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Preventive Diplomacy, Not Pre-Emptive Strikes

Finally, the United Nations Security Council has unanimously agreed a resolution to end the crisis in Lebanon. Now, the first priority must be a full and immediate ceasefire to end the suffering of unarmed civilians and make way for peace. The international community must be guided in their actions by a common conviction that violence is never a viable solution.

We, the authors of this article, as well as the organization we represent, the Socialist International, have always defended Israel’s right to exist and defend itself. We wish to see Israeli citizens living in peace and security alongside all their neighbors. We have consistently condemned attacks that target innocent Israelis.

Israel claims its actions in Gaza and Lebanon are designed to safeguard its own security. However, indiscriminate use of force and continued occupation will never give Israel lasting security. The response to Hezbollah’s initial aggression, as well as Israel’s military response in Gaza, is disproportionate. The devastation in Lebanon will take generations to repair, not only materially, but also psychologically. Hezbollah, which claims it is fighting for Lebanese independence and sovereignty, also bears responsibility for unacceptable aggression, placing the lives of innocent Israelis and Lebanese at stake.

We are convinced that the way these policies are carried out will only deepen mistrust, heighten polarization, and embed hatred between neighbors who have to learn to live with each other. A military solution is not viable. War is strengthening the hand of those who regard terror as the only effective weapon, thus creating a breeding ground for more violence, insecurity, and extremism across the Middle East. With moderates being marginalized, the long-term effect will be to undermine democratization efforts in the region.