While fears of a large Israeli invasion of Gaza mount and representatives of Hamas threaten not to “back down,” there is much frustration and weariness with the lack of any positive developments coming out of Washington. Despite President Obama’s inaction, there is growing awareness that the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and the intense blockade of Gaza are serious impediments to peace and that US military and political support make this all possible. At the same time we have a cautious president, not willing to expend his newly earned capital on this morass, a fractious Congress, and an increasingly belligerent Benjamin Netanyahu, threatening to extract a “heavy price” if Palestinians renew their bid for observer status at the UN, as he also seeks reelection.
One positive development in this evolving catastrophe is the growing citizen activism that is turning to grassroots organizing, merging socially responsible investing, food justice, and peace activism to create another voice that offers a way forward. Universities, businesses, investors, and citizens are increasingly interested in their social responsibilities, from investments to grocery shopping. Consumers are beginning to understand that supporting a corporation that not only makes cell phones but also high level security apparatus, makes the consumer complicit in the use of that equipment and its consequences.