Justice for Palestine has written to Foreign Minister Mahuta asking her to take action on Israel’s recent military order banning six Palestinian human rights NGOs. Now we’re asking you, as members and supporters, to email your MP. In fact we want you to do more than write a one-off email. We want to support you to become an email writing champion for Palestine.
Writing an email to your MP might not seem like the most important thing to do. It’s not as exciting as going on a march or a rally, or taking direct action against the Israeli embassy. You might think your MP wouldn’t listen to you, or even care about the issue. But every serious campaigner knows one simple truth: statistically, the more people who contact their local MP on an issue, the more likely that matter will be raised in parliament.
The thing is, MPs are not demi-gods, they are people like you and me. Prioritising Palestine might not be top of their agenda but they will respond to issues that concern constituents. Human rights is an issue that should concern all politicians no matter what their political party. However, the way in which these matters are raised is critical.
MPs are flooded with communications about all sorts of issues, only some of them grab their attention, fewer still are acted upon. To become an email writing champion for Palestine you need to think carefully about communication. You need to harness you persuasive power and influence as an elector and constituent. Think of this as developing an ongoing relationship with your MP. Your intention is not to stalk or harass them. Your intention is to raise awareness, to persuade and to become a reliable source of well-founded facts.
We’re not suggesting that governments and MPs should never be called out, that demands should never be made. But making demands is more effective when you have a constructive working relationship, and persuasion is more impactful when you are a credible source.
So, where do you start? The Australian Climate Change Council has crafted some excellent advice on writing effective letters to MPs and this advice holds true no matter what the issue. We strongly recommend reading their advice. Why not begin with the issue of the six NGOs? You can do some research by googling “Israel bans NGOs“. Use authoritative sources like known news outlets (for example, The Guardian or Al Jazeera) to identify key facts and source quotes. But don’t get too technical, keep it short, simple and direct.
Members of Parliament are much more likely to respond to local constituents, so tell them that you are one and include your contact details. Personalise the email. There are many facts and quotes you can include, but emails that are simply cut and paste are usually binned. Be passionate but remain polite. Like other humans MPs like to be informed, not subjected to ranting. Remember, you’re developing a relationship with your MP.
Please send us a copy, or copy us into your email. We can share the best. Also, let us know if you’re interested in training, support or advice in becoming an email writing champion for Palestine.
Good luck and thank you.
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Justice for Palestine