FOR GAZA WITH LOVE
A Global Campaign: Seeding a thriving future for Gaza
By Shelley Ostroff (PhD)
Together in Creation
Gaza is perhaps one of the most powerful examples of the horrific destructiveness, injustice and despair generated by our current systems. It also holds the potential for implementing a radically new, whole-system healing process for transforming conflict as well as rapid social and ecological regeneration.
Gaza is a relatively small area, and can be a pilot project for applying our most advanced solutions in every area of life to regenerating a healthy human society and ecosystem. Organizing effectively to bring the state-of-the-art, ecologically-sound solutions to Gaza, will pioneer a creative blueprint for whole-system healing and replenishment that can be adopted elsewhere for communities and ecosystems in crisis.
The recognition of the need for a systemic approach to global crises is growing as we learn more about the interconnected nature of reality and the limitations of our current symptomatic thinking. The program will train Gazans in whole-system healing disciplines – enabling them to become leading pioneers and trainers elsewhere in the world.
The people of Gaza are probably among the most isolated and hope-less in the world - neglected and exploited by their own leaders, the Israeli government and leaders and citizens across the world. The fate of the people in Gaza is being played with by interest groups invested in power and profit. The enforced isolation is ravaging those imprisoned in this small, war-torn area, and caught in the spiral of trauma, oppression, violence and revenge. The financial aid for Gaza’s citizens has been largely co-opted by interest groups with very little assistance reaching the people of Gaza themselves or making a long term constructive difference.
One of the key indicators and causes of trauma, disease and conflict is disconnection – the disconnection of one part of a living system from the other parts – whether it be an organ of the body, or a part of an ecosystem or a group of people – the isolated part, disconnected from the life flow, will become damaged and dysfunctional, and the damaging consequences will impact the rest of the system.
For Gaza with Love offers a pathway for making a real difference. By engaging holistically to improve the lives of citizens and bring real solution-oriented healing resources - it shifts the energy from blame, revenge and helplessness to a united effort for peace and life-affirming action.
For Gaza with Love is envisioned as a global grass-roots initiative dedicated to building a holistic infrastructure that will provide the Gazan people with deeply supportive relationships from across the world, and healthy, life-enhancing resources that can enrich their lives, help them replenish the land, grow their autonomy, heal the human and environmental trauma, and cultivate the foundations for creative, win-win pathways forward.
“For Gaza with Love” will focus on generating holistic solutions for Gaza in every area of life - especially health, ecological rebuilding of infrastructure, water, energy, community housing, local agriculture, a vibrant green local economy, life-enhancing media and cultural activities and whole-system health education and professional development programs.
The program will be entirely apolitical and will bring to Gaza only resources that are nourishing for people and the environment. It will not replace the need for a comprehensive political solution, but it will contribute to the possibilities of achieving one by cultivating life-affirming activity and a discourse that is focused on a healthy future for the land and all its inhabitants. It will bring a lasting peace closer by emphasizing win-win pathways that foster autonomy, food, shelter and energy security, realistic hope, healthy re-connection with the world and mutually rewarding interdependence with neighbors.
From Isolation to Connectedness:
The program offers a bridge for reestablishing connection between Gaza and the outside world. While initially it will be primarily online - over time, the quality of connections and the pioneering program will provide the impetus for creative solutions to Gaza’s physical isolation. A sophisticated online community will be set in place to foster life-affirming, healthy connections between individuals and groups dedicated to a peaceful and thriving future for all. This intentional community will not only provide a channel for reconnecting Gaza with the outside world, it will also provide an opportunity to cultivate co-creative relationships and initiatives.
The initiative will focus on providing Gazan's with a comprehensive spectrum of life-enhancing resources and mentorship for the healing and replenishment of the individuals, their communities, the land, and its biodiversity. It will create a community of care from around the world that will directly offer or sponsor specific products and services. It will not provide aid directly to the Gazan people in the form of money.
Empowering the Citizens - Cultivating Autonomy:
Much of the current international aid strategy perpetuates a culture of dependence and depletion of resources. It is often focused on bringing short-term aid including white flour, processed foods and bottled water produced by large corporations to the areas in need, which only maintains the dependence on and fills the coffers of large corporations. Much of the aid is often siphoned off by mediating organizations and power groups who claim goods and resources for themselves rather than ensuring they reach the population in need. For Gaza with Love works to ensure the resources reach the population creating maximum long term benefit. For this reason, it focuses on providing the resources for cultivating autonomous healthy communities, professional training, and long term healing of people and the environment. It works with those grassroots individuals and organizations on the ground with established credibility for engaging with integrity, compassion and skill across the borders and across the different groups.
