Do More Than Give Peace a Chance

Today I got an email from Brett Solomon of Avaaz asking me to sign a petition for peace in the Middle East.

Avaaz is an independent, not-for-profit global campaigning organization that works to ensure that the views and values of the world's people inform global decision-making. (Avaaz means "voice" in many languages.)

Avaaz receives no money from governments or corporations, and is staffed by a global team based in Ottawa, London, Rio de Janeiro, New York, Buenos Aires, and Geneva.

The eamail starts like this:

The Gaza crisis has exploded -- put your name to our emergency petition demanding a ceasefire. We'll deliver it immediately to the UN Security Council, the Arab League, the US and other world leaders!

Take Action Now

It goes on to say:

As we watch the Gaza bloodshed with horror, appalled at how the crisis is spiraling further out of control, one thing is clear -- this violence will only lead to further civilian suffering and an escalation of the conflict.

There must be another way. Over 280 are dead so far in the Gaza Strip and hundreds more injured -- rockets are striking Ashdod deep inside Israel for the very first time, and the sides are mobilising for invasion. A global outcry has begun, but it'll take more than words -- the immediate violence won't end, nor will wider peace be secured, without firm action from the international community.

Today, we're launching an emergency campaign which will be delivered to the UN Security Council and key world powers, urging them to act to ensure an immediate ceasefire and address the growing humanitarian crisis -- only with robust international oversight and action can civilians on all sides be protected and real steps be taken toward a wider peace.

Follow this link now to sign the emergency petition and send it to everyone you know:

http://www.avaaz.org/en/gaza_time_for_peace/?cl=162312807&v=2608

After Gaza's bloodiest day in recent memory and eight or more years of ineffective US and global diplomacy, we need to get world leaders to do more than issue statements if they're to ensure a lasting ceasefire.

Through the UN Security Council and other international bodies, the world can provide the help and pressure needed to stop the violence and change the situation on the ground in Gaza -- preventing the rockets and incursions, re-opening crossing-points under international oversight so that instead of weapon-smuggling, the 1.5 million ordinary people of Gaza can get the fuel, food and medicines they so desperately need.

All sides to the conflict will continue to act as they have in the past if they believe that the world will stand by and allow them to do so. We mobilised for a ceasefire in 2006's Israel-Lebanon war and succeeded, but this time the international community must not delay -- let's raise a truly worldwide outcry.

2009 is a year that things can be different. As we face this crisis, and the possibilities of a new year, it's time for us everywhere to work together to stop this violence.

Enough is enough. I invite you to join me and sign this petition. There's also a place at the petition link to invite your friends to sign as well.

It's time to stop fighting. It doesn't matter who's wrong or right. In fact, probably nobody is wrong or right. Most of us just want to live in peace and harmony without bombs and rockets and killing.

In the timeless words of John Lennon: all we are saying, is give peace a chance. This video was filmed live in Toronto, Canada in 1969; 40 years later, we're still asking for the same thing.