Wednesday, May 22, 2024
May 22, 2024

Viewpoint: All invited to local Gaza event

By OMRANE HASSAN

The Arab-Jewish Coalition for Peace in the Middle East (AJCPME) invites you to join us at Salt Spring For Gaza: A Day of Culture, Solidarity, and Support on Saturday, Nov. 18 at Beaver Point Hall from 2:30 to 6:30 p.m. to raise funds for humanitarian relief to the people of Gaza.

To organize relief for Gaza is not just a matter of raising money (although we do hope to raise as much as possible), it is a matter of global consciousness and healing. To provide relief to Gaza, we need more than money; we need to come together and address the conditions that have created this catastrophe and do whatever we can, wherever we are to create a different world. One where every life is held as precious, Arab and Jewish, and no single living being is sacrificed for the preservation of an unjust system of power.

Here on Salt Spring, AJCPME has come together to do this work by inviting people to connect, learn, offer their gifts and creativity, and share a meal. We invite this community to break bread and gather around the table to support the people of Gaza, mourn all the lives lost in this eruption of violence, imagine a free Palestine and begin to create the world anew. May we change the material conditions for those most in need, at every level of our social, economic, political and spiritual organization.

The event will feature live music, a silent auction, and an Arabic feast. We will also have a conversation among activists, journalists and lawyers, including Ellen Gabriel, a Mohawk activist, filmmaker, Kahnesatake spokesperson; Gord Hill, writer and activist; and Kevin Neish, human rights activist.

The conversation will be facilitated by Jewish community member Eva Peskin, whose research draws on queer, Jewish, and feminist intellectual and cultural traditions to develop life-affirming models for giving and receiving feedback. Eva Peskin has over a decade of experience as a teacher, movement researcher, and community-based art maker, engaging healing, disability, and transformative justice practices to create containers of care where deep learning can take place. 

Recognizing the intensity and trauma that this issue carries for many people in different and particular ways, there will be satellite spaces set up so people can step away as needed to process, restore and find calm if anything gets overwhelming. Those spaces will be staffed with volunteers prepared to receive everyone with care and gentleness. We are recruiting counsellors and mediators to be present to provide support during the event, and we are asking all registrants to sign a community agreement assuring that we commit to respecting each other and holding space for our differences.

We cannot promise that it will be perfect or easy, but we aim to create a table of radical care, where everyone is invited to find love and connection through our shared and particular pain and hope, to imagine another possible world together.

Tickets can be purchased for a minimum donation of $60 at Salt Spring Books (cash only). All ages are welcome. Please contact ajcpmecontact@gmail.com for more information or to make contributions to the silent auction. Please also let us know if you will require a kosher meal.

Proceeds from the event will be sent to Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME).

The writer is a director and events coordinator for AJCPME.

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