Impression from Bethlehem
All people understand that it takes both resistance to evil in this world and also building a better future for our children. But most of those same people spend far more of their time consuming: consuming news, consuming food, consuming products. Retweeting and liking on facebook maybe useful but I think most people understand this is not the answer. Many who respond to my weekly newsletter ask what can they do. I point them to this list of
70 things that can be done: http://qumsiyeh.org/whatyoucando/ The young people, being idealistic are in the streets trying to actually change things. But there is very little protection for them or organizing and long term planning (Palestinian ageing political parties seem unable or unwilling to provide that). Progressive groups abroad do great work but are hardly networked and all overstretched. Below are questions many of us are asking and you can either: a) visit us today after 2:30 PM for us to chat and to act together, or b) write to us of your thoughts and actions and additional questions/answers, or c) bring a circle of trusted friends together to answer these or similar questions:
- What are the best methods for helping those in most need (e.g. hundreds of families made homeless by Israeli bombings of apartment buildings in Gaza)?
- How do we respect ourselves (empowerment), respect others (joint struggle), and respect nature?
- How do we stop the mad dash to armaments particularly weapons of mass destruction (Israel has hundreds of those including on German supplied nuclear-powered submarines)?
- How do we protect idealistic youth from the relentless attack and pressures they encounter (arrests, beatings, etc.?) How do we ensure maximum impact for the utilized resources?
- How do we network the thousands of local and global organizations working for Palestinian human rights and sustainability and increase their effectiveness?
- How do we both oppose evil deeds such as the killing of innocents (17 children so far in last 3 days) while also building an alternative positive future for all children?
- How do we reach out to churches and mosques around the world?
- How do we grow our own food instead of consuming products that fund wars and harm our health?
- What are best practices to counter the destructive power of special interests like AIPAC on the US government?
- How do we counter media spin that distorts reality and blames the victims?
- How do we support each other emotionally? How to be transparent, express emotions, yet be guarded from being exploited?
- What is the best way to work on changing the destructive direction of many Arab states (normalizing and colluding with colonial oppressors)?
- How do we organize to make civil resistance sustainable and that it achieves discrete short term and long term goals?
Please gather in small groups and address these and/or other questions.
Your public communication needs to be guarded and your private communications limited to trustworthy people. Doing so, we not only can help come up with some answers to these questions but to ask many more questions and answer them together. Towards a better future.
in occupied Bethlehem