WORLD AFFAIRS | PROSPERITY | PEACE

Okay I think we need some peace now

(and here is how to do it)

Francis Laleman
8 min readOct 10, 2023

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Air strike on Gaza City, Oct 9, 2023 — photo: AFP/Mahmud Hams

Okay. We have robbed them of the orchards of their forefathers. We have stolen from them their houses and everything they had. We have othered them, downgraded them to second rate citizens, and if they weren’t happy with the way we have treated them, we have chased them away and locked them in.

Before, we were their guests and they were our hosts and they have valued our diversity for centuries.

Content with this, we were not. We wanted more. We wanted it all.

We keep hurting them.

And then, when we have treated them like dogs for generations, and finally the hurt souls we always wanted them to be they became — like a mortally wounded animal, they snarl. Which is when we kill them “for their own and everybody’s good.”

The Battle of Bogside, Derry, Northern Ireland, August 12, 1969 — image by Peter Ferraz, Getty Images

We’ve had enough

My life has seen too many of such stories of violence. We keep othering the others. I grew up with stories of Holocaust and Partition. I’ve seen Korea, The Great American War in Vietnam, The Troubles (Na Trioblóidí) in Ireland, an-Naksah (the Six-Day War) in Palestine, now Israel. I’ve seen Rwanda, Sudan, the list goes on and on and on. Syria, where Michaela and I have left footprints and tears in the rubble of what was Quneitra on the Golan Heights. Yemen. Ukraine. Manipur, the Summer of 2023 (in India of all places: the haven that in better times was the mother of non-violence). And how to kill indigeneity by claiming it (see this). Again and again and again.

And now Gaza. Yes. Gaza once more. Where two million people sit packed together on a narrow strip of land 40 km long and nowhere more than 12 km wide — surrounded and locked-in by forbidden zones and walls and barbed wire on land, sea and air.

And we are letting migrants die in unworthy boats at sea. Because they are others, and we don’t care. How is it, that we humans are capable of committing such atrocities?

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Francis Laleman

a husband, father, painter, writer, educationist, designer, facilitator. author of “Resourceful Exformation” (a book on facilitation) available from Amazon.