From Dec. 13 through 17, the Peace in the Middle East Club (PMEC) hosted a phone-in with the White House to raise awareness about the events that are occurring in that region. In addition to the phone-in, PMEC handed out bracelets to anyone that donated money to the cause.
Emma Leathely, a member of PMEC since last year, described this phone-in as a way to bring light to U.S. involvement in the Middle East, especially Palestine.
“We understand that there’s not a lot that we can do, but we are trying to get as many high school students to call the White House,” she said. “Hopefully, the White House phone lines will be jammed, which will make people realize what is going on in the Middle East.”
She continued by saying, “By doing the phone-in, the club really wanted to break the ice with the student body–that is, we wanted to invite people who may never have done activism to participate and learn about how the military aid the US sends to Israel plays a huge role in the violence toward Palestinians and Palestinian removal by the Israeli military and some Israeli settlers.”
Some of the issues that this club is trying to draw attention to are the military prison, Abu Ghraib, the funding of the Israeli military, and the “injustices of Israeli checkpoints.” Although it appeared that the club was targeting the people of Israel, Leathely went on to explain that they are condemning “the government, not its people.” More than anything, PMEC hopes that the tensions between both Palestinians and Israelis will decrease and ultimately achieve peace.
In short, the clubs hopes that “average” American teenagers will “come out of their bubbles and care about the issues of the day, the world they are living in.”
“Americans’ somewhat uninformed complacency with American policies has cost many people in other countries their lives,” said Leathely.
The Peace in the Middle East Club meets every Thursday during lunch in Room 101 and welcomes anyone to come and ask questions. The group’s email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.