79 Comments

Action for Gaza: 20 things you can do right now

Why are we taking action?

People are dying. Lots of people are commenting on this page about where the ‘blame’ really lies and that I’m not mentioning Hamas, or the history of the area. People are saying I’m demonising Israel and suggesting we shouldn’t take action unless we understand everything to do with the conflict. To those people I say; these are humans, people just like you and me, and our children. They are the neighbours of the Israeli people. I appeal to you to look at this from a humanitarian standpoint and think with your heart.

See this message from the people of Israel. Beautiful people protesting for peace:

(With thanks to Combatants for Peace – organisation of ex-combatants from Israel and Palestine, now working for peace)

This goes beyond the killing, and beyond the fact that thousands of people will now need to live with life-changing injuries. The latest reports from Oxfam and the UN  talks of around 475,000 relying on shelters. This is causing a public health emergency which could see many more thousands dying. Furthermore, the UN says that over 360,000 children will need psychosocial services to deal with the trauma they have experienced. I highly recommend reading the UN OCHA report – so that you can see the scale of this emergency.

United Nations OCHA Sit Rep report: ‘At least 326,000 children require direct and specialized psychosocial support (PSS). Children are showing symptoms of increasing distress, including bed wetting, clinging to parents and nightmares.’

Oxfam: ‘Many people are getting as little as three litres of safe water a day, far below international emergency standards. Massive destruction of water and sewage systems and electricity supplies has reduced water supply to Gaza’s entire population of 1.8 million people. Spills of raw sewage threaten to contaminate water sources and the threat of disease is rising. There are already reports of 30 cases of meningitis, as well as skin diseases among children and cases of gastroenteritis.’

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Take action! 20 things you can do!

In an age where we are connected to one another as never before, there is always something you can do; some way to be heard, to build towards peace.

This is a collaborative page full of ideas submitted by people taking action in their own way. Please read, share, and tell us about your own action for peace and equality! 

1) Join a protest

Stop the War is involved in organising events as are Friends of Al Aqsa.  You can also donate to both these organisations to help them to continue to run events.

National protest in London, UK on Saturday 9 August. Stop the War is organising transport from around the country.

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2) Petition the UK government to send a fully stocked hospital ship (moored off Cornwall) to provide urgent medical aid to the people of Gaza. 

“We started up a campaign late on Saturday to send state-of-the-art British hospital ship RFA Argus to Gaza. She is currently moored in her home port of Falmouth here in Cornwall. We have a petition which has already got 567 signatures. Please also like our Facebook page. . Our local MP has written to the Ministry of Defence, the local paper has run an article and Pirate FM is doing a news broadcast tomorrow” – Veronica Vickery

3) Send messages of love, peace, hope and support to people in Palestine. The simplest way to do so is through Twitter. People in Gaza are tweeting less due to lack of power, but there are plenty still going when they can. Find them via the hashtags #supportgaza, #gazaunderattack and #icc4Israel. I follow several, so you can also look at my list @fullerbobs.

4) First, let me take a selfie; visual petition to Downing Street  “I’ve started a campaign on Facebook. An online petition of people’s ‘selfies’ with them holding a sign or a message to the government asking them to stop being neutral about this situation, implement sanctions and protect the innocent victims of this conflict. We want both the people of Israel to live in a state where they feel safe and the people of Gaza given equality. Presently the people of Gaza need more help as their casualties and collateral damage far exceeds Israel’s. Visit http://www.facebook.com/itcouldbemeingaza and send your pictures, I want thousands and I’ll present the petition book to Downing Street. Against this? Put your face to it! ” – Gemma Dietrich

5) Boycott. Boycott. Boycott. Boycotting and sanctions worked effectively against the apartheid regime in South Africa, and is being strongly encouraged against Israel. There is the BDS – Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, whose website provides lots of information about how to boycott effectively (it would be, as many have said, hard to boycott in a blanket way – the BDS tell you how to do so for best effect) and lists companies to avoid. There’s also the Academic & Cultural boycott; academics (including Professor Stephen Hawking) writers, film makers and musicians refuse to visit or support Israel.

Here’s what some of our contributors is doing to boycott:

“My niece has some stickers asking people to not buy products/ fruit and veg that come from Israel. she sticks them on while shopping in her local supermarket.” – name omitted to protect the phantom stickerer! You can get stickers from here: Palestine Solidarity Campaign

“I’ve emailed the Presidents office at the White House to say that I will be boycotting all American goods and companies, given their prompt rearming of Israel, as well as contacting the CEO’s of various large companies in which I would normally shop (M&S, for example) to ask them for a swift statement and reminding them of the increasing boycott movement that is taking off online.” – Michelle Durrant

6) Support Fair Trade good from Palestine

“Get local shops to stock fairtrade palestinian goods. Although it wont end the genocide, it helps the living to live.
Zaytoun are a good starting point.” – Farzana

7) Sign petitions such as those advocating the UK stops arming Israel and starts imposing sanctions, and petitions insisting upon a ceasefire proposal that includes a fair deal for the Palestinians – like the removal of that bloody wall. Takes seconds to do this. Here are a few to get you started (you’ll probably find loads more):

Open letter to David Cameron by MAP (Medical Aid for Palestinians)

Save the Children ceasefire appeal to the UN

Amnesty International UK; stop the arms, stop the killing

War on Want; stop arming Israel

8) Write to your MP urging them to support your views in the House of Commons. You can find your MP and read transcripts of debates at They Work for You,The debate about Gaza makes for an interesting read. Especially the part where Caroline Lucas (Green Party) challenges David Cameron about the ongoing occupation of Gaza/Israel’s constant breaches of international law, and he responds by suggesting she’s a Hamas supporter.

