- TELL THE MEDIA
- BOYCOTT, DIVESTMENT, SANCTIONS
- PROTEST, DEMONSTRATE
- GET INFORMED
- INFORM OTHERS
TELL THE MEDIA
Hold the media accountable. Demand that your local print and broadcast media tell the truth. Praise them when they do so, complain when they don’t.
GUIDE TO WRITING LETTERS:
(1) Write whatever you have time and energy for. If you can dash out a sentence or two, please do. If you want to craft something longer and more detailed, please do. Most newspapers have a word limit for letters to be published: Seattle Times and Seattle PI both have limits of 200 words, for example. If you want to write more than that and don’t want to edit down, send it anyway.
(2) In your opening sentence refer to the news story, column, or previously published letter you are responding to by its headline (or author if it’s a letter) and the date it was published, for example: “Thank you for covering the event at Westlake ‘Remembering the Dead’, Dec.1.”
(3) Keep the tone of your letter respectful. Passion is fine, especially when backed up with solid facts, but avoid needlessly harsh language. Be positive whenever possible.
(4) Resist the temptation to respond to every point in the article, and pick one or two points to focus on.
(5) If the article was generally positive towards Palestinians, but you are responding to misrepresentation or bias, e.g., the paper using “disputed territories” instead of “occupied territories,” or stating there’s been a “period of relative calm” because no Israelis have died in a period of time when Palestinians have been killed, thank the paper for publishing the article to encourage more coverage, and then make your critical points.
(6) If you’re responding to an alert, send your letter to the address that provided. Be timely. Responding within 24 hours is best, though within 2 or 3 days is still okay, and letters are still noticed even after that. Include your full first and last name, street address, and day/night telephone numbers. Only your name and city of residence will be included if your letter is published.
(7) Newspapers will not always publish sources or links in the body of your letter. If you want to include references to support specific facts, do so but be aware that they might not be included.
(8) Use whatever relevant authority you have, for example, if you’ve had personal experience living or traveling to the Occupied Territories, if you are knowledgeable about the Middle East, etc. However, authority can also be established by using correct facts and by writing a polite, logical, well-written letter.
(9) Proofread your letter for errors. If possible, have someone else read it for objective input.
(10) Don’t be discouraged if your letter is not printed. Every time you submit a letter you are educating the editorial board of the paper, and you are weighing in on the side of justice when it comes to tallying how the public received a published piece. If you do get published, the same paper will probably not publish you again for a month or two. However, please continue to write letters to the editor as numbers always count and you will be helping another person with a similar viewpoint get published
BOYCOTT, DIVESTMENT, SANCTIONS
Boycott Israel by refusing to purchase any goods produced in Israel or by Israeli-owned companies. Also, consider boycotting products sold by companies that conduct business with Israel or supply goods or services to the Israeli armed forces. Do not boycott products simply because they are kosher or associated with Jewish cultural practices. This boycott is directed at the State of Israel, not at the Jewish people of the world.
Israel’s successive governments refuse to listen to criticism by the United Nations, human rights activists, and the World Court alike, and Israel’s behavior is becoming more extreme and brutal year by year. An economic boycott is a legitimate, moral, and non-violent form of political action. Boycotts are taking place in dozens of countries around the world: from New York and Toronto to Durban and Qatar, ordinary citizens are organizing to refuse to buy Israeli products.
Join the Palestine Solidarity Committee and other community organizations as they call on the Seattle City Council to divest its pension fund of corporations that are supplying the Israeli government with products used as war materials. We currently have municipal public funds invested in companies that support that military occupation, and the time has come for that to end.
The call for divestment from companies that supply Israel with weapons is not the same as a call to boycott Israel or divest from Israeli corporations. It is an attempt to call the Seattle City Council to account for what a significant part of the population considers inappropriate investment policies.
Given the current level and dependency of Israel upon global markets, particularly the technology and research sector, sanctions at a state, regional or institutional level may be the only effective measure to bring about effective pressure.
Israel operates in direct violation of numerous UN resolutions and is also in clear breach of the fourth Geneva Convention, which is the cornerstone of international humanitarian law that ensures minimum protections for civilians in armed conflict and occupation. Sanctions would ensure that Israeli apartheid and occupation become unprofitable and finally untenable, catalyze an anti-Zionist movement in Israeli society and boost the morale of those struggling under occupation.
The campaign for sanctions includes letter-writing campaigns direct at government officials, placing pressure on supra-national bodies like the European Union, and the creation of grassroots groups aimed at spreading awareness to their elected officials as well as within their respective constituencies.
OTHER LOCAL GROUPS
Palestine Solidarity Committee – Seattle
Voices of Palestine
Jewish Voice for Peace
Students: engage your campus with Campus Action Network
Palestine for Beginners
Peace, Propaganda and the Promised Land
The Iron Wall
Occupied Voices edited by Wendy Pearlman
The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine by Ilan Pappe
The Iron Cage by Rashid Khalidi
An Israeli in Palestine by Jeff Halper
Palestine (graphic novel) by Joe Sacco
The Question of Palestine by Edward Said
One Country by Ali Abunimah
Host a House Party!
Invite friends over for dinner or tea and show a video and/or host a speaker who’s just back from witnessing the occupation.
Show a film on Palestine to your church group or community group!
Invite a speaker and/or film to your school or church or organization or bookclub!