The Tao of Petitions

How little is too little?

Five Minutes for Israel was created on the principle that Israel advocacy need not take much of a supporter’s time. Commenting on social media; voting in an online poll; signing a petition all let Israel’s voice be heard are all valuable.

Then I wrote that some petitions I was requested to join were factually faulty or badly written or rants and shouldn’t be signed. Suddenly I was a combination of Hitler, Stalin and Mao. 
Please feel free to follow the Facebook discussion that inspired this post here.

All petitions are not equal ~ so should you sign/share the iffy ones?

Here’s a disclaimer even although starting with a disclaimer is not the most entertaining way to write. If you signed or intend to sign any of these petitions you are still my friend. I will not block you. I may even include links.  Your heart is in the right place as an Israel advocate but the organ I’m interested in is higher.

  • Some petitions are addressed to the wrong recipient. Consequently they are asking for things that are impossible to achieve, such as petitioning the White House i.e. the President to remove a member of Congress. Not one of the President’s powers.
  • Some avoid making a specific demand or from that distinguishes a proper petition.
  • Some are incoherent rants.
  • Some express racial slurs.
  • Some attack the democratic, tolerant nature of the Israel that I want to continue living in.
  • Some have an acceptable petition but the explanation is one you wouldn’t put your name to.
  • Some …

Does it matter?

To my mind ‘faulty’ petitions are like those e-mail chain letters that used to be popular, at least while e-mail was the dominant digital communication.

You might remember some of them. For example, collect a million ring-pulls or tinfoil from cigarette packs or box tops and some sick child will earn a dialysis treatment, a wheelchair or …

Ultimately the time could be better spent, at best, or at worst, make you look foolish and naïve.

Like faulty petitions that simply discredit the cause they were intend to help.


Please respond to the poll on the Five Minutes for Israel Facebook page.

Photograph captioned SPARE A CAN? Earlville resident Keith Marshall has collected an estimated one million ring pull can tops over a few years with the help of some friends. He plans on recycling the ring pulls. PICTURE: BRENDAN RADKE. The Cairns Post February 7, 2015

About David Guy

B.A./B.C.A. (Communication and Media Arts) University of Wollongong, AUSTRALIA M.A. in Government (Diplomacy and Conflict Studies) Inter Disciplinary Center, Herzliya, ISRAEL Twitter @5MFI
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