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ACTIVISM: What you can do about Gaza

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On Saturday, the Tacoma group People for Peace, Justice, and Healing adopted a statement recommending four things ordinary people can do about Gaza.[1] ...

1.

WHAT YOU CAN DO ABOUT GAZA

People for Peace, Justice, and Healing
January 10, 2009

http://www.tacomapjh.org/WhatYouCanDoaboutGaza.htm

People for Peace, Justice, and Healing (Tacoma, WA) recommends four goals concerning Gaza. Here are practical suggestions about how you can act to (1) relieve suffering immediately, (2) influence the incoming Obama administration, (3) stop U.S. support for the Israeli assault, and (4) help the Israeli peace movement.

1. RELIEVE SUFFERING IMMEDIATELY

You can donate funds to Islamic Relief USA, a 501(c)(3) non-profit with an excellent record and long experience working in Gaza:

http://www.irw.org/campaigns/palestinecrisis08

More information: Islamic Relief USA (Tax ID# 95-4453134) has worked in Palestine since 1994, and opened its Gaza City office in 1998. Since then, Islamic Relief has been working to help the Palestinians with food aid, medical relief, small business loans, and orphan sponsorships. Islamic Relief has established offices and staff in both the Gaza Strip and West Bank. Islamic Relief has also established educational enhancement centers, care programs for psychologically traumatized children, and a school for the deaf. Islamic Relief USA is headquartered in Buena Park, California, and has been incorporated in the State of California since 1993 as a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization. Islamic Relief USA is a member of the Islamic Relief Worldwide family. Islamic Relief USA has often been awarded with a 4-star rating by Charity Navigator, the largest charity evaluator in the United States, and on the occasion in 2004 of its 20th anniversary, founder Dr. Hany El Banna was awarded the Order of the British Empire. Islamic Relief USA has been awarded with a 4-star rating by Charity Navigator, the largest charity evaluator in the United States, and in a 2006 letter to Islamic Relief, Interim President of Charity Navigator Michael Smith commended the accomplishment: "We are proud to announce Islamic Relief USA has earned our fifth consecutive 4-star rating for its ability to efficiently manage and grow its finances. Only 3% of the charities we’ve rated have received at least 5 consecutive 4-star evaluations, indicating that Islamic Relief USA outperforms most charities in America in its efforts to operate in the most fiscally responsible way possible. This ‘exceptional’ designation from Charity Navigator differentiates Islamic Relief USA from its peers and demonstrates to the public it is worthy of their trust.”

2. INFLUENCE THE INCOMING OBAMA ADMINISTRATION

You can write to President-elect Barack Obama at:

http://change.gov/page/content/contact/

Or, using a #10 envelope (4-1/8" x 9-1/2" -- all others will be returned) you can write to:

President-elect Barack Obama
Transitional Team
Washington, D.C. 20720

Or, after Jan. 20, 2009, you can write to:

The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, D.C. 20500

White House telephone numbers:

Comments: 202-456-1111
Switchboard: 202-456-1414
FAX: 202-456-2461

Some advice: Make your letter brief and stick to your main point, since in all likelihood the only person who will read it is a staffer who will report how much mail the president or president-elect is receiving on a particular subject. Explain briefly why you are writing and on what your feelings are based, and support your position with facts.

3. STOP U.S. SUPPORT

Write to or contact your representative and senators in Congress:

http://www.visi.com/juan/congress/

Also, contact to Rep. Dennis Kucinich to express your support for his effort to enforce the ARMS CONTROL ACT OF 1976, which makes it illegal to use U.S. arms to esclate a conflict. On Jan. 7, 2009, Rep. Kucinich said:  "We cannot truly celebrate a New Year, a new Congress, and a new administration if all we see is the same old destruction in the Middle East with U.S. weapons being illegally used to kill children. I oppose Hamas' rocket attacks on Israel. The rocket attacks, even to try to end the blockade, have no moral justification, are illegal and must stop. But how can Israel claim self defense when it bombs Gaza which has no army, no air force, no navy and has been under a constant blockade? How can Israel claim self defense when its bombs destroy U.N. schools, killing children? The children of Palestinians and the children of Israel both deserve life. But the lives of the children of Gaza are cynically discounted as 'human shields.' Massacres are being rationalized. Israel's 'moral high ground' in Gaza is a growing pile of small bones in a graveyard. The Administration knows Israel is using U.S. weapons, paid for by U.S. taxpayers, with disproportionate force creating a collective punishment of Gazans, assuring an escalation of conflict, clear violations of the Arms Export Control Act. Israel was given U.S. weapons on condition they would not be used for aggression or escalation. The outgoing Administration must finally stand for the rule of law, not the rule of force.”

4. SUPPORT THE ISRAELI PEACE MOVEMENT

You can support the Israeli peace movement in the following ways:

a. Support the Free Gaza movement.

http://www.freegaza.org/

b. Support Peace Now

http://www.peacenow.org.il/site/en/homepage.asp

c. Support Courage to Refuse.

http://www.seruv.org.il/English/default.asp

d. Support Gush Shalom

http://zope.gush-shalom.org/index_en.html

Also, Gush-Shalom suggests that you send English-language letters to the editor to:

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They suggest you send messages one by one, as "editors don't like each others' company in the to-line," and that "letters should be short, concentrating on one issue, to the point and without 'strong wording'; if it is a reaction to something published -- in a specific paper -- then send it only there and you have quite a good chance that it will be published.

 


Last Updated on Saturday, 10 January 2009 16:10