Having spent a month traveling around Palestine, meeting the people and witnessing the occupation, one may ask, “What can I do to make a difference?” It is difficult dealing with a belligerent occupying force such as Israel especially when they are financially backed by the United States, however, here are a few things that you can do to help bring peace and justice into the world.
One, share this message and websites (www.metapeaceteam.org & www.palsolidarity.org), tell a friend, learn more about the subject. It is important to not become indoctrinated with the Islamophobia that mainstream media promotes. Religion and the fear of terrorism are used to cloud much larger issues: Mainly that Israel is colonizing Palestine. Israel has made the Gaza Strip the largest open air prison in the world with nobody or nothing going in or coming out without permission, which is rarely given. 39% of Gaza's population is living in poverty (United Nations 2014) and 44% of Gaza is unemployed, 60% of the youth which is the worst rate in the world (World Bank 2014). Israel is committing genocide in Gaza just slow enough that the world will not notice.
16% of the West Bank lives in poverty (UN 2014) with 18% unemployed (UN 2014). Israel's demolition of Palestinian homes, forced evictions of Palestinian families and Israeli settler's stealing Palestinian homes and land have displaced many thousands of Palestinians. 44% of Palestinians are refugees and 50% of those are below the age of 18 (UN 2014). Israel is ethnic cleansing the West Bank just slow enough that the world will not notice.
The second thing that can be done is to boycott Israeli products and to divest from companies that do support Israel and their illegal occupation like Volvo, Caterpillar, Hewlett Packard, Eden Springs, Ahava, Teva and Sodastream. Anything made in Israel (Bar code starting with 729) or made by Israeli owned companies supports the holocaust in Palestine. Follow this link to find a list of companies to avoid purchasing their products (www.bdsmovement.net). Share this list with your friends. One person I spoke with said when they find Israel products, they purchase them and then bring them back for a refund so the product will not be sold again and be shipped back.
Third, contact your US senators and representatives and tell them you do not support the US funding of Israel. Israel's actions are considered war crimes, in violation of international law. The UN has labeled Israel as a belligerent occupying nation. Opposing UN resolutions Israel continue to steal Palestinian land, indiscriminately murder Palestinians, illegally detain and arrest Palestinians, sometimes without charge for as long as they want, allow Israeli settlers to terrorize Palestinians, steal homes and land and murder Palestinians without repercussions, restrict Palestinians the right to travel in their own country, terrorize Palestinian schools and universities, steal natural resources like water and sell them back to the Palestinians, demolish Palestinian homes displacing thousands of families, building an “apartheid wall” separating people from their farms and land and harassing Palestinians olive farmers trying to pick their crops. Israeli's also perform collective punishment against Palestinians by closing roads and businesses for almost anything that happens like when a child throws a stone or when Israeli defense forces shoots a Palestinian or demolishing homes of children that are arrested.
The most important thing is that you do something. Creating peace and justice in the world is not a spectator sport. As the infamous US president George Bush once said, “You're either with us, or against us.”
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