Mal versöhnlich, mal fordernd lesen sich die Stellungnahmen unmittelbar Betroffener – in der Region und aus der rotarischen Familie.
Rajai M. Nuseibeh, CSE, MBA
Rotary Club of East Jerusalem, Project's Chair
Over the last 5 weeks, Over 2.2 million civilians in the Gaza Strip have been struggling to live without access to basic human needs like water, food, electricity, internet, and shelter.
Over 11'000 Civilians including 4500 children and 3500 women have been killed, there is no access to clean water, over 22 Hospitals went out of service and many others are unable to serve the needy, Babies in incubators & patients in Hospital beds are dying in Gaza due to a lack of electricity or fuel for generators. t. Emergency responders are unable to reach injured civilians who are bleeding to death in the streets or under the rebel. Several prominent organizations like the United Nations Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, World Food Programme (WFP), and World Health Organization (WHO) have declared the Gaza Strip as a disaster area (see attached list of references).
Rotary is “an international organization that brings together local leaders in order to provide humanitarian services.” Rotarians have a shared responsibility to take action on the world’s most persistent issues! And we as Rotarians need to move. The Rotary Clubs of East Jerusalem, along with the Rotary Clubs of Palestine are calling on all Rotarians, who are concerned with the ongoing loss of life and humanitarian hardship to appeal to Rotary International to take meaningful actions.
We are asking for your help as a Rotarian and a Human being in:
- Adding your voice to the growing list of Rotarians demanding that Rotary International recognize Gaza as a catastrophic region and to the Rotary Foundation to immediately initiate a global humanitarian crisis fund. It is only through the wish of Rotary members that the Rotary Foundation can initiate a fund to make a difference in the lives of people affected by the conflict. It is our obligation as ROTARIANS to take immediate action NOW by signing the following petition: https://forms.gle/unBeGuSvp68qzHKW8
- Reaching out and spreading the word to your fellow network of Rotarians, clubs, and Districts.
- Getting in touch with the Clubs in Palestine and the region, Presidents, and Rotarians, and offer your help, many clubs are running several projects, Local, regional, and Global, in addition to supporting many international organizations that are working to get basic human needs, food, water, shelter, cloths, warm meals into Gaza, there is a lot that needs to be done.
The Rotary Peace Fellowship Alumni Association Board
Priyanka Borpujari (ICU 18) ● Kathy Doherty (Chula 25) ● Rukmini Iyer (Chula 15) Spencer Leung (Chula 15) ● Florence Maher (ICU 17)
Regina Mutiru Mwendwa (Bradford 14) ● Natalia Sineaeva (Chula 25)
The Global Rotary Peace Fellows call for an immediate cease-fire in Gaza, the protection of non-combatants, including children, the return of hostages, enabling of humanitarian access in Gaza as well as the complete observance of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights Law by combatants of the Israeli-Palestinian crisis.
The undersigned alumni and current fellows of the Rotary Peace Fellowship express their views in this statement. It does not necessarily represent the views of Rotary International, the Rotary Foundation, all Rotarians, or all Rotary Peace Fellows. Those wishing to become supporting signatories to the letter can sign it here.
"In the cold, shivering twilight, preceding the daybreak of civilization, the dominating emotion of man was fear." In the midst of one of history’s darkest hours, these words by a visionary Chicago lawyer, Paul Harris, the founder of Rotary International, dared to envision a world marked by unity, collaboration, and lasting friendships. His simple yet profound idea was to establish a round table where people from all walks of life could come together to exchange ideas, foster lifelong connections, and give back to their communities.
This initial round table gathering evolved into one of the world’s largest humanitarian service organizations. With a presence worldwide, Rotary played a significant role in the foundation of the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights, ushering in a new era of international cooperation. Rotary gave rise to the Rotary Foundation, which in turn created the global Rotary Peace Fellowship, numbering 1,700 fellows in more than 140 countries, many of whom are also Rotarians. Rotary Peace Fellows stand as highly specialized champions of peace, serve as leaders in governments, NGOs, arts, health, education, research institutions, peacekeeping, law enforcement, and international organizations like the United Nations and the World Bank.
Rotary Peace Fellows recognize the vital role of international cooperation in addressing global challenges, and firmly believe in finding common ground in the face of conflict. We consider ourselves not only citizens of nations where we live and work but also global citizens, working in partnership with our communities and each other, even during the most challenging times. Rotary Peace Fellows emphasize the importance of promoting universal human rights and respecting the dignity of all individuals.
We condemn the killing and kidnapping of Israeli civilians in the October 7 attack by Hamas militants. We further condemn the killing of Palestinian civilians by the Israeli government in their retaliatory assault on Gaza, resulting in more than 10,000 deaths so far, including over 4,000 children. The ongoing airstrikes and ground invasion which have so far displaced more than a million people can be stopped. We also condemn Israel’s bombing campaign in Gaza, which has targeted civilians, refugee camps, hospitals, worship places, UNRWA schools, many of which have been places of shelter in the past. We mourn with, and for, our international peacebuilding colleagues, friends, and many other humanitarian personnel.
We cannot ignore the human rights abuses and the collective punishment we are witnessing and that many of our colleagues and fellow humans are experiencing in Gaza. We also acknowledge the far-reaching consequences this conflict will have not only for those directly affected in the Middle East region but for the well-being of our world. Thousands of Palestinians have lost their homes, and the entire population urgently needs medicine, food, water, and electricity. This will almost inevitably lead to generations of enmity and further polarization in the Middle East, rather than moving toward peace with justice.
As Rotary Peace Fellows whose beliefs are anchored in non violent conflict resolution:
● We call for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire, the unconditional release of all hostages, and the removal of any obstacles to delivering humanitarian aid to Gaza.
● We urge the combatants on the Palestinian and Israeli sides to abide by international humanitarian law anchored in the Geneva Conventions.
● We call on the international community to support humanitarian efforts by organizations such as the United Nations, Rotary International, Doctors Without Borders, Red Cross/Crescent, and other humanitarian groups, enabling them to deliver humanitarian aid, including food, water, medicine, and fuel, to more than 2 million Gazan civilians.
● We call on the governments of the United States, United Kingdom, European Union, and others to end military aid to the state of Israel that supports the flow of weapons used on innocent civilians.
● We strongly support non-violent initiatives in the region to address the structural violence that Palestinians have faced daily for the past 75 years and end the Israeli occupation.
● We call for psychosocial support resources to be made available to all people impacted by this conflict.
● We call for the voices and experiences of Palestinian and Israeli civilians to be centered in all decision-making regarding their shared future, including direct representation of these groups in the leadership of any future conflict resolution processes.
● We denounce all expressions of Islamophobia and anti-Semitism.
We call on permanent members of the United Nations, including the United States, to support UN Security Council resolutions that not only condemn the Hamas attacks in Israel, but also demand a humanitarian cease-fire and an immediate end to Israel’s bombardment of Gaza in order to support negotiations that can lay out conditions for a permanent ceasefire, including support for Gaza’s reconstruction.
We understand that the crisis in Palestine and Israel illustrates how violence can perpetuate more violence and we urge the global community to emphasize the importance of breaking this cycle.
As Rotary Peace Fellows, we recognize the inherent dignity and human rights of all members of the human family as the foundation of freedom, justice, and peace, as outlined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
We call on our fellow citizens of the world to unite as a global community to uphold these values, and support essential humanitarian and peacebuilding processes. We ask you not to turn away from what is becoming another one of history’s darkest hours, and we ask you to join the movement for an immediate Ceasefire Now.
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