Wichita State's independent, student-run news source

The Sunflower

Wichita State's independent, student-run news source

The Sunflower

Wichita State's independent, student-run news source

The Sunflower

OPINION: Here are the top 8 ways you can help Palestine from home

Preston Caylor

On the other side of the world, Palestinian men, women, and children are being carpet bombed, starved and murdered. This tragedy is too far away or too big for one person in the states to make an immediate impact on, but there are many ways anyone can make a difference.

Many people feel this way, especially since it has been 100 days since Oct. 7; however, there are still plenty of ways in which anyone can help, regardless of time and money constraints.

The creation of Israel in 1948 led to displacing more than 700,000 Palestinians and the capture of 78% of the region’s land. Hamas, a Palestinian political group, launched a surprise attack on Israel on Oct. 7, and Israel began a bombing campaign shortly after. 

  1. Boycotting

This is likely a method that you’ve been hearing a lot about lately, but it still rings true as a great way to help. Some of the most notorious places to boycott have been Starbucks and McDonald’s, but there are many more. 

Fortunately, on the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement’s page, there is an expansive list of companies to boycott, as well as explanations of what they have done to support Israel.

There are even free apps that help keep track of what to boycott. One of these is Buycott, where you can scan the barcodes of items while shopping, and it will tell you if that is an ideal company to buy from and why, giving you the information to make your own conclusions. All you need to do is download it, create an account, and select the “campaigns” you want to participate in (including a pro-Palestine one). 

Boycotting is a great way to support Palestine because it has worked several times in the past, from the abolition of the apartheid in South Africa to Montgomery Bus Boycotts in Alabama, and it is already causing companies like Starbucks to lose market value. Boycotting shows those in power where we want our money to go and makes our voices heard.

  1. Contact representatives

Another way to support Palestine that activists have been pushing for is by contacting representatives. Each and every representative, from the mayor to Senate representatives, are capable of pushing for change, but citizens need to push them to do it. 

The app 5 Calls has been praised by activists as being an easy-to-use method to call all of your representatives. You simply have to put in your information, select what you would like to contact your representatives about, and read the script that is provided to you. This has been incredibly helpful for those who have anxiety with phone calls or even people who want to help but don’t know where to start.

You can also contact the White House directly by visiting their contact page. You only need to put in your information and write a short message about why you believe the U.S. should call for a ceasefire and show support for Palestine. This only takes a few minutes and is low-pressure compared to a phone call.

  1. Attend events in Wichita

If you are able to go out into Wichita and show your support, then be on the lookout for strikes, vigils, informational meetings and protests. 

Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) is a small group of students that organize many of these movements. You can find updates on the group’s Instagram page.

SJP, the Arab Student Association and the Artist Exploration Association will be hosting an educational event called Tatreez Night on Feb. 2 from 4-7 pm in the Rhatigan Student Center room 165. They will focus on traditional Palestinian embroidery.

  1. Keep up to date with Palestinian journalists and platforms

We live in an age of advanced technology, meaning there are several journalists continuously sharing their experiences with the world and platforms that extensively document them. Over 100 journalists in Gaza have been murdered since Oct. 7 as of Dec. 23. If we truly want to help, it is our duty to amplify their voices.

These journalists and platforms have been using social media platforms to document these events. Some of the most famous ones include Motaz Azaiza, Bisan Owda, Eye on Palestine, The Institute for Middle East Understanding, Mohammad Al-Masri, Middle East Eye and more.

Many of these journalists speak both English and Arabic, but there are often people translating posts into English for worldwide viewers.

  1. Spread awareness of the Palestinian cause

Spreading awareness does a few things. Sharing the truth while others don’t is one of the hardest things to do, especially if the truth consists of morbid numbers and screaming families, but it’s one of the things that got you to support Palestine, isn’t it?

Learning and sharing the history behind Palestine and Israel is super important to debunk falsehoods and show others why they should care, too. Reuters wrote an article briefly explaining the history behind Palestine and Israel, as well as a few neighboring Arab countries. 

