We are currently donating to and raising money for the Palestine Children's Relief Fund. We also have a shirt encouraging an immediate ceasefire for those who want it. All sales will go to the PCRF -- we will keep nothing from it.
We support a full ceasefire from Israel and Hamas. We need to get aid to Palestinians and work toward a long term resolution.
We know we'll get plenty of "shut up and just make shirts!" messages about this shirt or blog post, which is odd because our wheelhouse is not shutting up -- our "thing" is opinionated content.
We wanted to stand and be counted. Make our opinion public, and (hopefully) reasonable to encourage others to do the same.
This blog lays out our thinking, if you are interested.
To start with: Hamas attacked Israel. They killed over 1,000 innocent people and took over 200 hostages back to Gaza. This was the most egregious act of violence in a long line of violent acts by an organization that sees violence as the best way to stay in power and relevant.
At the same time, Israel's control over Gaza makes day-to-day life hard and economic flourishing nearly impossible, which leads to frustration among the population.
Israel has restricted many items they think Hamas will use against Israeli civilians, but also things like lentils, jam, and tea. Jimmy Carter referred to Israel's treatment of Palestinians as "apartheid" and Human Rights Watch called Gaza an "open air prison."
According to the UN, only 10% of Gazans even have access to clean water, leading to rampant disease even during peace.
Israel's right wing government has often let Israeli settlers abuse and displace Palestinians outside of Gaza, furthering injustice and Palestinian frustration.
What's more, Israel's current government has supported Hamas in the past as a way to undercut peace negotiations.
But Israel is a military super-power, and their total control over Gaza's boundaries mean that this war doesn't resemble most other conventional wars.
Hamas can never "win" against Israel. Israel dropped more bombs on Gaza in 6 days than the US dropped on Afghanistan in an entire year after 9/11.
And Israel's control over their territory means that the suffering being endured by civilians currently is unlike other conflicts.
Hospitals can barely operate due to lake of power and supplies. Women are undergoing C-Sections with no anesthesia.
What innocent Palestinians are enduring is almost unimaginable.
Meanwhile, outside of the Middle East, Jews are at risk from a rise in anti-Semitism. As a religion that has endured centuries of violence and persecution, it is right to be sensitive of language that could lead worsening underlying tensions in countries beyond the Middle East.
It was only in 2018 that a mass shooter in Pittsburgh killed 11 while they worshipped at a synagogue.
What's more, Gaza's non-Israel border, the one with Egypt, remains closed, leaving Palestinians trapped. Though an Arab nation, Egypt is worried about taking on the task of supporting Palestinian refugees.
Palestinians have faced ill-treatment in other Middle East nations, not just Israel.
It is difficult to draw any clear lines.
What we would like to see is a ceasefire on all sides -- Israel and Hamas.
We would like to see medical aid delivered to alleviate the immediate suffering.
And we hope that trust can be repaired to start a meaningful peace process.