The news from Israel/Palestine (at least the real news, rather than the sterile state-approved variety carried by much of the world’s mass media) is relentlessly grim. The lives of ordinary Palestinians, so dehumanised by racist, biased reporting, are always on the verge of desperation. Israel constantly turns up the pressure, preventing people from travelling to work, restricting supplies of clean water and other basic goods; not to mention daily small-scale violence, and the occasional, astonishing act of mass-slaughter, like Operation Cast Lead almost four years ago.
I report frequently on news from the area (often using the wonderful resource provided by Jews For Justice For Palestinians) – I see no short-term solutions, but the first act must simply be to raise awareness worldwide. But what can ordinary supporters of Palestine do to help? If the political problem is intractable, at least the lives of ordinary Palestinians can be relieved by gestures of love and care. The Palestinians often feel abandoned by the world – with good reason.
It’s currently Ramadan, the fasting period, which is followed by the celebration of Eid. Four Londoners, will soon be travelling to Gaza to volunteer in the Jabalia refugee camp, in which around 100,000 people are squeezed into 1.4 sq km, which makes it among the mostly densely-populated places on Earth. The Israelis, in their wisdom, bombed one of the UN-run schools in the camp during Cast Lead, killing 40 civilians, mostly children. The four will be carrying gifts for some of the children there; at least to give a moment of happiness, as well as a reminder that people outside Gaza do care about the atrocities being perpetrated.
Please support these four Londoners in their journey. They are covering all of their travel expenses by themselves; any donations will go towards Eid gifts for the children of Jabalia refugee camp.
You can donate here: http://gofundme.com/gifts-for-gaza