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Talk about Palestine
during the holidays.

We need you to talk to your family and friends about the ongoing atrocities in Palestine.

We understand – politics can be a tough conversation with family, but when 20,000+ people have died, including 8,000+ children, we need everybody to talk about it. This guide will help you navigate how you can convince your friends and family to demand a ceasefire too.

1. Focus on Ceasefire.

While we all support a free Palestine, conversations like long-term peace or discussing the rot causes are tangents that lead nowhere, and as a result, becomes difficult to demand action. For the holidays with family, focus your conversation on a long-term ceasefire to protect Palestinians.

Example: Uncle Joe has strong feelings about the matter, whose fault it is, and more. By going into tangents about the history, or talking about the long-term future of Israel-Palestine, the conversation will never end. By focusing on the ceasefire, Uncle Joe is more likely to understand and agree with the humanitarian argument to not kill children.

2. Approach With Intention.

This depends on your audience, but approaching the conversation with intention keeps your sights clean. Whether it's signing a petition or simply asking them to reconsider their position, trying to reach this objective will help you guide your own conversation.

Example: We know Uncle Joe supports Israel. Setting our objective for him to rethink his position will help us frame the questions we want to ask, facts we want to share, and more importantly, when to stop. Asking him to boycott American companies immediately will probably be too much for him, and we'll lose his support altogether.

3. Listen, and find common ground.

Whether they're vocal about it or not, everyone has an opinion about the ongoing crisis. Listening to them and understanding their current position can help you identify common grounds.

Example: Instead of jumping right in and sharing out thoughts, we listen to Uncle Joe, and we find that his anger is focused on civilian deaths on October 7th. Knowing this, you can gently agree with him, and point out how civilians and children should never be the targets.

4. Focus on facts, not emotions.

As you begin to chime in, build onto their position by providing facts, facts that begin to tip the conversation into just how brutal the crisis has been for Palestinians.

  • 20,000+ Palestinians have been killed.
  • 8,000+ Palestinian children have been killed.
  • 135 United Nations aid workers have been killed.
  • 1.9 million Palestinians have been displaced.
  • 27 of 35 hospitals are now offline.
  • Israeli forces have used chemical weapons (white phosphorous) on civilians.
  • Israeli forces have targeted schools, hospitals, and other critical infrastructure.
  • The Israeli government is severely limiting aid from entering Gaza, creating further humanitarian crises through both starvation and critical life-saving medicine.

Example: As Uncle Joe agrees with you that civilians shouldn't be killed, remind him that 20,000 civilians have been killed in Gaza, including 8,000 children. If it helps, our latest numbers guide puts some of these numbers into perspective.

5. Ask your objective.

With some common understanding, ask your objective. By drawing this conversation out longer, they'll have stronger opinions and potentially find points of disagreement. Often, a shorter conversation is better. Let what you shared sink in with them.

Example: With these atrocities fresh in his mind, it's a good time to ask Uncle Joe to reconsider his support for Israel. By wrapping up the conversation here, this cuts the opportunity for Uncle Joe to find ways to disagree with you.

Some Additional Tips

  • STAY ON TOPIC. It is very tempting to disagree and argue about the history, or future, of Israel and Palestine. These conversations go into rabbit holes and no one will win. Instead, focusing on what is happening right now will emphasize the importance of morality and civility.
  • Don't argue, discuss. We know this is going to be very difficult, but fight the urge to disprove
  • Avoid strong terms like "BDS", "Zionism", and even "genocide". To be clear, it is a genocide – but using these words with people who are on the fence may alienate them. Using simpler words like "killed" and "displaced" focuses the conversation on the facts.
  • If ready, share resources with them – Not all families will have an Uncle Joe. If your family is ready to take more action, share our guide with them. From answering tough questions for non-supporters to finding three-minute tasks they can do, these resources can help them find something they are comfortable with.
  • You're not alone. Families can be difficult and they may have strong opinions. This is a reminder that no matter how your conversation goes with your family, you have a massive community that supports you. If you have strong emotions after your conversation, use those emotions for action. Find protests, tasks, resources, and more. DM us and maybe we can help!
  • Use this guide
  • Answers to Tough Questions is designed as an answer guide for people who challenge you for your support of Palestine. It shares recommendations on topics to avoid and ways to convince them. (It's intentionally drafted with softer language.)
  • Videos and Documentaries to Watch include some beautiful films of life in Gaza, which can be a good family watch, and emotionally move them to support Palestine.
  • Books to Read for some travel reading!
  • Find a Protest – there are protests everywhere you go! Find one in your hometown, or wherever you're spending holidays.