Another misconception that it is crucial to spread awareness about is the difference between anti-Zionism and antisemitism. In a previous article I wrote, I covered the difference between the two beliefs.  Anti-Zionism is the belief that Jewish people don’t have the exclusive right to Israel at the expense of Palestinians, whereas antisemitism is the hatred of Jewish people. 

Spreading awareness can include having a conversation with those around you over lunch, or it can be as simple as reposting and boosting journalists and Palestinians on the internet.

  1. Keep up to date with the International Court of Justice (ICJ) case

South Africa presented a case to the ICJ charging Israel of genocide against the 1948 Geneva Convention and aims to put an immediate stop to the atrocities in Palestine. According to Al Jazeera, the ICJ is the highest legal body of the United Nations (UN) that may settle issues amongst member states. 

South Africa presented five main points against Israel including accusing them of mass killing Palestinians, mental and bodily harm, food blockade and forced displacement, destroying Gaza’s healthcare system and preventing Palestinian births. As of Jan. 14, the death toll in Palestine reached 24,000 and over 60,000 have been injured.

Israel denied the accusations made against them, and claimed everything has been done in self-defense against Hamas, the political group that launched an attack against Israel on Oct. 7, killing 1,200 people. Following the attack on Oct. 7, more than 1,000 Israelis have been killed and nearly 9,000 have been injured. 

Continuing to watch or read about the ICJ hearings is an important tool to continue teaching others and spreading awareness of the issue.

  1. Support Palestinian-owned businesses

Putting your money directly toward Palestinians is a great way to show solidarity across the globe.

Hirbawi is the last kufiyah (or keffiyeh) factory in Palestine. Kufiyahs are headdresses that have been worn by Palestinians to show their resistance against Israel and instill pride in their heritage. People around the world, including non-Palestinians, have been wearing them in solidarity at protests, vigils or even casually to show support. 

There are plenty more businesses that you can buy from, too. The Institute for Palestine Studies composed a list of ten Palestinian-owned businesses and what they sell. There are also several social media posts that include extensive lists of Palestinian companies and it includes everything from clothing to home goods and lifestyle. 

  1. Donate eSIM cards

With the power and network outages that Palestinians constantly face, it is often difficult for them to communicate to the outside world. 

Outages are deadly and dangerous for several reasons, including being unable to contact emergency services, which are facing crises of their own, leaves families without a way to contact each other, and leaves the rest of the world without evidence of the tragedies occurring and allowing that space to be filled with disinformation and propaganda instead.

Mirna El Helbawi, author and founder of nonprofit organization Connecting Humanity, made a list of steps that anyone can use to donate eSIM cards to people in Palestine so they can continue to share and document their lives with the world. 

It requires you to download the Nomad app, create an account, purchase one for varying prices depending on the plan you choose and email it to [email protected]. They are sent to journalists documenting the ongoing tragedies occurring in Palestine.

Leave a Comment
About the Contributors
Genesis Merriett
Genesis Merriett, Reporter
Genesis Merriett is a first-year reporter for The Sunflower. She is a sophomore majoring in mathematics, however, Merriett enjoys writing as well. She is originally from Missouri, but lived in Colorado for most of her life until moving to Wichita five years ago. Additionally, she enjoys drawing, crochet and exploring new places in her free time.
Preston Caylor
Preston Caylor, Illustrator/Designer
Preston Caylor is a freshman at Wichita State majoring in animation, and this is his first year on staff at The Sunflower. Caylor grew up in Wichita and has always been fond of drawing, animation and music. In the future, he plans on making his way to a big animation company such as Disney or Pixar to either be an animator or animation director. Fun Fact: Caylor plays eight instruments: guitar, acoustic guitar, bass, drums, horn, trumpet, alto saxophone and tenor saxophone. Caylor uses he/him pronouns.

Comments (0)

All The Sunflower Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *