A little under a year ago I did a 5 day water fast in Solidarity with the people of Gaza who had been living under a brutal blockade. A fast seemed an appropriate symbolic gesture because the blockade created a situation where the people in Gaza have no choice but do without enough food.
I figured the small symbol would start conversations, and raise some measure of awareness. I was listening to on the ground reports from friends in Gaza and reading reports from Amnesty International, and other human rights groups and thinking. “It can’t get any worse.”
How wrong I was.
How much worse it got!
On December 27th, Israel began a premeditated air, land, and sea assault on Gaza that reduced large areas to rubble. In three weeks Israeli forces killed 1,417 Palestinians – 313 of them children – and injured 5,303. Palestinians killed 9 Israelis during this time. Israeli strikes damaged and destroyed huge numbers of homes, causing a third of all Gazans to be displaced at some point during the assault. According to the WHO, “Vital infrastructure has been compromised or destroyed, resulting in a lack of shelter and energy sources, deterioration of water and sanitation services, food insecurity and overcrowding.”
And the blockade continues.
One of the world’s leading authorities on Gaza, Sara Roy of Harvard University, has said that the consequence of the siege “is undeniably one of mass suffering, created largely by Israel, but with the active complicity of the international community, especially the U.S. and European Union.”
As Israel continues to defy international law and the governments of the world stand by and watch – or contribute to the suffering -it has become up to us, “ordinary citizens”, people of conscience to end the illegal and immoral blockade. We must work together in Solidarity.
That is why this December MPT will answer the call of Palestinian civil society, joining with Palestinian leaders, Israeli peace activists and people of conscience from across the globe to break the blockade; entering Gaza and marching with Palestinians to Erez (border crossing to Israel) .
The Gaza Freedom March is inspired by decades of nonviolent Palestinian resistance. It is this Palestinian leadership that calls us to March in the spirit of Gandhi’s salt march and the countless marches for civil rights in the United States. We, at MPT know we must go.
And I know that I must be a part of this.
I hope you want to be a part of it too. Because we know we can not do this with out YOU. We need your support. We need you to be a part of this historic event. We need your voices, your prayers, and yes – your financial support.
Will you make a donation? Will you join us in this effort to do what the governments of the world will not – to uphold international law, end the siege and bring the messages of hope necessary for true justice and peace to take hold?
Please consider being a part of this work in the following ways:
* Make a financial contribution to the team. Send a check to Michigan Peace Team with “Gaza team – Sheri ” in the memo or make a contribution on line from our website http://www.michiganpeaceteam.org/ (again be sure to note “Gaza team- Sheri ” in the notes)
* Providing an opportunity for me or other MPT members to speak upon our return
* And, of course, your prayer support is needed and appreciated.
Thank you for being a part of this journey. In Peace and gratitude, Sheri
PS – One of the challenges we often face as we do this work is the ecological footprint of our travels. Perhaps you might also contribute to our work by helping to off-set this. Consider walking someplace you might drive, turning down the heat, or planting a tree this spring. For more information on Michigan Peace Team visit http://www.michiganpeaceteam.org/ for more info. on the Gaza Freedom March, http://www.gazafreedommarch.org/article.php