During this devastating time, people around the world are eager to help our brothers and sisters in Gaza. In an attempt to show solidarity, people are donating generously to organizations that are working to provide humanitarian aid on the ground. 

It is important to emphasize that the people of Gaza are not asking for donations, they are asking for the bombing to stop, for the siege to be lifted, and for freedom from the “open air prison” they have been subjected to for the past 16 years. They are asking to stop the killing. 

A tweet by Motaz Azaiza, a Gaza-based journalist, on December 2, 2023.

At BuildPalestine, we understand the importance of humanitarian aid in times of crisis, but we also know that money is not the problem. We must question the paradigm of giving, and think more innovatively so that the money we are mobilizing is more impactful and responds to the true needs of the people on the ground. We must make sure we are empowering people.  

Here are some questions to ask before donating, followed by resources to help you take more intentional action: 

1. Did I use my voice to the best of my ability?

Don’t let financial donations overshadow the importance of political action. Here is an action toolkit from the US Campaign for Palestinian Rights. 

2. What is the impact I want to see?

If it is anything short of liberation for the Palestinian people, it is not enough. The US and EU are donating millions in humanitarian aid; as a community, we have a responsibility to think beyond that. Here is a list of Palestinian organizations to support that are working to dismantle the Israeli Occupation and shift the narrative. 

3. How do I empower people on the ground?

In this digital age, it is entirely feasible to donate directly to local organizations. The old model of funneling funds through international agencies is outdated. Here is a list of local organizations providing emergency responses. 

While it is painful to witness the genocide of the people of Gaza, it is our responsibility to stay hopeful and believe that liberation is within grasp. Let us not lose sight of the goal.