See my previous post for my own letter to my local MP. Feel free to copy bits of it if you wish.

9) Organise a protest or vigil. This could be as small as a group of friends gathering to meditate for peace and to memorialise the victims, or a larger event to raise awareness. Be inspired by groups like If Not Now When – American Jewish peace organisation. (The photo below is from a recent #ifnotnow vigil.)

Vigil

10)  Performers: be a clown! One of the people heading to the protest on the 9th is looking for some creative people to join her:

“London! Trying to organise an army of clowns! We need humans that care. Performers, clowns, physical actors, musicians, artists of any kind or people that care about this plight. Sensitive people that are able to give this a go in the London protests Saturday the 9th of Aug. and after until this genocide stops. Please email me naomibonafoux@yahoo.co.ukyou can see some example of my troop on this video in the 1:00 (minute)
http://vimeo.com/11767255  – Naomi Bonafoux

11) Make a noise! 

“Please consider a Cacerolada.We are trying to organise a mass banging of pots to make a noise and let governments know that we condemn the killing if innocents. See more and join here:

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Bang-Pots-for-Palestine/364342663718543?ref_type=bookmark” – @bangpots

12) To quote a favourite author of mine ‘Make Good Art’. Use your creative skills to make a statement for peace. Get your children – maybe even their school? – involved in creative projects. Some inspiration from one of our contributors:

“Hi, my response to this (and not only the conflict in Gaza) is to draw 500 victims of war and sending them to our Taoiseach Enda Kenny, you can see more on the bloghttp://creativenonviolence.wordpress.com/ – Astrid Walsh

13) Have some friends round! 

“We are holding a fundraiser at our house. Doing a clothes swap, book stall and food in exchange for donations.” – Joanne

14)  Make a film. This could be interviewing people for their views about the situation, it could be a film of your vigil, a film of people holding cards to show messages of peace, or anything else you feel moved to do. Here’s something put together by my friend Dominic: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oHa-ewSjFFw

15)  Hold a stall in your local shopping area. You can use this to gather signatures on petitions and names against a letter to the local MP.

16) Share Jon Snow’s moving short film of his experience in Gaza. He appeals to all of us to do whatever we can. Encourage your friends, family and colleagues to do something. Anything. No matter how small an action it seeams.

17) Turn the statistics back into people and keep their memory alive. Spread awareness of the ongoing atrocity by reminding everyone that these are human beings, not ‘collatoral damage’ or unfortunate causalities of war. These are victims of a massacre. Visit the #gazanames project, watch the moving film, find a name from the very long list of people who have died, take a photo and share over social media. And then see what you can find out about the person you have chosen to memorialise. I selected Nizar Fayez Abu Sneina, aged 38. I have so far discovered that “Three members of the Abu Sneina family were killed in a strike on their home in eastern Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip and three others were injured. The dead were named as: Faysal Abu Sneina, 32, Emad Faysal Abu Sneina, 18, and Nizar Fayez Aub Sneina, 38.”

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18) Take part in a fundraising challenge, or sponsor one. Inspiration from the MAP (Medical Aid for Palestinians) Facebook page.

“Maria is 5 years old and today she did a 2 km walk to support MAP’s Gaza Emergency Appeal. So far she has raised £795, 159% of her original target. Well done, Maria! You can help her achieve 200% of her original target by sponsoring her walk here: https://www.justgiving.com/samah-abbasi/

Instisar and Yusra are self-funding a trek up Kilimanjaro later this month, with all support going to MAP. They aim to raise £5,000:https://www.justgiving.com/ProjectGaza/

Aodhan King is running the 293 km Transalpine Stage Race across Germany, Austria and Italy at the end of August. He is aiming to raise 4,000 euros https://www.justgiving.com/911-gaza/

MAP (Medical Aid for Palestinians) are also organising a UK bike ride in September. 

19) If you don’t fancy a sponsored event, or prefer to give direct, then you can donate to charities working to provide aid to the people of Palestine. As well as the support they are providing now (whilst risking their own lives) when the bombs finally stop falling, NGOs will be vital in supporting the people of Gaza to rebuild their lives. Be cautious about donating, as bogus web pages have sprung up purporting to be for Gaza. Here are some suggestions that should be ok:

Medical Aid for Palestinians

Islamic Relief’s Emergency Appeal for Gaza

Save the Children Gaza Appeal

Christian Aid Gaza Appeal

International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies

Oxfam Gaza Appeal

Disasters Emergency Committee Gaza Appeal

 

20) Submit your own ideas in the comments for this page, and the list can grow! Creative and peaceful ideas welcomed.

