Gaza conflict: What can I do to help?

As we are sadly reminded daily of the ongoing Israel Palestine conflict, we find out what we, as twenty-somethings on the other side of the world, can do.

Here at Messy, we’re all about breaking taboos and posting light-hearted content to help you navigate the minefield that is your twenties.

However, as the Israel Palestine conflict continues, it is hard to not acknowledge the heartbreaking images and videos that have flooded our social media feeds, particularly over the last few days. Such a topic must be addressed with the seriousness and focus it rightfully deserves.

As twenty-somethings, seeing brutal deaths and countless tragedies plastered across our screens everyday can often leave us feeling helpless. Of course, our hearts break for the pain so many people are currently enduring, but it can leave us with important questions. What can I do to help? Where do I learn more about what is happening? How can I make a difference?

We spoke to Ali Jacques, a 20 year old student at Sheffield Hallam University, who is currently taking part in a campus coalition, which involves camping all hours of the day, outside of Sheffield University student union.

The camp was organised by the Sheffield campus coalition for Palestine (SCCP) and has been ongoing since May 1st.

So, if you’re currently wondering how on earth you should go about doing your small bit to help , Ali had plenty of advice on where to start.

“The first way people can help is by complying with BDS, the boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign”, he said. “This is the idea that if we boycott Israeli products and institutions, it will lead to divestment from big companies, as it will be too risky to be affiliated with Israel. 

“This hopefully opens the way for further sanctions. Examples of companies are Starbucks, McDonalds and Coca-Cola.”

Whilst at first it may seem impractical boycotting such huge companies, and potentially that it won’t make a difference, once it is enforced on a larger scale, real difference can be seen, as well as effectively educating yourself.

“Education is vital”, Ali continued. “Really look into it online, and don’t just agree with something because you’re told it’s correct. Find out what’s going on and understand the context in which this happens. Doing these things can lead you into being more impassioned, learn more, and help make a difference, even if it’s just in your local area.”

As a young generation, there has never been a more important time for us to be educated on what is happening in the world, and attempt to make a difference in the future, no matter how big or small.

So whether it be making a charity donation, swapping out certain companies in your weekly purchases, or simply reading up on the history, we, as twenty-somethings, can pave the way for change, and hopefully, not feel quite so powerless as we continue to see such upsetting images and statistics across social media.

“Our ancestors, no doubt, have been party to a lot of horrible crimes around the world”, Ali said. “I think it is our duty, to say ‘this won’t happen on our behalf anymore, and we won’t be complicit. We won’t allow this.’

“People ask themselves what they would have done if their country had committed genocide, or what they would have done during slavery, but the answer is they are doing it right now.”

There are numerous charities fundraising for relief for the ongoing conflict. Some can be found here: Unicef, UNRWA, Oxfam.

For more up to date stories, click here.