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Theo of the radical British folk group Seize the Day (… - nhpeacenik

Theo of the radical British folk group Seize the Day ( seizetheday.org or www.myspace.com/seizethedayfolk) just sent this suggestion, and while I'm still working up the courage to act on it, I thought it was so compelling that I ought to do my small part to make it go viral. I've been thinking we need a creative nonviolent way to respond to the Gaza situation. People-to-people calling is sort of like making  campaign calls during an election (not robocalls, of course, which are a quite different matter). If I do this, I'll need to stoke the fires of equanimity and compassion in my heart and make sure not to inject any blame or anger into my voice. That's not what it's about: it's about saving lives and opening up the possibility that peace and justice can prevail.


Today I phoned Israel
Calling Israel - pass it on

Today I called a randomly selected resident in Israel.

Not to issue threats or warnings. Not to unload my emotions on them. Not in any way to add to their feelings of isolation and victimhood.

Just to show them that, as much as the world loves them and respects their right to exist, we also love Palestinians and respect their right to exist.

I said "Hi, do you speak English? My name is _____ and I'm calling from England. I just wanted to say that I completely support your right to exist as an Israeli citizen, and to live without fear of attack.
I also wanted to say that I detest what your government is doing in Gaza, and I want you to demand an immediate end to the mass killing. The people of Gaza have an equal right to life."
I listened respectfully to their response for a while, without entering into an arguement about Hamas etc. I ended by reaffirming that the killing of Palestinian children can NEVER be justified.

If thousands of us made 1 or 2 calls it might help start to shift public awareness in Israel.
I dialled 141 first to withold my number. It took a few tries to find a number that worked.

To call random Israelis, you can use most eight-digit sequences following the country code 972.
The first of the eight digits is the area code (2 for Jerusalem, 3 for Tel Aviv, 4 for Haifa, 6 for the north, 8 for the south, and 9 for the center). The next digit should be between 5 and 9. Then any 6 digits.
So, a Tel Aviv number from UK could be 00 - 972 - 3 - 5 - 691120
(-but don't dial that one, unless you want the office of the Israeli Army Chief of Staff!)

I dialled 141 first to withold my number.

TIME OF CALL: Sensible hours. Israel is 2 hours ahead of Britain. For other time conversions, see link below. Remember Saturday is Shabbat and it will finish at nightfall. If you call on Shabbat, you might want to say "Shabbat Shalom. My name is .." If you call after nightfall its common to say "Shavua Tov. My name is..." Shavua Tov means "Good week."
In general people don't answer the phone on Shabbat, but they will definitely do so after nightfall.

NOTE: Some Israelis will have been personally hurt by Palestinian attacks, many will have loved ones in the army, and some already oppose the military operation. There is a mass demo against the war in Tel Aviv tonight (saturday 17th).


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Current Music: Seize the Day, United States

1 comment or Leave a comment
pirate_moo From: pirate_moo Date: January 22nd, 2009 09:35 pm (UTC) (Link)
Wow! What an interesting suggestion... have you decided whether to call yet?
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