 

 

 

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79 comments on “Action for Gaza: 20 things you can do right now

  1. Thank-you! Any links/ideas for my Aussie friends? x

    • Hi Talitha! Thank you for commenting. I’ve put out a shout to antipodean friends to ask for ideas. Will share anything I find out. How is all this being received over there..? x

    • We are holding a fundraiser at our house. Doing a clothes swap, book stall and food in exchange for donations.

  2. Most of these are wonderful, important actions for caring people. But your forgot the most important: NEVER discuss the history of the region or the publicly stated aims of Hamas and its neighbor allies. Above all never discuss the tactics of Hamas. Doing these things risks having an informed and complex understanding of the tragedy in the Middle East, and this would undermine our single-minded attempt to pin all blame on the Jews.

    • You’re quite right Jon. What a dreadful oversight. I’ve written a new post especially for you. I do hope you like it.

      • The truth is important.Why hide the history of the region and the charter of Hamas and their aim to wipe out Israel. Blame should lie where blame belongs.The Palestinian people are caught between Hamas and the Israelis and are suffering the consequences.

        • Mary – I agree that the complexity of the history is important overall, but apportioning blame is unlikely to stop the massacre. People are caught up between Hamas and the Israeli government. One of my despairing friends said the other day ‘why can’t the political leaders just have a punch-up’. Oh if only! I put something on Twitter the other day about how soldiers are sent to fight and die, whilst politicians talk (or don’t talk). What’s interesting, is when the soldiers – ie the everyday people – talk to one another, you end up with organisations like Combatants for Peace coming into being. When politicians talk – we seem to end up with more pain for citizens. My focus right now – all my campaigning – is about stopping the slaughter and destruction of Gaza. I’m not interested in who’s to blame, I just want it to stop, for the sake of humanity. Israel has all the power to make that happen. However, if you have the time, and would like to, write something about the history of the region, I will be happy to include it on my blog. (That’s a genuine invitation – I will present it as is, as long as it’s overall tone is to build towards peace.)

  3. Oxfam have also launched an appeal to provide safe water, sanitation and emergency food vouchers. Just google Oxfam Gaza Appeal. There is also a petition. We will also be putting pressure on western governments to stop supporting this massacre.

  4. I’ve also emailed the Presidents office at the White House to say that I will be boycotting all American goods and companies, given their prompt rearming of Israel, as well as contacting the CEO’s of various large companies in which I would normally shop (m and S, for example) to ask them for a swift statement and reminding them of the increasing boycott movement that is taking off online.

  5. If Hamas stopped firing rockets into Israel and didn’t build tunnels so their terrorists could kill, the Israelis would not be doing this.

    • Yup. Everything is justified because Hamas. I truly hope that you will open your eyes to the injustice of this situation. I’ve written a new post inspired by this and similar comments.

    • Tunnels are mainly built to get urgent supplies into Gaza. Sonce Israel blockades Gaza it is the only way for Palestinians. How often have we heard on the news that these tunnels are used to bomb Israel, NEVER. Not until Israel used them as an excuse to attack Gaza once again.

  6. STOP buying from M&S, Starbucks, Costco, anything Disney!
    STOP going to see any American movies, Touchstone, Disney, Pixar!
    STOP reading Vogue, Tatler, Vanity Fair, House & Garden, The World of Interiors, GQ!
    I don’t like to bring religion into it, but basically, if it’s Jewish based…they’re supporting Israel’s war via funding!

    Top 500 businesses to boycott: http://vnnforum.com/showthread.php?t=71304

    • Oh, you don’t like to bring religion into it, but you’d just like to post a link to the Vanguard News Network – (No Jews. Just Right). Not only is every Jew in the world to blame for this, but also every Black, Hispanic and non-white in the world. Smart going. While you’re at it, if you’re part of the BDS movement, why are you on your smartphone, laptop or tablet? They were all developed using Israeli technology. Inconvenient truth, huh?

      • I’m not entirely sure what you’re getting at here, but I have never suggested every Jew in the world is responsible for this. I think your hatred is getting the better of you and causing you to write absurd things. This isn’t a Jewish issue. As Desmond Tutu says, it’s a human issue. Please think with your heart. Your accusations are patently untrue and unfounded, and they don’t help. If you aim is simply to upset or annoy me, that’s not going to happen. I don’t know you and your words mean little to me.

  7. Thanks Claire. Lots of information about such things on the BDS site.

  8. Hi, my response to this (and not only the conflict in Gaza) is to draw 500 victims of war and sending them to our Taoiseach Enda Kenny, you can see more on the blog http://creativenonviolence.wordpress.com/

    • I applaud your creative expression. A few of my friends have said they’d like to do something creative. I think they’ll really connect with this. Thank you.

  9. Sorry, Dusty – but you seem to be a complete idiot. Tell your palestinian friends to take the civilians out of the line of fire – if then still civilians are killed – then you can complain. Better get informed first before you write such a nonsense…. it is incredible, what damage people like you do.

    • So, my much more educated friend; please enlighten me. Where, exactly should my Palestinian friends go, in order to avoid being in the line of fire? Given that they’re not permitted to flee Gaza, they are taking refuge in vastly overcrowded UN shelters. And these too, are in the line of fire. And also, pray tell, when International Law is clear that the onus is on the military to not target places where there are civilians, then why is it that patients and doctors in hospitals, people in civilian homes, and children in school, on the beach or in a playground are IN the line of fire? If you have an answer as to how Palestinians can avoid ‘getting in the way’ I’m sure they’d be delighted to hear it. It could save a great many lives. What a shame so many have been killed so far just by being so stupid as to stand in the way of an Israeli tank, or beneath an Israeli fighter plane.

