Writers and Artists
|Gila Svirsky: Letter from Jerusalem||
Molly is the director of Bat Shalom, which is the women's peace organization that forms the Israeli side of The Jerusalem Link (the Palestinian side is called the Jerusalem Center for Women). Molly is the most wonderfully serious and thoughtful woman you would ever want to have at the head of your organization. Anyone who has ever met Molly knows that she has never engaged in provocation, but has only been cautious and respectful. I asked her by cell phone, on her way to the hospital, how she feels and she said, "A horrible headache, my ears hurt, and I'm aching from the blows. But let's think about how to wake people up to what is happening out there. We have to wake people up."
Wake up, world! Hear O Israel, wake up!! Israeli soldiers have made brutality a way of life against Palestinians, then they turned their weapons and death upon international peace activists, and now they are brutalizing Israelis who express disapproval of their ways. Who will be the first one killed?
Writes US woman activist Starhawk, who participated in some of these actions, "The Israelis who are involved in the day to day resistance ... said to me that they know it is only a matter of time before there is an Israeli ‘shaheed’— a martyr of the occupation. Being Israeli is no longer a protection against the violence of the military."
What's worse: Nonviolence is no longer protection against the brutality of the military, regardless of whether you are Israeli or Palestinian or international. No one should be assaulted for peacefully demonstrating, and yet that has become the norm. Today, all demonstrations that take place in the territories -- whether by Palestinians or Israelis, women or men, nonviolent or violent -- are treated to the same brutal behavior of guns, stun grenades, and clubs. And no one investigates the incidents in a serious, unbiased manner, meaning that the soldiers learn that they can be cruel with impunity.
What has happened? The occupation has happened. The occupation has corrupted the soul of Israel. A situation of "Ein din v'ein dayan", as the Bible says: "No law and no one standing in judgment".
There is anarchy in the soul of Israel today, and it won't be gone until we uproot the occupation from our land and from our hearts.
Coalition of Women for Peace: