Action for Palestine… NOW.

Lina AbiRafeh
7 min readOct 27, 2023
Protest in Washington Square Park, New York. Photo by the author.

This piece was written together with feminist activist Rebecca O’Keeffe.

There’s a genocide going on right now. Need the basics? Start here. We’re not here to give you a history lesson. We’re here to ask — demand — that you take action.

Need the numbers? Here you go.

International organizations aren’t doing enough. World leaders aren’t doing enough. The people whose jobs it is to protect people and prevent atrocities, they aren’t doing enough. Humanity is failing, but not all hope is lost.

So, what can we do? Take action. We continue to believe in the power of doing something.

Individual and community energy has always been critical in the quest for peace. Take that anger and turn it into action. That action will lead to change. Those voices are loud — and getting louder.

Momentum is building… it’s on the streets and online. Keep going!

No action is too small. Tiny stuff adds up. Start somewhere.

ACTION is the antidote.

Action is hope.

At a minimum, we can agree on a few things, we think. Like — an immediate ceasefire. And — real humanitarian aid. Why? People are dying. Women and children are dying. The latest figures are already outdated by the time we type them. And they are more than numbers and statistics. Enough.

Here’s a list of immediate actions you can take.

Voices to amplify…

Palestinians on the ground and in the diaspora are speaking — screaming! — reporting, advocating, and informing us. Listen to them. Follow, amplify, share.

Here are a few Instagram handles:

If we all scream loudly enough, maybe someone will finally listen.

Marches to join…

This stuff is local, it depends on where you live. But every city has people on the streets — join them! At the same time, some countries and some authorities are banning protests, or cracking down on our right to peaceful protest. Be aware of your rights — and stay safe. Nonviolent action is critical — and your presence counts!

Politicians to pressure…

Contact your local and national politicians. Templates are available online. You can email your representative directly. Or call. Sign a petition. Whatever it takes.

If you’re in the US, scripts are available through JVP and US Campaign for Palestinian Rights.

You can also call Congress just download the free “5 Calls: Contact Your Congress” app below:

Apple: https://lnkd.in/eS6TyVbN

Android: https://lnkd.in/eErgtQDU

Simply enter your zip code and then all you have to do is make a call and read a short script.

Others:

Sign here.

Ireland: email here or here.

The UK: email here or here and sign the petition here.

Europe: Find your local politician but you can also contact MEPs here.

There are scripts available online for your specific country but overall, here’s what we demand:

  • An immediate ceasefire
  • Full humanitarian aid — water, food, electricity to Gaza
  • An end to the occupation of Palestine
  • Refusal to support candidates who accept Israeli war crimes

A sample script is below to start with:

Dear [insert politician name],

I write to you today with a sense of urgency and despair at the ongoing genocide and war crimes deliberately inflicted upon Palestinians by an Occupying Force. We cannot afford to remain silent any longer. The situation in Gaza is at a catastrophic point, thousands have been killed, many of these are innocent children murdered by bombs, and many more people will die of thirst and starvation. The time for immediate action is now.

We demand:

  1. Immediate Unconditional Ceasefire: The violence and loss of innocent lives must stop now. We call on the [country] government to use its diplomatic influence to support an immediate and unconditional ceasefire to prevent further bloodshed.
  2. Immediate Restoration of Water, Food, and Electricity Supplies to Gaza: Gaza has run out of water, and its people are in the midst of a humanitarian catastrophe. We demand use of diplomatic channels to pressure Israel to immediately restore essential supplies to Gaza with utmost urgency.
  3. End the Occupation of Palestine: The occupation of Palestine is at the root of this ongoing tragedy. We urge the [country] government to use its diplomatic power to bring about a just and lasting end to this occupation.

