Wednesday, January 7

What can I do to help?

The Gaza Strip situation brings great concern to all of us as we follow the news. As we talk to our neighbors and friends here in Palestine, they desire to take action for those in need, yet feel so helpless. I spoke with my neighbor about the situation in Gaza. They said “If the people in Gaza could stop the fighting, they would. Israel is killing the regular people….where is Hamas? There is nothing we can do from the West Bank. I hope I can help the people in Gaza to get out. They should open the checkpoints for all those people who don’t like situations like this. Nobody would stay in Gaza. Nobody can do anything….only America.”

We have also received many emails from friends and family back in North America asking if there is anything they can do to help. This seems to be the big question. What can I do to help those suffering?

We would like to highlight some options on how you can advocate for the people and situation that is taking place in Gaza and the surrounding Israeli towns.

What is advocacy and where do I begin?

  • Can promote positive change to structures and policies, which will be of benefit to people who are being treated unjustly.
  • It can change a community's attitudes and misconceptions about a particular situation.
  • It ensures that you have a voice and that it will be heard.
What do I advocate for?
  • Call for an immediate cease-fire: The fighting will not bring about security for either Palestinians or Israeli's. Israel needs to stop the bombing, air strikes and other military activity that is killing hundreds and injuring thousands of innocent civilians. Hamas must stop the rocket attacks that continue to hurt Israelis and bring about fear.
  • Humanitarian aid into Gaza: Humanitarian aid must reach the most vulnerable people. A humanitarian catastrophe in the Gaza Strip is in no one's best interest.
  • Encourage them to join others in pursing a peaceful solution that will bring an end to the Israeli occupation of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.
There are many ways in which we can all be advocates. Outlined below are a few suggestions.

1. Contact your governmental officials:

This is extremely important! Make your voice heard to your representative or Member of Parliament. Send them a letter, fax or email. For helpful information on how to do this, please visit the following MCC advocacy office websites:

  • In Canada:
  • In the United States:
To find your local Member of Parliament or congressional official, please go to the following links:

  • In Canada:
  • In the United States:
MCC has sent letters to the Prime Minister of Canada and the President of the United States. To find these letters, please go to:

2. Write an article for a newspaper or magazine
  • Draw the attention of many people through an article in your local newspaper or church magazine. Many readers are inundated with the media, which continues to portray a one-sided story.
  • Perhaps you have read a news story that you might not agree with. Send a letter to the editor with your opinion on the situation in Gaza.
  • If you have visited the West Bank in the past, relate to them on a personal level with a story about your visit.

3. Prayer
  • Pray for the civilians who are physically and emotionally traumatized due to the situation in Gaza.
  • Pray for the families who have had a member killed or injured in the fighting.
  • Pray for doctors that they would have wisdom as they treat patients and work under tense conditions. There is a lack of supplies, overcrowded hospitals and emotions are extremely high.
  • Pray for those in leadership, that they would work towards a peaceful solution that is in the best interest for everybody.
  • Pray that humanitarian aid would be allowed into Gaza.

We encourage you to take action.

"I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; And because I cannot do everything I will not refuse to do the something that I can do." -Helen Keller

Jessica Hulsey lives in Palestine. She and her husband Trey are Peace Development Workers for MCC. They have been married for 4 years and plan to live in Palestine for a total of 3 years. She is originally from the suburbs of Philadelphia but has also lived in Boston, MA and Durham, NC. She enjoys event planning, hosting people and cooking.

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