Ceasefire Now – in Ukraine and in Gaza!

Peace Advocate February 2024

Raytheon rally for a ceasefire in Gaza, Nov 3, 2023. Photo: Cole Harrison/ MAPA
Raytheon rally for a ceasefire in Gaza, Nov 3, 2023. Photo: Cole Harrison/ MAPA

by Jeanne Trubek and John Berkowitz

It’s 2024. It’s time to call for a ceasefire, stop the bloodshed, and work for a negotiated end to the war.

Which war? BOTH! We need two ceasefires and negotiations now.

Feb. 24 is the 2nd anniversary of Russia’s direct intervention in the civil war in Ukraine that has been raging since 2014. Hundreds of thousands of Ukrainian and Russian soldiers have been killed, and even more wounded. Thousands of Ukrainian civilians have been killed or wounded and millions have been displaced. Over ten thousand square miles of fertile agricultural land has been destroyed or abandoned and thousands of homes have been demolished. The United States has sent Ukraine over $76 billion, including $47 billion in military aid which just keeps the war going, preventing any move toward negotiations.

Now the United States and the European Union are planning for ten more years of war. The EU has just approved $54 billion which is to be used only for non-military aid, relying on the United States to provide military aid such as weapons systems, training, and intelligence. The White House is still pushing $110 billion in supplementary spending, which includes $50 billion in new military aid.

We must push the United States to change course, and to work towards a ceasefire and negotiations to end this conflict. Even another year or two of this war would be devastating to Ukraine, and could escalate into a direct confrontation between US/NATO and Russia, including the catastrophic possibility of nuclear war.

Meanwhile, just 2000 miles from Kyiv, another immense waste of life is occurring as Israel continues to bomb the residents of Gaza and Israeli settlers, backed by military, increase attacks on Palestinians in the West Bank. On October 7, Hamas and other militant groups attacked Israel, killing about 1200 people. Since that time, Israel has retaliated with overwhelming and indiscriminate force.

After nearly five months of Israel’s war on Gaza, over 28,000 Palestinians have been killed and over 66,000 people have been injured. Thousands more are missing and presumed dead. Gaza itself has been reduced to uninhabitable rubble. Israel has forced the residents of Gaza south to Rafah, the southernmost city in Gaza, and over half of the Palestinians in Gaza are sheltering there. Now Israel is bombing Rafah.

With the increased attacks on Palestinians in the West Bank, with Israel’s threats to Hezbollah in Lebanon, and the US attacks on targets in Yemen, Syria and Iraq, the bombardment of Gaza is sparking what threatens to become a regional war, further increasing the risk of world conflagration.

It’s time to bring both wars to an end. It’s time for the countries of the world to find diplomatic—not military—solutions to conflicts.

The enormous resources that are consumed by waging war could be used to improve, rather than destroy, the lives of millions. These wars: kill and maim countless combatants and civilians; lead to devastation of the environment; use our tax dollars to pay for the carnage; contribute to the rise of violence in our own society; and threaten to bring the planet to the brink of nuclear war.

Join MAPA and allied peace groups this coming Saturday, February 24th, at Boston’s Downtown Crossing, for a rally at 1:00 pm to call for:



Jeanne Trubek is a member of Watertown Citizens for Peace, Justice and the Environment and of Massachusetts Peace Action. John Berkowitz lives in Northampton, and has opposed wars and U.S. foreign policy from Vietnam to Ukraine and Palestine.