It’s been a horrific week in international news, and the weight of what’s happening in Israel and Palestine is palpable in D.C.
Right now, while Israeli civilians are still grappling with the deadly attacks and hostage-taking that Hamas perpetrated on Saturday, Oct. 7, the Israeli army is preparing a ground offensive into the 25-mile-long Gaza Strip. Israel has warned 1.1 million Palestinians in northern Gaza to evacuate their homes, but the United Nations says it’s impossible for most people to get to safe ground.
Southern Gaza is already densely crowded, Israel has cut off the Strip’s water, electricity, and food supply, and there is a shortage of adequate medical supplies. A lot of innocent people are suffering. The United Nations has called the evacuation order a crime against humanity.
The Gaza Health Ministry says as of Monday, 2,808 Palestinians have been killed and 9,600 wounded in the past week. More than 1,400 Israelis were killed, many of them on Oct. 7.
Given the international nature of D.C., a lot of us are likely feeling helpless watching the conflict escalate. Instead of doom-scrolling, here are some ways to get involved.
- Anera, a D.C.-based organization, is donating blood bags, hygiene kits, medicine, and food to Gaza.
- Jewish Federation of Greater Washington is collecting donations to fund trauma therapy, rebuild homes, and provide shelter for displaced families in Israel.
- ActionAid USA is sending food, water, and essential medical services to people in Gaza.
- Plus, here’s a list of international aid groups to support.
Attend Jewish Voice For Peace’s mass action on Wednesday, starting at noon in Capitol Hill.
3. Email Congress
Urge your representative to push for a ceasefire using this easy form letter. Yes, in D.C. that might not feel like much because Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton doesn’t have a vote, but it lends another voice to the chorus. And get your friends in other states to email in too. The form takes literally one minute.
4. Stay Informed
Be thoughtful about where you get your news; there’s a lot of disinformation out there. Our podcast host Bridget Todd debunked some myths and gave advice about staying sharp on social media, via her other show “There Are No Girls on the Internet.”