Friday, January 9, 2009

One blog can’t change the world

- but the will and actions of millions of people around the world sure can! In days like these feelings of despair and hopelessness are never far away. But remember that there are so many things that can be done in order to halt the aggression and massacre against the people of Gaza. Don’t think you’re the only one watching the evening news in anguish, don’t think you’re the only one having sleepless nights, don’t think you’re the only one constantly bearing the latent urge to scream of anger and indignation.

Alone, we cannot achieve anything. But through collective efforts results can be accomplished, probably beyond our own imaginations. The fact that a resolution, be it that it is inadequate in many ways, calling on Israel to halt the aggression has been passed in the U.N. Security Council would never have happened without the massive mobilizations for Gaza solidarity taking place around the world.

Let there be no illusions. The Israeli state has since long proved to be completely insensitive to international condemnations (amongst other things, Israel hold the world record in breaching U.N. General Assembly resolutions). Only if protests will have concrete economic & diplomatic impact, there will be shifts in the behaviour of the Israeli political elite. Some examples;

- Call for the European Union to freeze its trade agreement with Israel. The European Union is Israel's most important trading partner, and the free trade agreement is extremely favourable to the Israelis. In essence, European taxpayers are subsidising the Israeli economy. The trade agreement is introduced by a human rights clause, stipulating that Israel has to abide by certain human rights standards and the European Union should monitor the conduct of Israel in this regard. It would be extremely easy for the European Union to freeze the trade agreement on human rights grounds, as was done with the trade agreement with Uzbekistan in 2005.

- Call on the U.S. to suspend its military aid to Israel. Why should American taxpayers should bail out the Israeli war machine as it is dropping white phosphor bombs on one of the most densely populated areas in the world?

- Call on Arab governments to suspend their complicity with the occupation of Palestine. If states like Egypt or Qatar would cancel their oil exports to Israel, it wouldn’t take long before the Israeli state would be put to its knees. Many have pointed out the absurdity of the Egyptian government allowing oil exports to Israel, whilst enforcing the blockade on Gaza.

- Pressure corporations involved in economic activities in Occupied Palestinian Terrorities to pull out. One succesfull example is the Swedish company ASSA Abloy, which decided to pull out from an illegal West Bank settlement factory due to public pressure. An example on an ongoing campaign are the calls for boycott of Veolia, currently involved in building an Apartheid railway line on occupied Palestinian land.

So how? Three simple examples.

1) Protest: Local demonstrations are held throughout the find. Google and find out were they take place (initially I had the ambition to compile list of demonstrations worldwide, but that task quickly proved to great). Bring friends and family.
2) Organize: Join an organization working with solidarity with Palestine. Examples include International Solidarity Movement, Palestine Solidarity Campaign (Britain), Fellesutvalget for Palestina in Norway, Palestinagrupperna in Sweden, Ireland Palestine Solidarity Committee, Palestine Solidarity Movement (U.S.), Palestine Solidarity Committee of South Africa, Comité de Solidaridad con la Causa Árabe (Spain) and many more.
3) Write: Write letter and blogposts, to local newspapers and national politicians, demand breaking diplomatic and economic links to Israel.


News links: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. Maybe I am naive and certainly not a religous scholar, but BOTH sides must stop.

    Israel & Hamas.

    One God, Many ways to worship.

    We have the God given Gift of "Free Will" both sides are committing a serious Sin for not embracing the others customs and ways, Openly and Freely as God really wanted it.
    Anything less is doing Satin true work.

  3. I'm not a religious scholar myself either, for that matter, but I suppose you refer to Satan and not Satin.

    When talking about responsibility for the conflict, I think it is important not to assume that the 'sides' are Israel & Hamas. The 'sides' are Israel and Palestine, the attacks on Gaza are attacks against all Palestinians who live there. Each of the 'sides' contain various clusters of political actors and social movements, neither the Israeli state nor the Palestinian polity are monolithic entities.

    Some argue why Israel should accept Hamas since it doesn't recognize the state of Israel. That statement isn't 100% correct, Hamas does implicitly recognize Israel (I intend to write a blog post in the coming days, analyzing this issue). But in any case, why should only Palestinian factions be forced to recognize Israel, when no such demands are put on Likud, Kadima and Israeli Labour Party to recognize an independent Palestinian state?

    There are many Palestinian and Palestine solidarity activists who disagree with the launching of rockets from Gaza, both from tactical and ethical viewpoints. If people want to condemn both Hamas' rocket launches and Israeli bombings, that's ok with me.

    But it is incorrect to state that both sides share burden in the flaring up of the conflict, and it is incorrect to state that guilt for the continuation of the conflict is to be shared equally. The responsibility for the massacre in Gaza, with bombings of civilian targets in densely populated areas, lies solely with the Israeli politicians. The timing of the conflict has little to do with military concerns on Israel's behalf, but coincides with the coming elections in Israel. The war was started to whip up a chauvinist mood and portray corrupted politicians as stern fighters for Israeli interests.