    • Oh and furthermore Christl, I think you’ll enjoy my most recent post that’s largely addressed to Ostriches such as yourself. It’s quite well referenced. I’ve done my research with regard to International Law. I’ve also been following the UN sit rep reports. And I take an interest as a public health professional. But then, lawyers, the UN, doctors, and so forth, what do THEY know, right?

      • I am keen to read Christi’s response to this, however I note she still has yet to reply!

        Thank you for this post Dusty, my friend recommended it to me because I wanted to take action and have only so far managed to sign a petition. I will be following all ten of your suggestions! Xxx

        • That’s great thank you Catbudden. My aim was to show people there are small things they can do. We can all take action in our own way. For me, the important thing is to be generative – to do something that builds towards peace. x

    • Sorry, but YOU are the complete idiot….it’s hard to miss civilians when your aiming at schools and hospitals….why are you so hate filled? Of course the Israel/Palestine land issue has got to be done over the table. I’m Jewish and I agree its not on, so don’t be doing all this shit on my name! You need to check yourself before you wreck yourself and look at the humanity of it all……

  10. I would like to see a guarantee for land in Gaza project. Whereby no matter what the Israelis do the land gets passed to a collective and protective co-operative under joint ownership of the people and therefore could not be sold or mined for gas without the collective authority. Who could be the people of the world and therefore very difficult for Israel to overcome or conquer. Don’t know if possible or viable but it’s idea non the less.

    • That sounds like a lovely idea. Something that brings people together. Such concepts are always worth thinking about, even when they seem unlikely. As Nelson Mandela said “it always seems impossible until it is done” x

  11. 11. Write to HAMAS and tell them to stop launching rockets and hiding their munitions in the same places as they tell their civilians to take shelter!!

  12. I’m not a Jew or a Zionist just an observer of world affairs . If Hamas stopped sending rockets into Israel this conflict would stop, the rest of the world would make that happen . But this will never happen because the crazy religion that is behind Hamas . Hamas in their mission statement states destruction of Israel and the wiping out of the Jews out of greater palatine, where dose this leave the Jews and Israel , there only option it to hold there ground and defend there population . Don’t get me wrong what is going on is tragic and any life lost is a crime , but this is we’re we are. The Arabs want the Jews dead and Israel gone . But both the Jews and the moslims have a equal claim to palatine both are wrong in the way they are dealing with the situation , but nothing is gained in demonising either side. We need to pressurise Hamas to stop sending rockets , digging tunnels and attacking Israel then this madness will stop. Israel will then have to do a deal .

    • Hamas hamas hamas! Because Hamas, collective punishment is ok. Because Hamas, it’s probably safest to wipe out everyone in Gaza. Because Hamas, it’s regrettable but necessary to kill children. International Law – requires the military to avoid civilian casualties. You can’t just carpet bomb a place as a way to take out the enemy. See my more recent post. It was written for you. Do you not realise, the more people that Israel kills, the more people will rally to Hamas in a bid to resist their oppressors? Stop supporting massacre.

      • Who are you to take the moral high ground? Was the dropping of atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki a surgical strike?

        • Mr Newmark, who I am is someone that cares about humanity. I don’t really see what the atomic bombs have to do with this. That was absolutely appalling. A terrible travesty against humanity. That that happened doesn’t in some way make this ok. Please see my appeal to humanity. This isn’t about moral high ground, it’s not about scoring points, it’s about having a heart and wanting this terrible destruction to stop.

  13. who voted Hamas into power in democratic elections, knowing that Hamas has publicly declared their avowed intention of destroying Israel and Jews worldwide..…. oops the people of Palestine, who through their actions have endangered themselves and more importantly their families and children….. of course if Hamas stop fighting and lay down their arms, there will be peace… if Israel do that then it will be the end of Israel… then again, given that hatred of Jews and Israelis that seems to be prevalent, all the bleeding hearts will do as they have done for the past 18 months in Syria and Iraq… ignore it because that is Muslim on mostly, Muslim… with an increasing number of Christians… over 170 000 killed in two years and no world outrage… go figure…

    • This isn’t to do with religion. Put aside your prejudices about different religions for a moment. The Israelis are wrong in the belief that they must keep the Palestinians corralled behind a wall lest they be killing everyone in their beds. They’re not some sort of bogey-men, they’re human beings. They deserve the same right to freedom and a full life that everyone else enjoys. The oppression of the Palestinian people, and their killing, goes back to before Hamas. But I’m sure you know your history. I must ask you this though; because a people voted for Hamas, does this mean that collective punishment – genocide even – is justified? Do you really believe that all this death is fine, because Hamas? Please read my newest post, it was written for you.

      • What’s happening is not “collective punishment”, it’s self defense. Hamas has fired >10,000 missiles into Israel since July 8th, targeting Israeli civilians, as is their explicitly stated goal. The reason more Israeli civilians haven’t died is because the Israeli government has invested heavily in protective infrastructure (i.e. Iron Dome and bomb shelters). So because Israel is succeeding in protecting its citizens (25% of whom are Muslims, btw) and in defending themselves against an existential threat, by your logic they should be boycotted as war criminals and human rights violators.

