What can I do to help stop this genocide
We need to act now.
Kia ora friends. As requested, here is my best attempt at providing ways to help stop the genocide of Palestinians in Gaza. I give my most sincere thanks to those who helped me with this guide, especially those Palestinian and Jewish folks who are grieving and afraid right now.
In no particular order - here are things you can do right now to stop the genocide in Gaza.
Humanitarian aid is desperately needed in Gaza. While aid is being blocked by the Israeli Government right now - we must be ready.
Kiwi Trust for Palestinian Children Relief is a non-profit Trust and was founded in 2012 in New Zealand for the aim to support Palestinian children and families. Donate here or if you don’t have a credit card you can donate directly to their bank account: 06-0574-0285180-02.
Across the motu there will be rallies, vigils and protests - if there isn’t one in your area, just show up somewhere public with a picnic blanket and a sign. You can be the change with your whānau. I will try to update this post with as many details of rallies as I can. Please DM me on Facebook or Instagram to share that information.
If you haven’t been to a protest before, you can expect some shouting and sign waving and flag waving, there will be a lot of grief. But it’s also a powerful experience for tamariki to see that they have the power to seek change for their brothers and sisters all around the world. These protests are calling for an end to the blockade of Gaza and the occupation of Palestine, but they will be vigils too, in silence, for all the lives lost in occupation and war. They will hold space for all civilians killed. Be respectful of the pain and depth of feeling.
I’ve written about why I take my tamariki to protests here. My advice to parents is to discuss this as a whānau and decide attendence as a whānau. Also bring ear protectors if your child is sensitive to noise, a buggy because your kids won’t like walking after a while, raincoat or sunhats depending on the weather, and a picnic blanket. Be ready to answer big questions from little voices, but know the answer “It’s hard to understand but what’s easy to understand is that every person in the world is precious and we stand for peace”.
Accounts on Instagram to follow for information about NZ rallies and vigils - these will be happening most weekends I imagine until there is action.
Demand action from those in power
Write to Luxon, Peters and Seymour.
Te Pāti Māori and The Green Party have both made statements against genocide calling for an immediate ceasefire. Include them in your email with thanks for their stance.
Important points for your email:
The most important thing is to speak from the heart. Share the voice of your family and say why this is important. Let them know you want action.
Make sure your email is clear. We are calling for the Israeli Government to stop the genocide of the people of Gaza.
Call for an immediate ceasefire by the Israeli Government.
Call for the Israeli Government to provide safe and secure passage for humanitarian aid and medical support and supply.
Officially recognise Palestine as a sovereign country.
To expel the Israeli ambassador to NZ if ceasefire does not occur.
Condemn the targeting of civilians and collective punishment and declare that there can be no justification for blocking civilian access to water, power and humanitarian aid.
Emails (you can just cut and paste this):
firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, Marama.Davidson@parliament.govt.nz, Debbie.Ngarewa-Packer@parliament.govt.nz, Rawiri.Waititi@parliament.govt.nz.
Peace Action Auckland have also got a template for MPs you can click on the image below to see it.
Everyone will tell you that this issue is too “complex” for anyone to understand. They will say it’s too complicated to take a stand. These are silencing tactics. There are plenty of resources available to find out more about what is happening in Gaza.
“Gaza is one of the most intense civilian punishment campaigns in history. It now sits comfortably in the top quartile of the most devastating bombing campaigns ever.” - Robert Pape, a U.S. military historian.
In just over two months, the offensive has wreaked more destruction than the razing of Syria’s Aleppo between 2012 and 2016, Ukraine’s Mariupol or, proportionally, the Allied bombing of Germany in World War II. It has killed more civilians than the U.S.-led coalition did in its three-year campaign against the Islamic State group.
All water, food, electricity, petrol and humanitarian aid has been cut off from around 2.2 million people in Gaza. As of 16 October, one Palestinian child in Gaza was killed every 15 minutes by Israeli forces, it is even worse now. (UPDATE: It’s hard to provide updates but as of 28 December one child is murdered every 10 minutes).
