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1.9 Billion Muslims Say That Escalation Isn’t Going to Work With the Palestinians This Time

Freedom of expression gets a raise.

6 min readNov 1, 2023


It is possible to be a pacifist and not be anti-Israeli or anti-Palestinian. I am pro-peace, anti-war. I do not support terrorism or guilt by association. I believe that there are a billion other ways to settle the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians without violence. War isn’t the only answer. Escalation only begets more escalation.

I found a good example of someone who works in the public sphere, someone who knows what he’s talking about, and who can be pro-peace without impugning either side. In remarks to the United Nations General Assembly, Secretary-General Antonio Guterres had this to say on October 26, 2023:

I have condemned unequivocally the horrifying and unprecedented 7 October acts of terror by Hamas in Israel.

Nothing can justify the deliberate killing, injuring and kidnapping of civilians — or the launching of rockets against civilian targets.

And in the same speech, he continued…

It is important to also recognize the attacks by Hamas did not happen in a vacuum.

The Palestinian people have been subjected to 56 years of suffocating occupation.

There is that word again, “vacuum”. I know that word well, and I know how to use it.

The war in Ukraine didn’t happen in a vacuum. The war in Israel didn’t happen in a vacuum. Often, our wars are framed as if they happened in a vacuum. They are reported without much context or history. Often, the protagonists in a conflict are determined by the money behind them.

Notice that when I spoke of the war in Israel, I didn’t use the phrase, “in Palestine” because you know what? Judging by Israel’s actions, Israel intends to take all of the land and displace the Palestinians completely. Below is a picture of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sporting a map of Israel with no Gaza, and no West Bank. That’s why Israel is prosecuting the war.