Public Witness

Take Action for Gaza

Allison Tanner

October 19, 2023

Dear Lakeshore:

These have been a very rough two weeks. I find myself overwhelmed by the violence taking place in Gaza, angered by the pro-Israel position of our president and the vast majority of congress, disgusted by the media’s repeating of lies and racist tropes to justify further violence on Palestinians, and also deeply saddened for and with my Jewish friends who are struggling to both mourn and decry further violence at the same time. My heart is heavy, grief weighs me down, and the situation continues to escalate.

I’m reminded of my time in Israel and the West Bank this past May. Of seeing F-16 bombers (given to Israel by the U.S.) flying overhead as they were going to drop bombs in Gaza. Of talking to Gazans via zoom while bombs were going off, asking them to end our call and find safety, and hearing them reply, “Nowhere is safe.” They knew they might as well go about their business – if the bombs dropped on them, they were helpless to stop them. Their words have rung in my ears these past two weeks, as their reality plays out again and again.

I’m also reminded of the Palestinians we visited in urban areas as well as in Bedouin communities who shared of the harassment they constantly endure, government actions to both actively and passively push them off their land, destroy their homes and make their lives so difficult they would be forced to flee – all for the purpose of claiming more land for Israelis. I fear the violence in Gaza right now will play into Israel’s larger plan to forcibly remove Palestinians and ultimately annex all of Gaza for Israel.

As I carry the weight of what is happening, I continue to turn to people I’m in relationship with to hear from them how they are coping and what I can do. In that vein, I share with you this article from Yousef Aljamal “I Have Lost 9 Family Members in Gaza: Stop the Death March Now.”

While I’m tempted to feel helpless in these days, I know that there is always something I can do. Pray. Act. Reach out. I know that many of you have been praying. I ask that you take action today to push your representatives to demand a ceasefire (see action links below). If anyone would like to join me in the streets, standing with the Palestinian community and their Jewish allies in this moment, please let me know. In these days of terrible violence, may we find ways to incarnate Jesus’ ways of love, justice, and insistence on the sacredness of all people.

Pastor Allison

Call Your Representatives Now to Demand a Ceasefire

Join American Friends Service Committee for an AFSC Action Hour for a Ceasefire Now on Friday at 9 a.m. Pacific. Register here to join a zoom call and take action in community. This Action Hour will provide AFSC updates from Gaza and ways to take action during the hour to contact our elected officials and call for an immediate ceasefire.