What can you do?

What can you do?

Many people across the globe have been haunted by the images of Palestinian children affected by Israeli apartheid and occupation and impressed by their courage and steadfastness. Many organizations have reported about them. Yet, talking about Israeli attacks on Palestinian children is fraught with complexities, including the effort not to exploit the easy emotions evoked by childrens’ suffering and not to infantilize and victimize the Palestinian people in their struggle. International solidarity shouldn’t burden individual children with even more responsibility they shouldn’t have, asking them to represent their people internationally. Yet, they aren’t mere numbers, either.

Least of all, we cannot simply ignore what is happening as this means invisibilizing an important part of the Palestinian suffering and struggle. 

It is therefore crucial to understand and present carefully the context and the framework of Israeli apartheid policies and the rationale behind the anything but anecdotal attacks on Palestinian children and childhood.

Irish trade unions have started a school twinning initiative with Palestinian schools under threat of demolition. This is a concrete step to build awareness in schools, unions and local communities around Israel’s systematic and planned policy to deny Palestinians the right to education, educate about Israel’s denial of the Palestinian’s right to education as a tool within its policies of ethnic cleansing, annexation and apartheid, and build a network of people and institutions that effectively take action and pressure governments to hold apartheid Israel accountable. 

The ‘No Way to Treat A Child’ campaign, initiated by DCI International-Palestine and AFSC, aims to garners support for a bill in the US congress that would prohibit U.S. taxpayer funding for the Israeli military detention and ill-treatment of Palestinian children, demolitions of Palestinian homes, and further annexation of the occupied West Bank.

As with any other aspect of Israeli policies that international solidarity denounces, the question of accountability has to be central. How can we ensure that any awareness raising effort or campaign contributes to bringing an end to the injustice by holding those responsible for it or complicit with it accountable? BDS is always the bottomline.