Our Principles

1. Even in wartime, it is crucial to recognize the humanity of all individuals on all sides, and to neither downplay nor ignore any injustice and to acknowledge the suffering of civilians from both sides.

2. While critically examining power imbalance, with special consideration of the weak and oppressed side, is essential, it cannot be used to compromise the fundamental human rights such as the right to life. This includes being unequivocally opposed to atrocities, rape, and torture. Employing the power imbalance perspective in such cases may lead to a leniency towards atrocities perpetrated by actors associated with the weaker side, undermining the universality of the most fundamental human rights. The perspective of power imbalance should bolster humanism rather than undermine it.

3. Individuals must not be seen merely as representations of collectives, histories, events, or political identities, nor should the expression of opinions lead to punishment. Thus, the killing of Gazan civilians must not be justified, the return of Israeli hostages must be prioritized, and violence against Israelis must be opposed, regardless of the ideological stances of any of the parties involved. Only those who have engaged in combat can be considered legitimate targets under international law.

4. We examine the roots of violence on both sides, including the Israeli occupation and oppression, and the ideologies and actions of groups like Hamas and its counterparts, including Jewish extreme right-wing elements, which advocate for the destruction or expulsion of others.

5. Effective human rights efforts should be forward-looking, considering the foreseeable implications on the human rights landscape associated with any developments, including potential risks. For instance, advocating for a ceasefire is an important step, but the proposed solution must consider all potential risks for all sides, to prevent reverting to the way things were on October 6.

6. Hamas's disregard for the rules of warfare under international humanitarian law does not absolve Israel from its obligations to these rules.

7. We demand practical solutions, not merely a rhetoric of good intentions. Relevant decision‑makers, including the international community, must present actionable ways for Gazans and Israelis to live in security, equality, and freedom, without human rights violations, or at the very least that these harms will be minimized as much as possible.

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