        Go ahead and boycott everything Israeli. Be consistent. Stop using all Microsoft and Google products. Don’t use any devices that have Intel processors. Uninstall your firewall and anti-virus software. Stop reading ebooks and give away your e-reader. Disable voice-mail from your phone. Don’t use USB drives or printers. Don’t eat any cherry tomatoes. Google all the other thousands of everyday products that were developed in Israel (oh wait, you can’t use Google. Or Bing.).

        If you become ill and require medical attention, tell your doctor not to perform any medical procedures or give you medications that were developed in Israel. Too bad if your condition can’t be cured otherwise – innocent Palestinians rely on righteous people such as yourself to continue the boycott.

        • Isn’t it sad that Palestinians have to rely on people like me, when they should, under international law, be able to rely on the occupying force of Israel to protect them. Self-defence, again, under international law (go do your homework) must only be proportional to the threat. The devastation of Gaza, and the murder of its civilian population is not, in any way proportional. I feel sorry for you, that you believe this lie about self-defence, that you can justify genocide by saying you’re protecting yourself against the bogeymen. Yup, keep killing those children in self-defence. They are extremely dangerous. If Israel is truly protecting it’s citizens, then that includes the people of Palestine.

  14. Right, and the threat is to kill all Isreali Jews. So by your logic, the proportional response is to kill all Palestinians, yes?

    • That’s absurd. I’d like to see you try that one in a courtroom. The threat is the rockets. Israel has very restricted rights to take action against the population. It has some right to police action or even military action, but it must be proportional to the real threat, not an imagined one. The Jews are not being killed. So there’s no real threat there. People are dying. Do you think this is a game? Are you looking to score points? These are your neighbours. Real people. Have some humanity.

      • So you’re saying that the Hamas charter in not real? That it was “imagined” by Israel? And the >10,000 rockets Hamas fired into Israel since July 8th are also imagined?

        The fact that not many Israelis are being killed (again, not just Jews, 25% of Israelis are Muslim) is not for lack of trying on the part of Hamas. If the charter is, in your highly qualified opinion, not a “real” threat, the rockets and tunnels surely are. Israelis aren’t dying in large numbers because of the protective infrastructure such as the Iron Dome. Is that also a war crime, based on your “homework”?

        Flawed as your logic is, I must applaud you for so quickly dispossessing yourself of all Isreali-developed technology and finding a device without an Intel processor to post your response with. Boycott on, righteous one!

    • Have to reply here, but this is in answer to your latest post: I am sorry for you, that you live with such hatred in your heart that you can continue to argue that killing is ok. I appeal again to your humanity. Try to forget about scoring points for just one moment and think about what is happening to these human beings. Look into your heart. There will never, never, be peace in the region whilst people like yourself can justify such killing and devastation, whilst you can keep finding excuses to treat an entire people as less than human. I imagine the people in Israel are genuinely frightened by the thought of those rockets. But this violence, destruction and hatred – it is not the answer. It will not give you the peace you seek.

      • Being critical of Hamas, who are the aggressors in this conflict and who call for the eradication of all Israeli Jews, does not equal hatred. I’m saddened by all innocent deaths, Israeli and Palestinian. Israel has accepted numerous cease-fire proposals, all of which Hamas has rejected. Had Hamas accepted the first proposal, more than a thousand people would still be alive. It takes both sides to stop the violence, and Hamas is the only holdout. But sure, let’s boycott Israel.

  15. I’m pleased to hear you are saddened by the deaths. It is good to know you are a compassionate person. As I understand it, Hamas rejected the deal because it did not include terms for the future of the Palestinian people. Any peace deal is going to need to address the blockade, apartheid policies and the incursions into the West Bank. As I say in my more recent post, because I condemn the atrocities of Israel does not mean I believe Hamas are heroes. They may have been voted in, but that doesn’t mean they are great, nor that everyone wanted them. This is not a balanced situation though. Both sides need to treat, but that will be increasingly difficult to do with the sheer scale of death and destruction that Israel has bought to Palestine these past weeks. People won’t be bombed into submission. It doesn’t work. All it causes is tragedy and a continuation of hatred and unrest.

  16. People – world powers, even – have been bombed into submission many times before. Does World War II ring a bell?

    As long as Hamas continue attacking Israel, Israel will continue defending themselves. Military defense actions lead to civilian casualties, as they have done in all armed conflicts ever fought in recorded history. That is a fact. A sad fact, but a fact nonetheless.

    But to change the subject, I’d really love to hear how your boycott of Israel goes. Maybe you could write a regular blog where you document how you remove all Israeli-developed products and technologies from your life, including the ones I’ve listed upthread. It would be an inspiration to everyone who wants to boycott Israel along with you and an entertaining read for everyone else. Put your money where your mouth is and make it happen!

