Sunday, November 18, 2012

Help the people of Gaza

I don’t endorse violence of any kind from any party. I do think it is wrong to target civilian populations of any kind. But Israel has kept Gaza under siege for years; it is an open air prison, and Israel will not lift the siege. Palestinians have tried non-violent resistance,  diplomacy and rockets to achieve justice. Israel has said no to all three. It is time for Israel to negotiate with the people who were democratically elected in Gaza by an overwhelming majority: Hamas.

My heart aches when I think about what is going on in Gaza. If you feel the same, don’t just sit there feeling powerless, engulfed by a terrible sympathy, do something. For example:

1/ Boycott Israeli goods, and especially those from illegal Israeli settlements; and don’t invest in international companies which work to enable the oppression of the Palestinian people

2/ Give money to charities helping the people in Gaza. Medical Aid for Palestinians, and the Red Cross and the Red Crescent, are charities which I know have an agenda of non-violence

3/ Write to your elected representative and urge them to demand that Israel stop the bombing

4/ Demonstrate against the bombing

5/ Tell other people the truth about the situation to counteract the lies from the Israeli government and the bias of the mainstream media. Here are five truths to get you started:

  • Israel has many illegal settlements on Palestinian land, and is expanding them, breaking international law;
  • Israel is breaking international law by collectively punishing the people of Gaza - not just by bombing them, but by restricting their freedom of movement, and their access to humanitarian aid, power and medical supplies;
  • Hamas was democratically elected by the majority of the Palestinian people in an election judged fair and free by impartial international observers
  • Israel bulldozes Palestinian houses and steals Palestinian land and water and cut down hundreds of their olive trees (their livelihood) and harass them in their everyday lives;
  • Israel practises apartheid e.g. there are Israeli-only roads, and housing which Arabs cannot rent.

6/ Forward friends a link to this post. This is it.

7/ Don't despair. The campaign to abolish slavery must have seemed like an impossible task when it first began. 


p.s.  I do not endorse violence of any kind - not even the rockets from Hamas, but it is time for Israel to sit down and negotiate with Hamas, a democratically elected government.

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