19 Ways You Can Help Us
A few weeks ago we asked you what you would like to read from us. One of you asked us to address what supporters outside of Israel/Palestine can do to help achieve peace. All eight of our bloggers contributed their thoughts on the subject!
Realize that things are not simple and that we all have more we can learn.
Do not take sides in the conflict. Do not allow yourself to become polarized or for your attitudes to become harsh. There is no right or wrong people group, and we must solve the issues now, not tomorrow, and give equal rights to all people here.
Educate yourself on the issues by examining a wide variety of views and reports on what occurs here. Read books from both sides and hear the narrative of both peoples before supporting one side.
Be involved by being informed! It can be overwhelming to keep up with all our news, but when you check major headlines, at the very least, compare two contradictory sources to get an understanding of how each side experiences and perceives current events.
Speak on our behalf. Tell a different story than the sensationalistic and one-sided one the media loves. Let others know that there are those who cross the lines, meet with one another and work together to influence their communities for peace.
When you’re confused, as we often are and you might be too, choose love and remind us to keep choosing it, too.
Use the terms Palestinian and Palestine to help people get used to these terms.
Speak up for justice, and speak against injustices and prejudices.
Give respect to the land and its peoples by visiting both sides equally. The land flourishes when we have guests. Come and see for yourself, and not just the holy places, but also the sites of occupation manifest (refugee camps, the wall) to see what it means to live in the Holy Land, thereby deepening your understanding of what we face. Make social issues a part of your pilgrimage by listening to lectures from grass roots or religious organizations, particularly those working for peace and justice.
Intentionally meet with a variety of people who hold to differing understandings of the conflict. Spend a few months coming here to work on a project or to work for an organization that would help you better understand both sides and work for justice and peace.
Encourage your friends who live in Israel/Palestine to communicate with and associate with each other.
After you visit, become ambassadors of the land. Most people who come here fall in love with the people and the hospitality we show you.
Acknowledge that both peoples should not simply be expected to come an equal distance or make equal sacrifices, as there is a huge gap in the amount of loss or inequality experienced and even the amount that can be sacrificed.
Use your sphere of influence to leverage support for some of the many grassroots organizations that are working for peace in the country.
Advocate for us. Don’t let the loudest voices like AIPAC and CUFI dictate your representative’s narrative. Call your reps and let them know you are an active voter and that you care about what is happening here, and big money can’t hide the oppressive policies of the occupation.
Invest financially in the land. On the Palestinian side we need help bettering our education, healthcare, and social spaces (places for children to play), etc.
Ask yourself, “What can I do with what I have?” What are your circles of influence, and how can you advocate for peace within these circles? How can you advocate for us, Another Voice: 8 Israeli and Palestinian women committed to peace in Israel and Palestine? Promote our blog as “another voice” of hope in a crowded room full of unhopeful voices.
Don’t give up on us. Sometimes we want to give up ourselves, but living without hope is hardly living at all. Many have given up here. In our own moments of doubt, remind us that oppression is not forever, that conflicts do come to an end, that we are not unique in our suffering and that you join with us in hope to promote peace, relationship and life.
Pray for all the peoples involved in the conflict. Prayer does make a difference. Pray for us 8 who, against all odds, are trying to do something for peace in the land in which we live.