    • The wars you refer to were between nation states. States which had the means to defend themselves. There are rules for war – there’s international law and humanitarian war. Some of these laws relate to occupation. As Palestine is an occupied territory, Israel has a duty to protect its citizens. Palestine – not a nation state – has no armed forces and no, legitimate, means to defend itself. Furthermore, the civilian population is corralled within the confines of Gaza – by the hostile army. There is no way for them to escape. But I know you will continue to make excuses for the killing. You will make it ok for your conscience to bear. I live in the hope that eventually, probably only after another 1,000 people have died, those that caused this to happen will end up before the ICC.

      The BDS gives advice about boycotting and sanctions. By their own admission, it’s a difficult thing to do. Israel is a prosperous nation and involved with many companies and products. They way they tend to work is to focus in on certain things, and hit those. They have found this to be the most effective tactic. However, there is only so much people like myself can achieve as a consumer. This is why governments really need to get involved in imposing sanctions, as we did with apartheid South Africa, to good effect.

      • The only “duty” Israel has is to protect its own citizens and resources. “Palestine” is not a territory, Gaza is. The population of Gaza has elected a leadership whose expressed and documented primary goal it is to kill all Israeli Jews. Every single one. For not having an armed force, they miraculously (with Allah’s help?) found thousands of rockets, missiles, and explosives to fire at Israel in the attempt to realize the aforementioned goal. Israel has a right by international law to defend themselves against these attacks, which they are doing with as much care to avoid civilian casualties as they can (announcing air strikes ahead of time and urging residents to evacuate). Civilian casualties still happen as they do in any armed conflict that’s ever taken place on this planet, in this case mostly because Hamas urges the civilians to stay in the area that they know Israel is going to target. These are the facts, whether any of us like it or not.

        And of course you’re going to pick and choose which products you boycott, just like you pick and choose which facts to acknowledge and which to ignore. Because you can’t be asked to sacrifice any of your daily comforts for the “cause” you so fervently believe in. I swear, if I didn’t know from this blog’s title that you’re a middle-aged woman, I could swear you were an impressionable, uneducated teenager latching on to a “cause” you don’t understand because that’s what the cool kids do.

        • Thank you for thinking I could be one of the cool kids! Read your international law again. As an occupier, Israel’s duty of protection extends to those it occupies – and that includes the Palestinians. Palestine is officially recognised as the ‘Occupied Palestinian Territories’ this includes Gaza and the West Bank. In its current actions, as with the ongoing blockade and the incursions into the West Bank, Israel is in violation of international law. That’s not me saying that, it’s the UN. I care not a jot for daily comforts. I live a simple life and haven’t even had any hot water or gas for over a year. It is very easy for me to do without things. But, for a boycott to be effective, sometimes it’s best to focus on specific things. This is the guidance of the BDS campaign. They know of what they speak – they’ve been doing this a long time. Thank you for taking the time to engage.

      • Read my post again – I didn’t say I think you’re one of the cool kids. I said you sound like a teenager trying to be one of cool kids. I didn’t say you were succeeding. Reading comprehension 101. Anyway, I take that back. You don’t even display enough logical reasoning skills for a teenager. You’re like a five-year old who puts her fingers in her ears and sings “la la la” when grown ups tell her something she doesn’t want to hear. Go bang some pots and pans – I’m sure that will solve the problem.

    • Brilliant idea thanks. Just off to bang some pots right now. And it’s delightful that I’m getting younger and younger! So pleased you are able to grasp my sarcasm. Well done! Oh, and by the way, just read the news today about yet another billionaire joining the BDS and selling their shares. Following the likes of Bill Gates. Just thought you’d like to know. Have a super evening. 🙂

    • Oh and in case you’d like to respond again, and make me younger and more stupid still, I’m not going to approve any more of your comments. You’ve had a fair crack of the whip and seem to be down to just (rather poor and unintelligent) insults now. You’re boring me. I have more fun people to play with. TTFN.

  17. March this Sunday In Manchester noth west 3ngland at noon.

  18. I think your article is GREAT! Not because of Hamas. Because your mind is open.

    I orchestrated a protest today in London and was left feeling confused. I was made to feel that if I stood up for the innocent children and people of Gaza who are horrifically losing their lives that I must be against Israel and pro Hamas. It’s not as simple as either being with Israel or with ‘terrorists’. Then I read this amazing blog that reiterated to me why I did it in the first place. I’m with the humans who are caught up in this mess. I’m with international law. I’m with responsibility. I’m with all the innocent lives on both sides.

    There will always be haters. Let them hate. Send them LOVE! X

    • Thank you. Someone that understands what I’m trying to say! I just read an article by Desmond Tutu. He puts it succinctly and well. “This isn’t a Jewish or Muslim issue, it’s a human issue”. I’m not a fan of Hamas, they’re making things worse. I don’t have a side – not politically. I have sympathy for the IDF soldiers and their families. It’s former members of the IDF that have set up amazing peace organisations such as Combatants for Peace. This is about people. It’s about compassion. It’s about wanting the killing to stop. I do wish people would stop posting comments that seem to be about nothing more than ‘winning a point’. It’s that type of thinking – escalated a thousand-fold – that leads people to kill one another. So sad.

      • Tell me about it. Me and my 8 month old baby were threatened by such a person today when we were just trying to spread compassion and peace.
        Anyway. You carry on! Don’t get disheartened. The more people fighting for humans the better. X

      • So you “don’t have a side politically”, and yet you emphatically call for a boycott of Israel. A boycott that’s too inconvenient for you to implement in your own life, but no matter.

