Words are the tools of my trade but I’ve struggled to find the right ones to describe my anger and despair at the atrocities being carried out by Israel as it unleashes its weapons on women, children and even the disabled in Gaza.
Every day new war crimes are being carried out and a new low is hit … yesterday it was the targetting of a maternity ward as well as injuring around 30 of the heroic medical staff in Al Shifa Hospital.
Many of you feel exactly the same and ask what can be done to help. Well here are a few ideas that individually and collectively will make a difference in the short and long term.
1. Lobby your MP
Go to this website https://www.writetothem.com/ and key in your postcode. You will be able to send a letter to your local Member of Parliament urging them to pressure the government to put a freeze on trade with Israel. At the very least he/she will have to respond to your email – but do keep it respectful and not abusive.
2. Join a protest or march near you
The very excellent Stop the War coalition is running campaigns and marches throughout the UK. Check here: http://www.stopwar.org.uk/to find out how you can take part in a mass movement – when the people lead the political classes start to become nervous. And if you live in Scotland the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign has a series of events lined up. Check here for details: http://www.scottishpsc.org.uk/
3. Watch some videos
My website released five videos the Israeli war Machine does not want you to see. Please watch them all, it will only take a few minutes and then share with your friends and RT throughout the social networks. Spreading information and raising public awareness is vital. Here is the link: http://yvonneridley.org/analysis-and-opinion/5-videos-the-israeli-military-wish-youd-stop-sharing-on-facebook-and-twitter/
4. Boycott Israeli goods
It is easy to shop with a conscience and trust me, you will feel so much better for it by the time you reach the till. The BDS website gives details of campaigns you can join and tell you what products you need to avoid and why: http://www.bdsmovement.net/activecamps/boycott and Friends of Al Aqsa is also running an awareness campaign to boycott Israeli produce here: http://www.foa.org.uk/campaigns/check-the-label
5. Change your Facebook picture or Twitter avatar
Replace your Facebook or Twitter profile image with the Palestinian flag or something to show people you are giving support to Palestine and encourage your friends to do the same. Visual impacts are sometimes much stronger than the written word.
6. Write to the new Foreign secretary Philip Hammond
Tell him to stop arming Israel. The excellent Camapign Against the Arms Trade has made it easy for you – they’ve written the letter, you just need to sign it on this page: http://act.caat.org.uk/lobby/stoparmingisraeljust scroll down follow the easy instructions.
7. Stop the war machine by calling for a military embargo
Fill out the form here: http://www.bdsmovement.net/stoparmingisrael– yes, it’s another sort of petition but at the same time it takes just one straw … and it’s better than doing nothing.
8. Phone the Egyptian Embassy in your country
Please remain respectful and tell them you want Egypt to lift its siege on Gaza and to open the Rafa Border.
9. Volunteer your time to a charity like Interpal
Personally, that’s my favourite Palestinian charity, which has openings and opportunities here: http://interpal.org/content.aspx?pageID=12and if you don’t have the time then you can donate or help their many causes.
10. Pray for Palestine.
Your prayers are needed regardless of your Faith, and if you are a person of no faith then at least hope that things will get better for the Palestinians for without hope there is nothing.
And if you have some better ideas or more suggestions then don’t keep them to yourself … share. You can leave a comment below or on my Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/YvonneRidley1