International law is fraying at the seams. Or more like a paper bag trying to hold water, slowly disintegrating. Universal human rights have been unmasked, exposing the principles they were actually created upon, by white Western communities to serve white Western communities. 

It makes me rather nervous. The United States and Israel have only crossed, but blown through so many red lines, understood to be internationally agreed upon moral standards. The question I continue to ask myself then is, who’s next? And how will we protect humanity?

It’s clear the current standards only benefit the bullies. It’s time for new rules.

Years ago at peace camp, I participated in an activity that I continue to think about to this day. Your group sits down to a dinner, hamburgers work well because they have a lot of components to them. There are two rules. You cannot put anything on your own plate, and you cannot ask for anything to be given to you. It forces the group to attend to the needs of your neighbour. You must actively attend to other’s needs, engage in conversation with the people at your table and learn what they prefer to put on their hamburger. And you must practice patience to allow others to respond to your needs. It embodies collective rights, community care, mutual aid. 

These are the types of values we need to structure international law on, the individual focus has got to go. 

Not only is the occupation of Palestine making our world less safe for Jewish, Palestinian, and Arab communities and diasporas, it is also having an immense impact on the climate crisis, which affects every single one of us. 

We exist together. And we will not find peace together until we reckon with our interdependence and build an international community that supports one another, actively attending to our neighbour’s needs so the whole table can be fed.

Hannah Redekop

Hannah Redekop

CPT Communications Associate

Send Hannah a note: peacemakers@cpt.org

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