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1) Have Respect
I purposely start with this one because, unfortunately, this is such a politicized issue. It brings me great sadness that such a worthy cause can be represented by such disrespect. When discussing the issue remain respectful, especially on public pages. Remember, you are representing your stance and sometimes the way you say something can have a much bigger impact than what you are saying.
2) Educate Yourself
Before debating the next person you think is wrong about the situation in Gaza, make sure you have read, from reliable sources, about the conflict and not just the side that you choose. Do you know what happened before the event you are discussing? Do you know who was involved? If you don’t, learn before you speak. Context is important.
3) Check. Check. And Check Again
I have seen so many posts that had come out of Syria being used for Gaza. Gaza does not need any more tragic images. There are already too many. If you find something, whether a picture, video, or written piece make sure you triple check the source. I have seen several people criticize those who stand with Gaza because of these mistakes. It delegitimizes the cause and inaccurately portrays the conflict. A great source to follow is Ayman Mohyeldin, a reporter for NBC. Another is If Americans Knew that actively cites their facts and figures.
4) Don’t Debate. Educate
If you go into a conversation with somebody about this with the intention of proving them wrong, then you have already lost. Do not debate. If they state something inaccurate about the conflict, address the discrepancy. There is no need to get defensive.
5) Spell Check.
Seriously. Grammar is important.
6) Write to Your Representatives and Senators
Unfortunately, many people underestimate the power of a collective effort. Take the time to write and phone your Representatives and Senators. Remind them that a growing number of people are becoming more educated about the conflict and realizing the grave injustice that we as Americans are contributing to.
7) Join the BDS Movement
The Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) Movement is a campaign that started in 2005 and has grown internationally. It aims to pressure Israel until it complies with international law. Click here to learn more.
The majority of us cannot go to Gaza and help out. Even if you could, chances are you would not be able to get in. There are two great organizations that I have heard about that you can donate to to make a difference. The first is ANERA (American Near East Refugee Aid), and the second is PCRF (Palestinian Children Relief Fund).
9) Do Not Forget
Who knows how long this conflict will go on but chances are news outlets will need something else to discuss soon and people will move on to that next subject. Unfortunately, conflicts have become like trends. People become actively invested then forget in a week or two. The people of Gaza will be rebuilding for a lot more than just a few weeks. Remember that.
10) Send a Thought. Send a Prayer.
To the secular readers, send a positive thought to the people of Gaza. To the religious ones, send a prayer. Include a few more thoughts and prayers to all the people suffering in the world that we do not talk about.
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