Message from Chief Editor Raffaele Crocco

I wish people will refrain from referring to the ongoing events in Gaza as a “war”. War implies a conflict between armed forces vying for territory, power, wealth or a role. What is happening in Gaza is the brutal killing of defenceless people by a secret Government. If words have any truth, they should be used accurately. There is no war in the deaths of thousands of children, the destruction of hospitals and the annihilation of civilians, homes and culture. It is a crime. I wish that Christmas would inspire the use of the right words to convey the horror and help people understand the truth about the ongoing massacre in Gaza.

I wish people would stop saying that COP28 in Dubai was an extraordinary opportunity to take action on climate change. Supposedly, for the first time, there was talk of phasing out fossil fuels as a source of energy. Unfortunately, this shift is not expected to happen until 2050, well beyond the time needed to stop the relentless rise in global average temperatures. It will come when millions have been forced to flee floods, desertification and famine, and when Pacific islands have disappeared. The lie that hides the failure of the Dubai climate conference is dangerous and deadly. So I wish for Christmas to give us the courage to face the reality we are now facing, and the strength to find appropriate solutions.

I wish that pacifism is no longer perceived as a weak and naive idea, detached from reality and life. Peace should be recognised and lived for what it is: a reality in opposition to the existing political, economic and social model. Building a world of peace requires concrete action. It means not only silencing weapons, but also dismantling barriers, privileges and economic distortions. It means creating opportunities, safe and just places, imagining ways to eradicate hunger and ensure health care, work and education. It means ‘levelling’ the world, moving away from the notion that only war can drive progress. So I wish for Christmas the strength and determination to make possible what is dismissed as utopia, to make it every day and familiar.

These are three things I wish for Christmas – three gifts I hope to receive and give. I also want to keep faith: faith that one day it will all be possible, faith that the future world will be better than the one we live in now, and faith that what we have done so far has been worthwhile. If these are the gifts, it will be a good Christmas indeed.

Cover photo by Didecs/