The Role of Women:
Traditionally aid is given to those in power and perpetuates the status quo. The For Gaza with Love program will work to empower women in the process by encouraging them to become more actively involved in the future of Gaza and to bring their skills and wisdom to the community. The program will support the formation of a council of women representing different social functions who work together to ensure the optimal, most efficient and fair distribution of resources so that all may thrive.
Women traditionally are skilled at distributing resources in ways that ensure a healthy household economy, taking care that each unique child, animal and plant receives precisely what is needed to create a healthy whole nurtured by the diversity of the different people and species. Supporting and mentoring women to take up leadership roles in council with each other supports a new collaborative, creative culture that is accountable for the health of the whole.
Distribution, Documentation, Development:
The key principle for distribution of resources is the “vitality code” – the code of nature that ensures all parts of the ecosystem receive precisely what they need in order to fulfil their unique potential in mutual nourishment with the whole. This is the basis for a healthy household and ecosystem economy. The councils will be trained to align with the vitality code. In learning to do so, they will be responsible for documenting the distribution and development of resources with the support of local and global experts in these fields in order to ensure the integrity and evolution of the program. Documentaries will explore the opportunities, challenges and creative solutions throughout the program to maximize the learning.
The Role of Technology:
The program will be supported by an online local and global community platform that identifies needs and their degrees of urgency and matches them with skills and resources both on-the-ground as well as those offered by international partners. In this way, the platform will also serve to cultivate healthy mutually-supportive local and international connections. The community will also enable people to easily connect with solutions in all spheres of life, emphasizing free education, healing and eco-community building programs. The community will self-regulate to flag and filter out any content that is not aligned with the culture of respect and inclusiveness of all peace-loving individuals from all sectors and countries.
Coalition of partners:
The program will encourage a coalition of partners to form around the campaign - an ecosystem of individuals and organizations with the necessary expertise to address the interdependent spheres of life. (education, health, infrastructure, economy, technology, agriculture, etc.)
These providers of goods and services, recognized for their integrity and service to the good of the whole, will offer their goods and services in exchange for real monetary value (not profit oriented).
No one partner will dominate the initiative. The program will be supported by experts in whole-system transformation and healing to support the coordination among all the organizations and the local community and ensure maximum long-term benefit for all Investment.
The community structure, constitution, leadership and technology will ensure that all parts of the program are working with maximum integrity according to the values of deep respect for all Life, compassion, cooperation, non-violence and whole-system health.
The initiative will be funded by a compelling crowd-sourcing campaign aimed at concerned citizens looking for effective ways to show their support for Gaza. The funding will support the development of a not-for profit program that will cover the expenses of the healthy, but not excessive administrative salaries of the core team and the technology and expenses to build and support the technological infrastructure and fund-raising campaign.
The funding process will be entirely transparent, and as such will work to show how relatively little money - when used with integrity, creativity, and whole-system wisdom - can go a very long way.
The Role of Israel and Israelis:
While the program is non-political, it will need to be coordinated with the Israeli authorities so that supplies can enter Gaza. There are many factions in Israel and Palestine working to limit the direct cooperation and meeting of citizens. This policy of minimizing direct relationships, amplifies the enmity and demonization of the other, and perpetuates the stereotype that there is no partner for peace in the other group.
For Gaza with Love will include Israeli citizens who wish to be part of the solution. The fault lines do not always follow the lines of Israeli vs. Palestinian narrative. Peace-seeking Israelis and Palestinians often have more in common with each other than with their own governments. Boycotts and refusing direct relationship of citizens with each other, may be useful for some strategies, but they can also increase the hostility, the suffering of those on the ground and block healthy citizen peace-building initiatives. For Gaza with Love enables Israelis and Palestinians who share peace-loving values to support the program and, in so doing, cultivates the building of healthy neighborly relationships built on respect of all life and a deep honoring of the land and all its inhabitants.
The program will include among other products and services:
1. A global “For Gaza with Love” community web technology that enables relationship building and the identification and matching of needs and resources in all areas of life.
2. Councils led by women to ensure the optimal and efficient distribution of resources for the thriving of the people, all species and the ecosystem.
3. Green technologies for clean water, energy, infrastructures and waste management
4. Holistic education integrating best technologies and practices
5. Education for professional skills invested in whole-system health and a green future
6. The foundations for a rich, local resource-based and sharing economy
7. Healing wisdom and solutions
8. Training and facilities for recycling, repair and upcycling
9. Herbal and natural medicine
10. Urban agriculture, agro-forestry & permaculture
11. Healing networks
13. Resources for developing local arts, culture and sports
14. Diverse creative initiatives in the spirit of whole-system healing led by citizens from across the world.