How to be a good ally to Palestinians
From forced displacement to power outages, military assaults and arbitrary child arrests, it’s easy to feel helpless when reading the latest news reports on developments in Palestine. Despite this, there are ways that you can show support. To help, we have listed seven steps you can use to become a positive ally for Palestinians. Read on to find out more.
Step One: Get properly informed
Unsure what to believe in the news? Know the facts by sourcing them from Palestinian authors and reputable human rights organisations. This will help you better understand the reality of Palestinian life under occupation and siege while staying away from news sources that frame developments in Palestine solely within the context of ‘Israeli security’, which can be dehumanizing for Palestinians.
Often missing from the headlines are the 5 million Palestinians living in refugee camps across Lebanon, Jordan and Syria. Referring to themselves as the ‘Forgotten Refugees’, their stories are frequently overlooked. There are now up to five generations of Palestinian refugees struggling with poverty and deprivation, making it the longest running refugee crisis in the world today. Find out more here.
Step Two: Elevate and listen to Palestinian voices
The most important job as a Palestinian ally is to listen and elevate Palestinian voices. From world renowned poets to little known citizen journalists on the ground, their voices are at the core of Palestinian society and their stories must be shared. Some of our favourites include Susan Abulhawa,Suheir Hammad, Mahmoud Darwish, Mourid Barghouti, Rafeef Ziadeh and more here. There are many uplifting stories about Palestinian resilience that are worth a read too, take a look at our compilationhere.
Step Three: Give to Palestinian causes
With more than 80% of Palestinians in Gaza reliant on humanitarian aid to survive, your support of Palestinian causes can go a long way to help mitigate some of the hardship Palestinians continue to face. You may already support various other causes- this is a great opportunity to link related charitable objectives to Palestine and help build global solidarity. Find organisations with a good track record of working on the ground throughout the year. Find out more about the work that we do here.
Step Four: Go to events
There are plenty of events across the country that help raise awareness of the injustices facing Palestinians, from talks at universities with experts in the field to charitable dinners and film screenings, you’ll get the chance to meet like-minded people and help strengthen support for Palestine in your community. Facebook is a great place to start looking for Palestine related events in your area, you can also check out upcoming events with Interpal here.
Step Five: Engage on social media
From #BlackLivesMatter to the #MeToo campaign, online social movements are having a massive impact on people’s opinions. Facebook and Twitter are places where you can engage with friends and family in a positive way to address misconceptions about Palestine and encourage wider support for Palestinians’ rights. Find out which UN international days are related to Palestinian rights and use their related hashtags, or engage with public figures taking part in #ama’s (ask me anythings) on Reddit and Twitter. Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Twitter to keep up to date on what’s happening.
Step Six: Use your words wisely
Always call out those who use derogatory language in any form against other groups. Make it clear that racism and antisemitism are unacceptable and play no part in advocacy. Being a good ally for Palestine is about seeking justice in the most peaceful and constructive way possible.
Step Seven: Be an advocate in your life
You know the facts and have built a network of allies, now’s the time to become an advocate. Contact your local MP, write to the Secretary of State for International Development (Penny Mourdant MP) or Boris Johnson, Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and urge them to take action in response to the continued human rights abuses facing Palestinians. The best and easiest way to do it is here. We also create pre-prepared letters for you to sign during our campaigns, look out for our letter to Penny Mourdant MP in the lead up to World Water Day this March.
Beyond these six steps, there are many more things you can do to show your support for Palestine. If you’re interested in volunteering with us at Interpal, or if you would like more information on how you can help in other ways, give us a call on 020 8961 9993.