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Israel-Palestine: How to help

From medics to mediators, social workers to journalists: here is how you can support the people doing life-saving work on the ground. 

October 21 2023, 07.35am

Two weeks into the war in Israel-Palestine, there is still no certainty on where the conflict will go: ceasefire or exponential escalation. Israel’s ground forces are still poised for an incursion into the Gaza Strip, even as its goals appear to grow more muddled. Airforce and artillery continue to pummel the coastal enclave - with an approach one Israeli official described as “more focused on damage than on accuracy.” Israel, meanwhile, is still reeling from the massacres of October 7, as more and more stories from the horror emerge. 

Every day in Israel brings fresh funerals, with some of the worst-affected communities holding dozens of those a day. More and more stories - of tragedy, loss and heroism - keep emerging. In Gaza, every day brings fresh casualties, with hundreds of families paying for violence they had no part in. Over 4,000 people have been killed by Israeli bombings in Gaza since the war began; some 1,500 of them children, the overwhelming majority, civilians. Over 1,300 people have been killed in Israel, - the vast majority of them also civilians; dozens of them children. And the risk of a wider regional war remains. 

In these circumstances it’s easy to feel powerless, especially from a distance. There is a separate conversation to be had on what grassroots organising and protests in the West can accomplish in the circumstances. But it’s already possible to support people doing vital work on the ground. Below, we have collated a few of the hundreds of organisations engaged in different kinds of such work and would encourage you to support the one whose work resonates with you the most. 

Donating today doesn’t mean you have to agree with everything the organisation has ever done, to endorse its overarching ethos and position on the conflict, or to subscribe to every statement everyone associated with the organisation made. All it means is that you’re helping people to save people, in real time and for the long term. 

Medical aid: The most dire, urgent need at present is, undoubtedly in the Gaza Strip. Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP) is the foremost organisation of its kind in the UK. They help fund every kind of medical assistance in the crammed, polluted, isolated and now heavily bombarded enclave, and have never needed your support more. You can make a one-off donation or become a member here

Support for evacuees: In Israel, the disarray and neglect of the border communities that bore the brunt of the Hamas attack has not stopped with their evacuation. One organisation that stepped in is the New Israel Fund (NIF), the flagship charity of the Israeli third sector and one that has been continually vilified by the Israeli right. The NIF supports virtually every progressive endeavour in Israel, but is now also providing emergency accommodation and other assistance to evacuees. You can make a one-off donation or become a member of the UK branch here

Mediation: With all eyes on Gaza, it’s can be difficult to remember there are countless more arenas where the conflict can flare up - and nowhere more dangerous than in the mixed communities where Jewish and Palestinian citizens of Israel live side by side. One of the organisations doing granular, gruelling conflict resolution in such communities is Mosaica. The organisation trains and supports thousands of multilateral mediators who put out hundreds of tiny fires every day - any one of which could otherwise explode into sectarian violence. You can support their work here

Shared future: Standing Together - a joint activist movement of Israeli and Palestinian youth - have been defying the clampdown on dissent by the Israeli authorities from day one of the war. They are protesting and hanging up placards in both languages, despite mistreatments and arrests, and despite all the pain and the hurt engulfing the communities, they keep reminding an essential truth: if both communities survive, they will need to survive together. Support them here

Journalism: Last but not least, we wouldn’t know half of what we know about events in Israel-Palestine if it wasn’t for independent media. +972 Magazine and its Hebrew sister site, Local Call are run by the only media collective of both Israeli and Palestinian journalists. (Full disclosure: Dimi, the editor of The Lead, is a +972 co-founder.) Together, they form largest non-profit, independent news and analysis site in the region. Support their vital work here, whether as a one-off donor or as a member - both covered by Gift Aid.

We will be adding more donation links here as the war wears on.