we unconditionally condemn their actions.

We reject the distortion that Israeli settlers are de facto combatants.

And we reject the distortion that Palestinians living under the rule of Hamas are de facto combatants.

Being present in a certain geographic region alone does not and cannot make someone a legitimate target of war, of self-defense, or of resistance. We condemn all acts of violence, aggression, and sanction against innocent civilians from both sides.

What is HUMANITE doing to respond?

HUMANITE Peace Collective has members, partners, and a network of friends across Israel and the Palestinian territories, including Gaza and the West Bank. We work arm-in-arm to nurture strong, cooperative relationships across enemy lines. From “we belong to each other”-style meetups to collective action to provide food, shelter, and medical care to people in need during times of violence, our collective, our staff, and our members are holding the line for peace as we raise empathy and action for those in need, regardless of geography, creed, or blood.

Our Response

How to Help

When you give, you accelerate HUMANITE's local efforts and holistic approach to peace. Here’s a look at our work in Israel / Palestine:

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Relief

Rapid delivery of food, medicine, and other vital essentials to help residents survive violence and displacement.

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Shelter

Providing safe shelter for families who have been displaced by airstrikes.

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Mental Health

Helping children manage their post-traumatic stress with emotional support, skills development, and education.

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Peacemaking

Outreach, education, cooperation, and media to bridge divides and promote peace across Palestinian and Israeli communities.

About HUMANITE

In 2003, the U.S. invaded Iraq. Within a few years, terrorism, war, and militia defined the Middle East.

Most of our founders were raised in the troubles of war. Two moved from America to help. All found each other working for peace.

Today, 20 years after they first began, HUMANITE carries on that legacy, closing the gaps in fragile states that lead to violence.
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Needs & Numbers

1,840,000

Palestinians displaced in Gaza.

1,200

Israelis killed (mostly civilian); 240 Israeli hostages taken by Hamas.

0
%

remaining capacity in hospitals for the injured in Gaza.

50

%

of the residents in Gaza are starving.

Do you realize the difference you can make?

Yes! I want to work for peace!
I want to humanize everyone;
Alleviate suffering for refugees;
And build our future!

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Israel / Palestine

Frequently Asked Questions

Are you helping on both sides? 
Yes. HUMANITE prioritizes help “where needed most” while also working to build bridges and sustain relationships and networks that span religious, ethnic, and political lines. In Israel, we have local partners who share a border with Gaza with whom we’re working on long-term peace projects. In Gaza, HUMANITE Peace Collective is responding directly.
How can HUMANITE help in Gaza if there is a total blockade?
HUMANITE had been preparing for an escalation of violence prior to the outbreak of war on October 7, 2023. As a result, we have some collective resources prepositioned. Additionally, there is some access still through Egypt. Any significant scale-up may ultimately require humanitarian supplies to be allowed to cross into Gaza through a negotiated deal with the Israeli Defense Forces. Many NGOs and diplomats are working diligently to secure such humanitarian provisions for innocent civilians.
Where is help needed most?
Though it is a small consolation in the midst of such tragedy, Israel’s very advanced society, infrastructure, freedom of movement, and social sector has allowed for a rapid response for most everyone’s immediate needs. Food, healthcare, and shelter are generally available to those who need it. 

Unfortunately, the people of Gaza live without the infrastructure, freedom of movement, and social services enjoyed by their Israeli neighbors just minutes away. As the 3rd-most densely populated place on the planet, Gazans are landlocked, even as thousands of airstrikes fall on their children. Without escape, they are displaced, injured, and die at greater rates. Without the freedom to generate their own food, electricity, etc, they live at the mercy of humanitarian services, especially during times like these.

Still have questions?

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