Palestine is on our minds

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Thoughts about the climate crisis are never far from our minds at Friends of the Earth. We’re always thinking about the scale of it, how we should best tackle it, the impact it’s having on people right now…Thoughts like this occupy our minds a lot.

But over the last few weeks something else has been occupying the minds and emotions of Friends of the Earth staff. It might be the same for you?

The catastrophe unfolding in Gaza is horrifying us - constantly on our minds. 

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We’re mourning the ever growing deaths of innocent civilians in Gaza - who are trapped with nowhere to go as bombs rain down on them. We’re grieving for Palestinians who have been attacked in the West Bank - driven from their homes - their land and olive groves destroyed and burned.

We’re mourning for the Israeli citizens who were murdered or taken hostage in Hamas’ horrific attack on 7th October. We’re filled with admiration for Jewish people all over the world who are risking arrest, job losses and attacks to oppose Israel's brutal war crimes.

And we’re awestruck by the bravery of Palestinian medics, humanitarian workers and citizens who are heroically saving lives while working in a living hell. 

Click here to find a Palestine solidarity action near you

We also feel so very angry. Enraged by the US, UK and EU whose political support and weapons are letting Israel murder hundreds of Palestinian children, women and men each day. Deeply frustrated to see that fossil fuels, yet again, are among the underlying drivers for Western sanctioned bloodshed (A USA-Israel energy cooperation agreement stipulates that “United States-Israel energy cooperation and the development of natural resources by Israel are in the strategic interest of the United States”, promising to assist Israel with “regional safety and security issues”.)

We’re glad to see the Irish Government calling for a ceasefire and yesterday's statement from Taoiseach Leo Varadkar is welcome. But we know that Ireland can do more. The Government must continue to call out breaches of international law, and protest much more loudly about the US and the EU’s unconditional support for Israel. 

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And we the people can do more. From our climate campaigning we know that citizens can influence our Government when enough of us act together. We know the importance of raising our voices - of speaking truth to power when terrible things are happening.

That so many demonstrations, vigils and marches are been organised around Ireland and around the world to call for peace and justice for Palestine is heartening to see. The Irish Palestine Solidarity Campaign has compiled a list of actions taking place all over Ireland this weekend that you can view here.

Click here to find a Palestine solidarity action near you

The horror of what is happening can feel unbearable at times. It feels strange to continue with day-to-day life and work while such horrific events are unfolding. 

But as the weekend arrives there is some solace in the fact that we can act now. We can take to the streets, make our voices heard, join with others in one of the many demonstrations happening across the country.