Many of us look on with dismay, sympathy and anger over the ongoing bombing of Gaza.

The sheer number of dead men, women and children is unbelievable. Close to 20,000 people have been murdered in two months. More than 7,700 were children. Nearly 2 million people have been displaced. For context, in the Ukraine-Russian war, about 10,000 civilians have been killed in two years including over 500 children.

There is an ongoing humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza as water, fuel and food is in short supply because Israel hinders delivery of much needed aid. It warned Gazans to go to the south of Gaza for safety and then bombed the south and the passage to the south too.

As British citizens we should never forget that our government was complicit in the ongoing genocide.

The ruling Conservative party pretty much gave the green light to Israel to do whatever it wishes when the latest bombardment of Gaza restarted after October 7.

The opposition Labour party is no different although many Labour councillors and frontbenchers have resigned from the party in protest after Keir Starmer implied that Israel had the ‘right’ to withhold water and power from Gaza. 

Asian Image: Palestinians inspect a house after it was hit by an Israeli bombardment on Rafah, southern Gaza Strip, Wednesday, Dec. 20, 2023. (AP)

But what can we do?

Firstly we can approach our local MP to voice our legitimate grievances. We live in a democracy so our voice counts for something. MPs represent us at the highest level of government so we have to lobby them to continue to raise the issue in the Houses of Parliament and put pressure on the government to call for an end to this genocidal atrocity.

Secondly, we can take part in protests, marches and show solidarity with the Palestinian people in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip. At the very least our protests will be seen by Palestinians and they will know they aren’t alone. They will know we are with them.

We can raise funds or donate to some of the charities who work in Gaza including Global Relief Trust (GRT) who have a team on the ground in Gaza. Red Crescent and Red Cross are also active in the besieged coastal enclave. With the onset of winter, Palestinians face a bleak fate.

Finally, we can boycott companies that are linked to Israel including household brands. The Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement is highly effective as it works to end international support for Israel’s oppression of the Palestinian people.

This movement is Palestinian-led with the objective of giving the Palestinian people the same rights as the rest of humanity.

The movement was inspired by the South African Anti-Apartheid movement and aims to pressure Israel to comply with international law.

Asian Image:  (AP Photo/Muhammad Sajjad)

Why boycotts matter

According to the BDS website, Boycotts involve the withdrawal of support of Israeli sporting, cultural and academic institutions. 

Divestments campaigns urge banks, local councils, churches, pension funds and universities to withdraw investments from the State of Israel. 

Finally, the Sanctions campaign puts pressure on governments to fulfil their legal obligations to end Israeli apartheid: by not aiding or assisting its maintenance, by banning business with illegal Israeli settlements, and suspending Israel's membership in international bodies such as the UN and FIFA.

The movement, which is organised by the Palestinian BDS National Committee, is non-violent although some pro-Israeli critics claim the movement is antisemitic. 

Supporters however, see the movement as a humanitarian cause. At the very least we can control what we buy and hit the Israeli regime where it hurts: it’s pocket.