The humanitarian crisis in Gaza is known to all. However, not everyone knows how to address it. It is undeniable that we currently have an urgent moral obligation to advocate for the Palestinians who have been treated unjustly for 75 years, and this injustice has now reached a climax. Therefore, we are responding to an international call, #PauseAndStrikeForPalestine, to close our doors on October 20, 2023, and refrain from engaging in any other economic activities. Below, we explain what we aim to achieve with this.
1. Why a strike?
In the Netherlands, various groups have used various methods to reverse the situation for Palestine. For instance, parliamentary questions have been raised, and motions have been submitted, but they have been rejected by the majority. Billboards have been placed alongside roads to draw attention to the humanitarian crisis in Palestine, but so far, this has not led to a change in the Dutch government’s stance.
People and organizations attempt to donate money and aid, but they do not reach Palestine because all assistance is blocked. The Dutch government does not condemn the genocide in Palestine due to its direct and indirect economic interests. Since the same government does not suffer any economic disadvantage from that policy, there is no reason to change it, and thus, the Palestinians remain in the same position
2. Will a strike help?
The short answer is yes, strikes and other forms of boycotts help. Examples from the past are abundant and show that economic sanctions in the form of strikes or boycotts help achieve social justice.
This has happened, for instance, in the context of the so-called Danish cartoons. The Danish government made a significant turn when it became clear that Islamic countries had resorted to boycotting Danish products. Previously, the same government supported the anti-Islamic cartoons published by Jyllands-Posten. The boycott of the apartheid regime in South Africa is another successful example of economic sanctions.
In general, people strike to get higher wages, and this has almost always worked. Governments and employers have no interest in stagnating incomes and a stagnant economy, so they will have to engage with the strikers and listen to their demands one way or another. If people pursue other, more crucial interests, such as ending the genocide in Palestine, the government will eventually be forced to listen as well.
3. What can you do?
The call for a strike has now gained global support. The goal is to persuade governments that refuse to condemn the genocide in Palestine to do so. Anyone who supports social justice and opposes genocide is called upon to send a powerful message by striking on October 20, 2023. We will stop doing business, working, studying, and shopping. The situation has become so urgent that it’s time to take real action that will have an impact.
How can you participate in this action?
- If you are an entrepreneur: inform your customers that you will be closed on October 20, 2023. Use the template message Mededeling ondernemers Engels (Message for Entrepreneurs).
- If you are an employee: request (paid) leave for October 20, 2023. Use the template letter Verzoek betaald verlof Engels (Request for Paid Leave) or Verzoek onbetaald verlof (Request for Unpaid Leave).
- If you are sick (due to the situation in Palestine): you have the right to report sick to your employer. Use the template letter Ziekmelding Engels (Sick Leave).
- If you are a student or pupil: ensure that you notify your school/educational institution in accordance with their rules or report yourself sick if you are ill.
- How to further disrupt the economy: on October 20, 2023, we will not spend a single cent. This means no groceries, no online shopping, or any other expenses.
4. What if you encounter problems?
Contact El Hannouche Law Firm through this form or Muslim Rights Watch Nederland (MRWN) through this form so they can assist you further if you encounter or anticipate any issues due to your support or contribution to this action. You are not alone.