Author's Note: This is a collaborative reflection created by Grassroots Jerusalem, the organization that I work for [full disclosure], in response to the assault on Gaza. Please feel free to share it with your networks.
In the past 24 hours the sound waves have changed in Palestine -- from the radio in the taxis and the televisions in our supermarkets, to the news feeds on our Facebooks and the conversations in our homes. Throughout the night we sent letters to our friends living and working under fire. We posted pictures of mourning parents holding the bodies of their murdered children. We changed our Facebook pictures in hopes of pressing the dark images of humanity into the minds of our friends and followers.
But the invasion isn't just the sky or the sound waves. It is our physical space as well. This morning flying Israeli checkpoints were scattered throughout East Jerusalem. When one of them was stopped on her way into Jerusalem from Ramallah, she asked the soldiers -- why?
"Because of the violence in the south," he said. "It is just a check."
"Just a check? Where you steal more of my time, my life?"
But now, in the office -- we can't go on as usual. For this is not a normal day. This is a dark day in Jerusalem and Gaza. A day of murder with reasons we won't accept. We remember every past war and every past election. The correlation is too simple for us to forget. So while this might be business as usual for politicians, we refuse to make this the usual. That -- would be normalization.
Grassroots Jerusalem stands in solidarity with the people in and around Gaza.
We could call on the UN, EU, USA and other power holders to take war criminals out of their posts and put them on trial. To stop funding them. To stop holding proxy wars in our home, on earth. But we see that such calls are not heard, or are quickly forgotten, and we have no time to waste.
At Grassroots Jerusalem and Markaz Al Kul we amplify community voices. We call on artists and activists to share their best manifestos, songs and poetry, to stand in the streets and to occupy cyberspace. Don't let anyone forget what is happening. Not today, not tomorrow, not in the future.
We have had enough of tragedy. So today must be a chance for us to double our efforts in advocating for an end to military aid to Israel and to intensify our calls for divestment from all companies that profit from this escalation of violence and Israel's ongoing siege of Gaza.
If you'd like a tune for this time, we'd recommend: Checkpoint 303 -- "Gaza Calling"
Grassroots Jerusalem is a platform for social, urban and human rights activists and organizations in Jerusalem. We seek to strengthen Palestinian grassroots network that will represent the community voice that disobeys, opposes and nonviolently resists the Israeli occupation.
For further information please see the Grassroots Al Quds Network.