Five solidarity actions you can take right now
It’s a week since Hamas launched an attack on southern Israel, and the footage coming out of Israel, Gaza is horrific and heartbreaking.
Can’t look at it, but can’t look away.
My thoughts are with the people of the Middle East – Israel, Gaza and beyond. Praying for peace and hope for the future.
I was in two minds about whether to post anything this week – it’s not BAU, is it? It feels insensitive and inappropriate to be posting humorous content right now.
And we need to be mindful about what we’re sharing on social – lots floating around from unverified accounts.
As Prof Samuel Woolley said about Russia-Ukraine, sometimes it’s better to say nothing and let the witnesses and experts take up the space.
People need to practise strategic silence. We should leave it up to the people who really understand the situation to post as much as possible.
We should give them our support, but we should allow people with expertise to do the talking.
Kaya Yurieff posted about this dilemma and how some creators are pausing brand partnerships and usual content now.
There’s no right answer. It’s a tricky balance – damned if you do, damned if you don’t. Silence is communication.
So, you do whatever feels right, which for me is to share stories from human rights monitors, shine a light on them, and let the oppressed educate us.
Graphic war images go viral
I’ve never seen such graphic imagery on social media – photos of dead babies promoted as ads on X from Israel’s government account.
It is shocking and deeply uncomfortable, but I can see why they’ve done it to ensure maximum visibility and tackle any conspiracy theories. There is a lot of misinformation. I have to verify my X account every time I post/update.
Seeing regular ads pop up on my feed is also jarring and annoying.
A simple and succinct historical background
I’m trying to understand this conflict better – often described in Western media as complicated and deadlocked. So, you have to choose your media wisely and seek out writing by indie journalists in Israel and Palestine.
• A simple guide to break down one of the world’s longest-running conflicts [Aljazeera English]
• Five solidarity actions you can take for Palestine and Israel [Quakers in Britain]
This escalation must be understood in the context of 55 years of Israeli military occupation of Palestinian land and 75 years of dispossession and oppression of the Palestinian people.
It has been proven time and time again that there can be no military solution. Without an end to the occupation, equality, and full dignified human rights for all, this cycle of violence will never end.
• +972 Magazine is an independent, online, nonprofit magazine by Palestinian and Israeli journalists.
I don’t know the solution for Israel/Palestine, but war isn’t the answer.
As the son of a missing Israeli peace activist said, “You can’t cure killed babies with more dead babies. We need peace.” Vengeance is not a strategy.
I bought some eco pens from WHSmith yesterday – £9.99 and security-tagged with a plastic padlock 🙄
This is a new thing. I asked the sales assistant why, and he said, “It’s not just pens; it’s everything.”
Shoplifting is a big problem.
The cost-of-living crisis is still with us, and Xmas is coming. I saw on CBS News that Target is closing nine stores because of surging retail theft.
People are struggling everywhere – it may be less visible, but it’s no less important.
Have you noticed there are more security guards in the shops? Chatting on their walkie-talkies and sharing intel.
I’ve had them follow me round. I hate it. Puts me on edge and doesn’t make for a relaxed shopping experience.
Stealing isn’t right, but again, it’s context and empathy. People must be desperate to steal pens and food.
There’s bad shit happening, and the world can feel scary sometimes – planes are flying overhead as I write this.
A gentle reminder to step up the self-care, look after No 1 and check in with others this weekend 🙏
I’m enjoying Mitski’s new album. There’s something about the simplicity and purity of this that’s resonating with folks – My Love Mine All Mine is beautiful.
PS I applied to host a Substack Writer Meetup. I was planning to start one, so am happy they’re providing support.
Let me know if you’re local (Sussex/Kent) and fancy co-hosting one 👯♀️
Smart move – the network effect. Like Avon, Ann Summers, and Tupperware had strong communities – Substack will soon be a household name.
Thank you for being my subscriber – and on this journey with me.
Thoughts, ideas and suggestions welcome. Let me know if there’s a topic you want me to write about or someone you’d like me to interview: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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