In order to ensure that Palestinians receive the protections they are entitled to under international law, civil society organizations and individuals from all over the world must work to support Palestinian human rights and promote international humanitarian law in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT).
According to PCHR, Israel must terminate its occupation of the Palestinian area seized in 1967, grant the Palestinian people the right to self-determination, and ensure that Palestinian civilians are safeguarded by the de jure application of the Fourth Geneva Convention in the OPT.
The minimum requirement is to uphold these fundamental rights. There are numerous strategies to help achieving these goals.
The conflict between Israel and Palestine has been going on for decades and has complicated roots. However, there are people in the area that need help now. The good news is that there are many ways to support Palestine right where you are. By educating yourself, donating, boycotting, contacting elected officials and sharing the voices of those in Palestine, you can be the change we want to see in Palestine!
Organizations Already Helping
There are many reputable grassroots organizations you may help that work to end Israeli occupation of Gaza and improve the daily lives of Palestinians who live under the Israeli occupation. Some of these organizations include:
- Doctors Without Borders. In response to violent outbreaks in Jerusalem, the team assists the Palestinian Red Crescent Society in evaluating and stabilizing hundreds of people injured by Israeli police.
- United Nations Agency for Relief and Works (UNRWA). Within 27 refugee camps located over Gaza and the West Bank, the UNRWA offers humanitarian assistance such as education, healthcare, and infrastructure improvement. The support of UNRWA is essential to the people of these camps since they lack access to electricity and renewable sources.
- Palestine children relief fund. This organization provides medical care to sick and injured Palestinian children, sending volunteer doctors on infrastructure projects, sponsoring orphans and operating humanitarian activities.
You, too, can do you part! Here are five actions you can do to support Palestine and the Palestinian people.
1. Listen and learn
The Israeli-Palestinian conflict has a long and complicated history that dates back to more than a century. Considering this, becoming knowledgeable about the reasons that led to the current situation is one of the best ways to support Palestine.
Spending time listening to Palestinians and learning about the ways in which Palestinians are affected is the best way to address these concerns and spread knowledge about how violations of human rights impact Palestinians today.
2. Raise awareness and lift up Palestinian voices
Today, social media is an immensely effective tool that people can use to communicate with others across the globe. Thus, to support Palestinian sharing their voices on social media is one of the easiest ways to help. Raise awareness so that people know what is really happening. Do it at home, at school and university, amongst friends. By talking about Palestine and Gaza regularly, you can keep these causes alive in people’s minds.
Make a genuine effort to follow and share Palestinian perspectives and experiences on social media. Like Mohammed El-Kurd, a writer and poet who has spoken out about his own struggles in Palestine. Like journalist Ahmed Shihab Eldin, a Palestinian-American who has spent more than a decade trying to change how the media portrays Palestine.
You may follow several Instagram accounts that post about life in Palestine, such as eyeonPalestine, jewishvoiceforpeace, letstalkpalestine and, of course, Labiba.org. Share their posts. Talk about the issue. Spread the word to raise awareness about Israel’s continuous aggression towards Palestine. Sharing content enlightens readers who may not otherwise be aware of Palestine, and the noise it generates pressures accountable bodies into taking action.
3. Take economic actions
Boycotting is part of a larger movement, BDS, which stands for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions.
Over 170 Palestinian organizations called on the world community in 2005 to undertake boycott and divestment campaigns to stop the Israeli government’s violations of Palestinians’ human rights. A large coalition, which included academic institutions, political parties, unions, community organizations and civil society organizations, signed the original Palestinian call. The AFSC is assisting and coordinating several campaigns and initiatives, and it has created an investment screening tool enabling people, organizations and institutions to review their investments.
Another way to support Palestinian is through targeted consumer boycotts. Some companies that benefit from the conflict and that should be boycotted include:
- Hewlett-Packard. HP, the computer and printer manufacturer, has come under fire for its role in the use of biometrics at Israeli checkpoints and for Israeli identification cards. They have also been criticized by BDS supporters for working with service companies located in Israeli settlements.
- Sabra. “The Israeli hummus” is an Israeli company that provides financial support to the Israeli army.
- Pillsbury. This company has factories on occupied land that belongs to Palestinians.
Not exactly a normal trip, but we invite you to go and see the shocking actions of the IOF for yourself. Climb over the rubble left by the massive house demolitions to see the West Bank Wall, see the places where the Israeli military carried out its brutal policy of extrajudicial executions, and see the close-up schools where students try to learn.
But you will also meet Palestinian citizens, many of whom are refugees. These people have nothing, yet they will welcome you like a long-lost relative. If you visit Palestine, you will have an undeniably memorable time and something to talk about when you get home.
5. Make a gift
Donate to help build back homes destroyed during aggressions, aid an orphaned child or contribute to heal the wounded.
Here is a list of organizations and charities that you can donate to in order to help Palestinians materially. Any donation helps, however small.
- Palestine children’s relief fund: https://pcrf1.app.neoncrm.com/np/clients/pcrf1/donation.jsp?campaign=342&
- Medical aid for Palestinians: https://www.map.org.uk/donate/donate
- BDS movement: https://bdsmovement.net/donate-outside-us