More useful volunteering work, and more musings this time mainly on what I can do
by ray goodlass
30 December: Peace work at Battir village again, all good, and tonight a lecture on what to do when we get home to help the Palestinian cause. More of this below.
My work today was to paint the framework for street litter bins that our team was making. This is part of a project by the municipality to smarten the place up, encourage tourism (and it is an ancient site certainly worth visiting), which has taken a bit of a battering due to Israeli military action, and so help boost the local economy – a very worthwhile project.
Today was Sunday, and though I guess Palestinian Christians were going to curch, it felt like a weekday. The same could be said for Saturday, the Jewish Sabbath, though more so, as there are no Jewish people here – they and their synagogues are all over on ‘their’ side of the Separation Wall. Fridays, the Muslim holy day, is different in that some, but by no means all, businesses are closed, and instead of the call to prayer being broadcast five times a day from the minarets of the mosques, there is also an hour long sermon ringing out over the streetscape. During the time I have been here I have noticed only two of our team take any notice, and they prayed standing up, for if there is no room to prostrate oneself this is allowed. The rest blithely ignored it all, so I guess they are part of the secular West Bank Palestinian majority.
Now, as to what we can do to help the cause when we return home, though I hope I’ll be able write more tomorrow, after tonight’s lecture.
Firstly, to continue to support my political party, the Greens, make sure it increases its already strong support for Palestine and peace. I can increase my efforts in the party’s ‘Conflict Transformation Working Group.
I can also coninue my membership in organisations such as the Sydney Peace Fondation, Get Up, New Internationalist and so on, and try to become more active in them.
Having joined an organisation such as Australian Peace Advocacy Network I must continue my membership-(its not cheap) and try an become more active in it.
And I must become an advocate for Palestine, and for a just and peaceful solution, by speaking out, even holding public events,and enlisting supporters.
And of course alwayslobbying, lobbying