Sprouts of peace amid shots of war

As Israel escalates its counteroffensive against the Hamas military in Gaza, another intense effort has begun in the Middle East. It is one that favors a strategy of nonviolence and builds off rising sentiments against the futility of violence to resolve grievances or claim dominance.

Diplomats, for example, are shuttling between capitals to seek a consensus on a “humanitarian pause” in the Gaza fighting. The Palestinian Authority that rules the West Bank has reasserted its commitment to peaceful tactics as one reason for it to govern postwar Gaza. And in a bold statement Oct. 26, nine Arab countries rejected “attacks on civilians, all acts of violence and terrorism against civilians.”

Note the “all acts of violence.” In decades past, many of those states – Egypt, Jordan, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Qatar, Kuwait, and Morocco – might have supported an attack on Israel like the one by Hamas on Oct. 7, or even joined in. Not at this historic moment.