        • I didn’t say it’s too hard for me to implement. I recognised that it IS hard, but nonetheless I will do what I can – and the BDS guidance will be a big help. I’m boycotting Israel for the same reason we boycotted South Africa in the 80s – they are the occupiers, they have the power, they are responsible for the apartheid policies that create significant inequalities for the Palestinian people.

  19. Gaza is also bordered by Egypt – they don’t seem to want them in their country either. Wonder why……

    • It’s unhelpful to get into a political debate here, but it should be remembered that the Palestinans already lived there when Israel occupied the land. That’s why Israel is always referred to as the occupying force and the State of Palestine as the Occupied Territories. You might not want the people of Palestine there, but they have a right. They also have a right to not live behind a wall. The blockade is illegal. It would be helpful to begin to think of the Palestinians as neighbours, rather than a people you’d rather be rid of.

  20. Please consider a Cacerolada.We are trying to organise a mass banging of pots to make a noise and let governments know that we condemn the killing if innocents

    See more and join here:

    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Bang-Pots-for-Palestine/364342663718543?ref_type=bookmark

  21. Wow, I appear to have moved onto an ostrich farm. Where all the ostriches can say is “but HAMAS!”

    *sigh*

    Yes, Hamas firing rockets into Israel is wrong. Of course it is, you don’t need a PhD in International Law and Order to figure that one out. However, the key issue here is the use of “proportionate response” in order to defend oneself – something Israel has either willfully ignored or just plain doesn’t understand. I feel a need to tread lightly here because I’ve gone through a few rounds of “oh, you’re an anti-Semite” over the years in my response to the whole Gaza/West Bank issue, but responses to this most recent round of atrocities is making my blood boil.

    Leaving aside the issue of the occupation and that stupid bloody concrete wall Israel insisted on building (because yay! Collective memory loss on the part of an entire nation brought up to remember the most god-awful moment in its people’s history!), the fact Hamas were voted into power doesn’t make the blindest bit of difference. In the UK David Cameron and Nick Clegg were “voted into power” – I didn’t bloody vote for them, but I’m still bound by their policies and whatever stupid decisions they feel entitled to make. Doesn’t mean I agree with them, and just because Hamas got into power doesn’t mean every single Palestinian agrees with THEM. Furthermore, Israel is playing directly into Hamas’ hands with the disproportionate reaction it’s unleashing. Here you have an entire population living on a tiny strip of land, forced further and further inwards because of the blockades and the walls and the fact Egypt has closed its border, and they are being bombed, shot at, starved and deprived of access to both their jobs, their families on the West Bank and in Jerusalem etc, and medical care. That to me equates to a population so desperate they have literally nothing left to lose, and that means Hamas can play on that and get support for its actions. All Israel is doing is making a whole lot of people disaffected and angry; in the confined space of Gaza you have a volcano waiting to erupt.

    For too long governments have sat back and let the Israeli government slowly but surely erode the human rights of the ordinary men, women and children of the West Bank and Gaza, too afraid of being called “anti-Semitic” or striking a Holocaust-related nerve. But for Israel, a country born out of the horrors of attempted genocide and mass slaughter, which quite rightly wants to ensure no one ever forgets the atrocities committed on an entire population, to seemingly enact similar genocidal atrocities on the people of Gaza is abhorrent in the extreme. Israel is the wealthier country, the better-equipped country, the one with all the military might and power; they need to step up and be “the bigger man” in this situation. An eight month old baby is not a terrorist. A four year old boy is not a terrorist. Hundreds of men, women and children barricaded onto a tiny strip of land behind a concrete wall are not terrorists. What they are, right here and now, is sitting ducks.

    There is a way to seek an end to this latest round of mass murder. It involves Israel having the balls to put down its weapons, be the “bigger man” and step up to the negotiating table with the absolute intention of doing something amazing. Right now they have all the power to kill. If they’d stop being so arrogant and bloody-minded, they’d realise they also have all the power to create peace. It may not be a lasting peace, it may not be the result either they or Hamas want, but it would be a start. Israel was born of bloodshed and pain – right now it looks as though Israel is seeking to end Gaza in the same fashion…

  22. I live in Northern Ireland. Can you imagine if the Brits, under the premise of ‘seeking out’ the IRA, had started bombing the shit out of Republican areas of Belfast or Derry, without regard for the civilians living there, murdering hundreds of people? The bloody Sunday incident is viewed as an attrocity, yet every day in Gaza, there are hundreds of innocent people being killed under the excuse of Hamas. How can this be accepted by the international community, many who seem to be making excuses for Israel’s actions. It sickens me to see the Israeli media representative telling newsnight that the bombing of the UN school shelter will be investigated and if Israel is found to be at fault, they will say ‘sorry’! Oh, thats ok then. You killed my whole family, but said sorry, so its ok…………you just cannot comprehend the reality of the sadness………. I know there is propaganda occurring from both sides, but the excuses can never justify the killing. Stop this bloodshed now……….sorry for rambling!

