Once relegated to the realm of paper and signatures, the petition has gained new meaning, with sites like Petition Online allowing anyone to create one. As Israel's attacks on Gaza rage on, bloggers opposed to Israel's actions are using blogs and social media to circulate petitions for a number of specific causes. Others have thought up other innovative ways to make a difference online.
jews sans frontieres, a self-proclaimed “anti-zionist blog,” has posted a petition for sanctions against Israel:
I don't know what this might achieve except maybe to expose the zionist leanings of the UK government which ought to be well known anyway. It's a petition to the Prime Minister, Gordon Brown (did I mention that he's an honorary patron of the Jewish National Fund?) to introduce sanctions against Israel instead of vetoing UN resolutions and selling Israel arms. It's actually on the PM's own website so I don't know how long it will last. Here's the wording and the number of signatories so far:
We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to Introduce sanctions against Israel. More details
Submitted by Thomas Chant – Deadline to sign up by: 27 January 2009 – Signatures: 9,440
Two American blogs, themcglynn.com and theliberal.net, have also posted a petition, a peace request for President-Elect Obama. The conclusion reads:
You have spoken out on so many important matters: on plans to save the environment, on plans for the economy, on plans to generate employment, most of all on plans for building and sustaining hope. On your website, you have listed the priorities of your agenda once you take office. During your campaign, you stressed the importance of diplomacy, the need to talk and not make war. Surely, this begins now. And it begins with a plea for peace right now, this very minute.
I wonder, therefore — why this silence? Why have you not spoken out in the name of peace as yet? President-Elect Obama, your voice is heard around the world. So is your silence. Please speak now. Please ask for peace.
You can do it. Yes, you can.
Window into Palestine also has a call to stop the massacre in Gaza:
As of this morning, more than 500,000 petitions have been sent!
Please add your voice to the thousands who are demanding: Stop the massacre in Gaza!
Please help get the word out – pass this message along, post it on local bulleting boards & Indymedia,
Sign the Petition Online Now -
Sabbah Blog takes a more inventive approach, encouraging readers to call the “war criminals” of Israel:
Objectives of this campaign are as follows:
1. Bombard their phone/mobile/fax lines with anti-war, anti-Zionist messages. This can be in the form of calls, faxes or even sms's;
2. Waste the time of these war criminals as much as possible. Some of them are doing nothing else but jumping on the TV screens to spread lies and hatred. They justify killing Palestinian children and civilians;
3. Directly delivering to them the message that we are disgusted by what they are doing and they should stop now;
4. Show them the magnitude of support that Palestinians have after the world witnessed their war crimes in Gaza.
He then lists phone numbers of a number of Israeli officials, including Mark Regev, International Media Adviser to the Prime Minister.