It’s really hard to keep up with the death rate toll - a low estimate is more than 20,000. More than 10,000 infants and children have been killed. Thousands across Gaza are believed to be buried under the rubble, alive or dead. Around two thirds are children.
More than 1.9 million Palestinians have been displaced in Gaza, out of a population of 2.3 million.
Roughly 700,000 children have been affected by Israel’s Gaza genocide, a number that includes those who were killed, injured, and internally displaced.
55,243 Palestinians are have been injured since 7 October.
An Australian doctor who coordinated medical aid to Gaza has expressed horror at the “huge proportion of children being killed or maimed for life”. More than 240 schools across Gaza have been bombed since the start of the war.
In late October, Save the Children reported that the number of children killed in Gaza over three weeks had surpassed the annual number of children killed in global conflict zones every year since 2019
More than 150 countries voted in voting at the UN general assembly for a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas and also for the immediate and unconditional release of all hostages. This has been ignored.
Israel has claimed the death toll isn’t that high, this is incorrect - An article in the Lancet medical journal said there was “no evidence of inflated rates” and UNICEF, UN officials and human rights groups, and Médecins Sans Frontières say the death toll could be higher.
According to WHO, at least 39 health facilities have been bombed by Israel since the war began.
They cannot leave. They need our help.
SIGN + SHARE
Read the handbook for action on better reporting on Palestine in Aotearoa
If you are concerned about the New Zealand Government’s legal obligations under International law to support Palestine, sign this petition today.
If you whakapapa Māori and support an immediate ceasefire sign this petition.
If you are a student, staff member or alumni of a tertiary education institution you can sign an open letter calling on Universities to stand in solidarity with Palestine.
Articles to read
Accounts to follow (Instagram)
Podcasts to listen to
Born in Gaza (Netflix)
Gaza: Surviving Shujayea (Al Jazeera)
Be vigilant against misinformation, Antisemitism, and Islamophobia
Bad faith players will be out in force spreading misinformation, some of which will be picked up by mainstream media. Sharing voices directly from journalists in Gaza is crucial.
We will likely see an increase in Antisemitism in the coming days, and indeed already many Jewish people have said they have faced appalling Antisemitism online and in person. Muslims have also reported an increase in Islamophobia. Mosques and Synagogues have had to close - devastating for those who need to grieve unimaginable loss.
The Human Rights Commission has urged people to report any instances of Antisemitism and Islamophobia. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call Human Rights Information and Support line on 0800 496 877 and leave a message - be patient and recognise this is why we desperately need a well-funded HRC.
Centre Palestinian voices
Those living in Gaza have very clearly said - please share our voices. So share videos, live footage, stories, poems and reporting direct from Gaza. Call on our media to do the same. There are journalists in Gaza who are dying to bring you the photos and footage you see on social media. Share it. And do not let anyone censor you.
Say their names
Say the names of those who have been murdered by state and terrorist violence. There are Instagram accounts paying tribute to, and honouring, those who have been killed.
Share these families on your social media, hold them in your hearts, remember them and remind yourself: This is why we must do something. Every life is precious - remember them.
We have a responsibility to condemn war crimes and act immediately to stop genocide. One day our tamariki will ask us what we did to stop the genocide, what will we tell them?
Edit: I’ve been asked why I closed comments and it’s because it’s really hard to manage misinformation and care for my whānau especially over a long weekend and with a teacher-only day tomorrow. I also want to say I have condemned and do condemn hostage taking and attacks by Hamas (and have many times as has the government). I condemned 9/11 while also protesting the Iraq War. I did not believe “you’re with us or with the terrorists” then and I don’t believe it now. You can misunderstand or misrepresent my message and send me abuse but it will not change my commitment to peace and speaking out against war crimes and genocide.
Emily Writes Weekly is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.