In addition, we implore the [country] government to take the following actions:

  • Condemnation in the Strongest Terms: It is imperative that [country], as a nation committed to human rights, recognizes the gravity of the situation. This is not just a breach of international law; it is genocide and ethnic cleansing. Please ensure that this distinction is made clear in any statements or actions taken.
  • Immediate International Intervention: We call for [country] to use its voice in the international community to put an end to this crisis and protect the rights and lives of the Palestinian people.
  • Commitment to Provide Safe Passage and Unconditional Visas for Refugees: The international community must commit to providing safe passage and unconditional visas for Palestinian refugees fleeing this dire situation.

The suffering in Gaza cannot continue unchecked. We need your immediate action to prevent further loss of innocent lives. We implore the Government of [country] to stand with us in solidarity. History will remember those who took a stand for justice and humanity in the face of genocide.

Yours sincerely,

[insert name]

News sources to believe…

Who’s right? Who to believe? It’s not easy to figure out. We’re bombarded with media double standards, biased coverage, hypocritical framing, passive language, spread of misinformation, and silencing of critical voices.

Reputable media outlets include Al Jazeera, Middle East Eye, Middle East Monitor, IMEU.

Also see Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics.

Movements and advocacy groups to support…

  • Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions Movement (BDS): A Palestinian-led movement working to end international support for Israeli oppression through targeted boycotts, divestments, and sanctions.
  • Decolonize Palestine: An independent, Palestinian-led project offering a collection of resources for organizers of people who want to learn about Palestine.
  • Truth About Palestine: Documenting facts and figures, explaining the issues and history, and compiling resources.
  • Palestine Nexus: Spreading the word about Palestine through courses, research, and newsletters.
  • Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP): The largest progressive Jewish anti-zionist organization in the world in solidarity with the Palestinian freedom struggle.
  • Breaking The Silence: Veteran soldiers who served in the Israeli military and are highlighting the reality of everyday life in the Occupied Territories.
  • Young Feminist Solidarity with Palestine: A collective offering messages of solidarity with Palestinians as well as a resource library.
  • Mothers School Society: Community organization in Nablus focusing on the needs of society, particularly women and children, through development programs.
  • Women & Media Development (TAM): A group set up by Palestinian activists to use media as a tool for developing, disseminating, and publicizing gender concepts.
  • Teach Palestine: Resources on Palestine for teachers.

Organizations to donate to…

There are groups on the ground making sure that aid gets to those who need it most. We know aid is not getting through right now, at least nowhere near the amount needed, but they still need funding. Support them here:

  • Palestine Children’s Relief Fund (PCRF): Their Mission is to provide medical and humanitarian relief collectively and individually to Arab children throughout the Levant, regardless of their nationality, politics or religion.
  • United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA): The Agency’s services encompass education, health care, relief and social services, camp infrastructure and improvement, microfinance and emergency assistance, including in times of armed conflict.
  • Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF): Or Doctors Without Borders, providing medical assistance to people affected by conflict, epidemics, disasters, or medical exclusion.
  • Not to Forget Association: An NGO founded by Palestinian feminists to address the lack of psychological intervention services available to women and children affected by traumatic events.
  • Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP): An organization working with communities to develop locally-led healthcare services.
  • American Near East Refugee Aid (ANERA): An independent organization working on the ground mobilizing resources for both immediate emergency relief and long-term development.
  • Middle East Children’s Alliance (MECA): Working to improve the lives of children through aid, empowerment, and education.

Stuff to read…

There are a lot of good sources out there. Here’s a very short list:

Verso Books are offering free resources here.

Perspectives to be mindful of…

Firstly, be kind. People from the region are dealing with grief and trauma. If these people are in your midst — your school or work or neighborhood — use empathy.

This is about non-violence. No deaths are “ok” — no death is acceptable. Nope, never. And we’ve had enough death now.

Also, have some courageous conversations with friends and family. People are dying. And that’s not complicated. There are lots of resources if you want to know more.

* The above lists aren’t exhaustive. If you have additional suggestions, post them. The situation is evolving all the time and it’s going to take all of us if we hope to make a difference.

--

--

Lina AbiRafeh

Global women's rights expert, author, speaker, aid worker, feminist activist with 25 years of experience in 20 countries worldwide - and lots of stories!