A letter from our CEO on Palestine.

Hi everyone,  

My mom had this really cool (and heavy) menorah that we broke out every Hanukkah, and my Jewish friends and I used to talk about how cool it would be to travel to the places we heard about when we were kids– unthinkable, now that we understand. Every time I see another atrocity perpetuated by the Israeli government I think about that menorah and the meaning behind it and the star being coopted into a sign of hate. I was never a particularly devout or good Jew, or Christian, but the dissonance that I experienced between what spiritual leaders preached and what the churches and groups I was involved in practiced sharpened my awareness of right and wrong. 

I saw strikes at other workplaces last week. Though there was no disruption to our work at Dual Wield Studio, I would have supported any disruption should it have happened. How can you look at what's happening right now and not be filled with an unending sense of anger and a desire to do something even from afar? 

The reality is that if Dual Wield Studio did disrupt labor activities, there is no actionable, tangible result that it would have that would directly benefit Palestine. This is not to say that striking and boycotting does not work– it is a wildly efficient method of obtaining a solution! However, for our particular scenario, ceasing work would not have created a situation where we were raising awareness for Palestine, and as the CEO, I think most of my staff was already very aware of my stance. Our leadership team wondered: what actual, actionable steps could we take in lieu of strike participation, which aims to put pressure and drive an answer from those ostensibly in charge who ought to be stopping an active genocide?

Our staff have taken action in other tangible ways--they have been signal boosting, orchestrating donations, participating in fandom-led initiatives to support Gaza. Dual Wield Studio also has specific benefits relating to supporting staff via paid time off for protests and volunteering they feel are in line with their beliefs.

Industries, companies, and individuals seem reticent to speak about what is actively occurring any time you look at your For You page across Tiktok, Facebook, Twitter– or maybe it’s just my timelines that show these atrocities being perpetrated and none of you see it?  Or worse– you’re  not shy at all about voicing your support, and your money toward support of the active extermination of a people. Surely, if you saw Bisan, MoTaz, and countless other journalists there speaking about the conditions on a daily basis, you would choose to speak up about it instead of blindly circling back to the default excuse and recusing yourself from taking any action because of religion

I do not think that every company needs to take a stance on every social issue out there, nor do I think it benefits anyone that that is the expectation that we have for companies. After a point: your actions are performative, and they do not do any actual good past presenting you as probably not a fascist supporting, racist approving company. (But then, you look at those companies’ employees ratings on GlassDoor, and you look at their management structure, and you wonder.)  

Are there atrocities happening elsewhere in the world at the same time? Absolutely. Caring about what is happening in Palestine does not mean one cannot care about those. It’s not mutually exclusive. But I’m here to talk about Palestine, specifically. 

Better, more thoughtful and knowledgeable minds than mine have already written at length about the Israeli occupation of Palestine: it is not as if there is not a surplus of material for you to educate yourself. You don’t need me to explain what is happening on the other side of the world when the people actually on the ground there are literally begging you to be heard. 

Furthermore: how can we meaningfully participate, while not making the work situation untenable for us?  For example: Dual Wield Studio is set up nearly entirely on Google, which is one of BDS’ pressure targets. Were this to move to a full boycott, we could not make the change instantly or easily. The change could be made gradually, of course, but I think some of what prevents people from taking action on causes they feel deeply about is this idea of only going in halfway, and since you haven’t fully committed, why even bother? I feel like this is the mental trap a lot of us get into – because we cannot make grand, sweeping gestures that we expect our government to make in situations of horrendous evil, we believe that our own actions are too small and insignificant to count. This is not at all the case; every single letter written to your Congressperson (or other relevant governmental institution) demanding a ceasefire puts pressure on those who do have the ability to enact the larger scale change.   

I don’t think there is a perfect solution to the question of how much commitment to the cause makes you a Good Person, because that answer will vary depending on each person and what is within their means. 

So, aiming to keep the airplane mentality in mind– we’re putting our masks on before putting on someone else’s– here’s what Dual Wield Studio will be doing. 

  1. Dual Wield Studio will commit to active comparisons against the BDS List and seek to divest when and where possible as it is called for, within the confines of what the team is reasonably able to achieve. 
  2. Dual Wield Studio will not work with companies actively/vocally participating in, or supporting Zionism or the IDF’s actions. Should we discover through, say, LinkedIn posts or publicly released marketing collateral that companies are actively supporting Israel in this manner, we will cease any potential business outreach or relationships as our contracts allow. 
    1. As a note: this will be situational and made with our best judgment on a case by case basis. My fundamental concern is agencies and organizations breathlessly supporting Israel’s actions, not focusing on individual employees who work for companies who might be associated.
  3. Dual Wield Studio will make situational posts on social media signal boosting aid organizations benefiting Palestine. Some of these organizations are: 
    1. Medecins Sans Frontieres
    2. Gaza Esims
    3. Care for Gaza
  4. Dual Wield Studio will donate a total of $10,000 USD to these various organizations.  

From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free. 

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