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The violence in Israel and Palestine continues to deepen. Israeli troops have begun what many predict will be a prolonged ground assault in Northern Gaza. The lives of millions of Palestinians and the hostages held by Hamas hang in the balance.

It is increasingly clear that it is not enough to only react to these horrors. Instead, we must shift to preventing violent conflict and atrocities before they take place.

It is easy to become overwhelmed in such moments. Amid our profound sadness, our continued engagement is paramount. Our advocacy for peace is making a difference. Together, we are creating space for a growing number of lawmakers to speak out for a ceasefire.

“A military solution has never been and never will be a solution,” FCNL’s Odeliya Matter reminded us during our Israel-Palestine briefing last week. “And I think the motto ‘war is not the answer’ is ringing stronger than ever.”

Odeliya’s words seem especially resonant today. We are facing some of the highest levels of global violence since World War II as other wars continue to rage in Ukraine, Sudan, Yemen, and elsewhere.

As people who seek a world free of war, we are called to respond to each of these crises. But it is increasingly clear that it is not enough to only react to these horrors. Instead, we must shift to preventing violent conflict and atrocities before they take place.

We know peacebuilding programs can reduce violent conflict and human suffering while saving taxpayer dollars. Yet, U.S. support for this work has been persistently underfunded.

With a new Speaker finally installed in the House, funding the government past its Nov. 17 extended deadline is the most pressing item on Congress’s agenda.

This is why FCNL’s Advocacy Teams are working tirelessly to secure federal funding for peacebuilding and why dozens of us will lobby Congress to support robust funding for these programs in the FY2024 spending bills during  FCNL’s Annual Meeting and Quaker Public Institute.

With a new Speaker finally installed in the House, this work is accelerating rapidly. Funding the government past its Nov. 17 extended deadline is the most pressing item on Congress’s agenda. Lawmakers and their staff are making decisions right now that will shape the spending debate in the coming weeks.

We need a new way forward. By advocating to realign our nation’s spending priorities, we can begin the critical work of shifting from conflict response to conflict prevention.  

Jessie Palatucci

Jessie Palatucci
(she/her)

Director of Digital Communications
Jessie Palatucci oversees FCNL’s digital advocacy program and web communications. She writes extensively for FCNL’s digital publications and communicates with advocates throughout the U.S.