    • Thank you Dave. That’s part of the point I’ve attempted to make – I don’t believe Hamas are good guys, not at all, but for heavens sake, please please please stop killing people. Yet another school today. It’s so hard to bear. I can’t imagine what it must be like to live there. I applaud the brave in Israel who are speaking out against this, speaking up for peace. x

  23. London! Trying to organise an army of clowns! We need humans that care. Performers, clowns, physical actors, musicians, artists of any kind or people that care about this plight. Sensitive people that are able to give this a go in the London protests Saturday the 9th of Aug. and after until this genocide stops. Please email me naomibonafoux@yahoo.co.uk you can see some example of my troop on this video in the 1:00 (minute)

  24. Concerning #6 – Be careful where you send your money. Any money going to Gaza goes through Hamas first, and Hamas leadership has been enriching itself from the generosity of people the world over who think their donations are going to help children or the sick. There are over 1400 millionaires who’ve made their lucre off donations, along with taxing goods going through tunnels and adding their own surcharges to subsidized Egyptian fuel. It’s easy for an unscrupulous organization to call itself the Red Crescent. I’d go with https://www.ifrc.org/

    • Thank you Michael. I take your point. It happens often that aid money ends up in the hands of corrupt governments. I can believe that could well happen in Palestine as it happens elsewhere. The Red Crescent does amazing work – and I have seen warnings to beware of bogus organisations pretending to be them – I’ll add them to the list. (I have it on good authority that MAP are ok too.)

  25. I would characterize myself as a leftist zionist in the sense that i support a viable jewish state and a prosporous palestinian state. In fact, i believe if israel is to be truly viable than peace must be achieved and some counter-peace policies must be thrown away. I don’t blindly support the policies of any government just because… And that includes Israel… I am totally ok with any expression listed here but as a humanitarian i am not convinced that economic sanctions don’t hurt way too many normal folks along the way… In the case of Israel specifically, it may unintentionally disproportionately impact israeli arabs (about 1.2 million and mostly palestinian) because they are already somewhat economically disenfranchised. Anyhow, when all is said and done, and fingers crossed we are heading that way, i can only hope that israel is an active participant in helping to rebuild gaza and i believe i read somewhere that the government has hinted this. You sound like a person who is genuinely trying to help people so i don’t see anything wrong with the premise. I might personally add suggestions that are more all inclusive for both sides – if they exist – because ultimately this conflict gets resolves when people share points of view and work on pragmatic solutions – together.

    • Thank you for taking the time to share your views. It’s really refreshing to have someone make a point of criticism but in a helpful and considered way. I appreciate it. I take your point about who will pay the price of BDS and will put that question to the movement. I think as the international community watches what continues to happen in despair, it’s very hard to know what action can be taken that might make Israel take notice. Sanctions seems to have some impact. And is a relatively peaceful way to make a stand against a government. But it interesting to consider who will feel the brunt of such action. I will seek more information. I’m sure it’s something the BDS movement is aware of. If you have suggestions that are inclusive of both sides, then please do send them my way. The both-sides-talking thing is one reason why I was so inspired by Combatants for Peace. These are ex-military people from both sides who came together because they didn’t want to lose any more loved ones. That’s amazing, and wouldn’t it be wonderful if more people could come together that way? If often think that more ‘ordinary’ people would – if not for power hungry politicians getting in the way!

  26. I’ve started a campaign on Facebook. An online petition of people’s ‘selfies’ with them holding a sign or a message to the government asking them to stop being neutral about this situation, implement sanctions and protect the innocent victims of this conflict. We want both the people of Israel to live in a state where they feel safe and the people of Gaza given equal. Presently the people of Gaza need more help as their casualties and collateral damage far exceeds Israel’s.
    The petition can be found at http://www.facebook.com/itcouldbemeingaza
    Send your pictures, I want thousands and I’ll present the petition book to Downing Street. Against this? Put your face to it.

    Also i thought it might be useful for you to know something a good friend of mine told me yesterday when I was under fire from an extremist calling me an idiot. Google this ‘ Israeli government pay students to write on blogs’ I wonder if they’re paid per post 😜 Also ask for references to the information people are throwing at you. A lot of the facts that were being thrown at me, labeled as the real truth, came from extremist sites, blogs and Zionist websites. Some were even out of date.
    Keep going. You’re doing a great job, educating your readers. Even the posts against you are educating in their own way.
    Peace x

    • Brilliant Gemma. I’ve liked your page and will send you my own picture later on. did you also see the #gazanames project on the list? Whilst people are taking selfies, you might like to encourage them to do one for that too. And re your comments about the flack I’ve had – yes, after I received a barrage in rather quick succession I did wonder whether people had been advised to pay me a visit. It’s ok though. I could simply delete the messages, but I am happy to show what they have to say. Some do give some food for thought, and that’s a good thing. One’s that are purely spiteful or silly though, I remove. Will add your link to the list. xxx

  27. My niece has some stickers asking people to not buy products/ fruit and veg that come from Israel. she sticks them on while shopping in her local supermarket

    • Nice! I’ve seen those actually. Will find the link from where you can buy them and add them into the list. And tell your niece JOLLY WELL DONE! from me. 🙂 xxx

  28. Also to get local shops to put up posters of the demonstations in their windows.

    19. Get local shops to stock fairtrade palestinian goods. Although it wont end the genocide, it helps the living to live.
    Zaytoun are a good starting point.

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