Washington, DC – Today Congressman Jamie Raskin (MD-08) released the following statement calling for the immediate release of the 239 hostages captured by Hamas, an end to the violence in Israel, Gaza and the West Bank, and a forward-looking strategy to ensure peace and security for all people in the region.

“Now is the time for American strategic, diplomatic and political leadership to press for a breakthrough change in the relentless and dangerous dynamics of war and violence. The world has seen enough death and destruction.

“We must work with Israel and all our democratic allies, as well as the United Nations, to end the horrific carnage of this war that began on October 7, 2023, with Hamas’s vicious terrorist attack. We must establish the framework for a just and durable peace and the democratic reconstruction of the region.

“The multilateral negotiations taking place right now under the auspices of Qatar should be a first step towards a forward-looking strategy providing hope for peace, justice, and the end of terrorism. In order to succeed, the world must accomplish these basic components:

  1. The immediate release of all 239 hostages being unlawfully held by Hamas (and other terrorist groups).
  2. The immediate cessation of hostilities against any civilian targets in order to save the lives of endangered women, children, infants and other noncombatants.
  3. A mutually agreed-upon bilateral humanitarian pause or mutually agreed-upon ceasefire to provide for a “global humanitarian surge” of aid to hundreds of thousands of displaced and suffering innocent civilians throughout Gaza.
  4. The removal of Hamas from operational control of Gaza and the initiation of multilateral negotiations, which include the Palestinian Authority, to arrive at the long sought-after but much-derailed two-state solution, focused on the creation of a democratic sovereign Palestinian state and the reinforcement of the security of a democratic Israel, both with safe and permanent borders. This should be accompanied by the initiation of indictments and prosecutions of the planners and perpetrators of the terrorist violence of October 7. 
  5. A Marshall Plan-style global reconstruction effort channeling the energies and resources of the world not into violence and war but into peace, social and municipal rebuilding of devastated areas in Gaza and Israel, and a renewed investment in education, health, social welfare and the rule of law to nourish the growth of democracy in the Middle East.

“We live in a time of extraordinary challenge and difficulty. The world needs a lot more hope and vision to break the cycles of violence and hatred that have cost thousands of lives just this month.

“It is natural for all of us to feel helpless before the magnitude of all this violence and suffering. But we must not despair. We must instead do whatever we can to stand by the rule of law and to work together for peace and security for all.”