We Effect’s Secretary General: “Nothing justifies the mass murder of Israeli civilians. Nothing justifies the massacre of civilians in Gaza.”

Anna Tibblin, Secretary General of We Effect, in Jerusalem. Photo: Stefan Håkansson

Schools, hospitals and houses are bombed. People are desperately looking for signs of life in the rubble. They’re carrying dead bodies. Even though I try to avoid them, I’m faced with horrific images in social media. Several show bloody, mutilated and lifeless children.

The people of Gaza are denied clean water, food and medicine. The electricity has been shut off. Humanitarian organizations are describing the situation as hell on earth. Nothing of this is legal: even wars have laws. Nothing can justify Hamas’s horrific mass murder of Israeli civilians. Nothing can justify Israel’s massacre of civilians in Gaza.

I follow the news and the reports from our staff. The death toll is rising so rapidly that it is pointless for me to write down the number of Palestinian civilians who have lost their lives. That number will be out off date before I finish this text. Lives are put out. While the rest of us watch.

We will always defend all people’s equal value and right to life and development. That is our only mandate.

We Effect never take sides in conflicts. We will always defend all people’s equal value and right to life and development. That is our only mandate. We will always stand up for international law. Our work is based on facts and fundamental values.

History is important when trying to understand this decade-long and asymmetric conflict. But nothing of what has happened before justifies what is happening now. Today, according to the UN, the beginning of an ethnic cleansing of Palestinians is underway. We demand an immediate cease-fire and that all those who have committed war crimes are brought to justice.

We Effect is working actively in the West Bank in Palestine. Our efforts there support small-scale farmers to produce food and develop their businesses, strengthen children’s right to education and women’s rights and participation in the formal economy. Here, too, violence is increasing.

The last week around 60 Palestinians in the West Bank was murdered by Israeli military and settlers. The increased Israeli military presence makes it difficult or impossible for people to get to work and school. No Palestinians can cross the border into Jerusalem to get medical care. And when I talk to our colleagues on site, they testify to an insecurity and fear they have not known before. War is imminent, even in the West Bank.

Together with our colleagues, we are preparing for the worst while hoping for the best and doing everything we can to call for a ceasefire and de-escalation of violence.

Anna Tibblin, Secretary General, We Effect