women and peace

Palestine and Israel

Gila Svirsky from Jerusalem, 14 September 2004: An update of several issues occupying the Israeli peace movement lately.

Palestinian, Israeli & international women oppose the Wall

Rachel Corrie, a Year Later. Gila Svirsky remembers, from Jerusalem

A Two State Solution or an Apartheid State
Statement of the Jerusalem Center for Women on March 8th, 2004

Sumaya Farhat-Naser: The Wall

More on the wall

WLOE Reports from Israel and Palestine

Gila Svirsky on the Geneva Accord

International Human Rights March of Women December 20, 2003 - January 10, 2004



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More on the wall

A Brief History of The Apartheid Wall, The Separation Wall, The Wall, The Security Barrier, The Defensive Fence, The Security Fence, The Seam Zone

Whatever you call it, it means imprisoning the Palestinian people for the illusion of security. 

On June 2002 began the process of land confiscation and the uprooting of trees for the construction of the Israeli Separation Wall. 

In an attempt to quell fears that it is illegally expropriating Palestinian land with its "Security Barrier" the Israeli military publicly announced that "every effort has been made to avoid including Palestinian villages" while mapping out the path of the Wall.  Yet, recent maps depict just the opposite.  The first contradiction is that only 11 kilometers, of the officially proposed 650 km, follows the border of the Palestinian Territories (The Green Line) established in 1967. The vast majority of the Wall zigzags carving out valuable agricultural land and natural resources belonging to Palestinian villages and in certain areas cuts 6 kilometers deep into West Bank.  Upon its completion, the Wall will have annexed up to 50% of the West Bank and isolated many Palestinian communities into impoverished cantons, enclaves, and "military zones". Currently in Phase 1 of its development, Palestinians living in the northwestern region of the West Bank (where the Wall is either completed or construction is nearly finished) are currently suffering from the debilitating effects of the loss of their land, resources, and the freedom of movement.

Although the Israeli government will establish new de facto borders with it's Wall, it has denied that it will annex land into the State of Israel and therefore will not change the status of any of the residents trapped in this newly created no-mans land between the Green Line and the Separation Wall. Some 250, 000 Palestinians living in districts around the Wall will be separated from the West Bank but will not be legally recognized as living in Israel. 

Wall Facts 
The concrete Wall is 8 meters high (24 feet) or twice as high as the Berlin Wall. The buffer zones on each side of the Wall are any where from 30-100 meters wide on both sides (half a football field) which give space for military patrols, surveillance cameras, sniper posts, mine fields, motion sensors, trenches, a three meter high electric fence, and sand paths to trace footprints. The buffer zones pave the way for large scale expulsions because they are built close to homes, shops, and schools. Land confiscation, severe restriction of movement, and destruction will mean the loss of 6,500 jobs. The Wall costs approximately 2.8 million dollars per kilometer with an early cost estimate of over 2 billion dollars for its completion. The Gaza Strip has had a system of separation fences surrounding it since the 1980s.

Information for this report was gathered from the following sources: Halper, Jeff. "Obstacles to Peace – A Critical Tour of the Jerusalem/West Bank Interface", PalMap GSE, August 2003.

Campaign to stop the Wall: www.stopthewall.org
Israeli Military website about the Wall:www.seamzone.mod.gov.il

WLOE Reports from Israel and Palestine

17 November 2003: A Visit to Al Khalil

Sarah S. reports from Hebron

Click for a bigger picture

Part of my work in Israel and the Palestinian Territories entails networking with other NGO's and grass-roots organizations, visiting them at their home offices, and experiencing the situation they face "on the ground". Through my work I had come into contact with a youth organization in Al Khalil (Hebron in English) called the International Palestinian Youth League. Their organization is instrumental in coordinating international volunteer work camps in the Territories and in providing vocational training for Palestinian youth. I am hoping that through them I can learn more about the unique and volatile situation in the West Bank city of Al Khalil...

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Letters from Jerusalem, from Israeli writer and peace activist Gila Svirsky:

  • 1 December 2003
    Gila Svirsky writes on the recently signed Geneva Accords, an independent effort to define acceptable terms for peace in the Middle East.
  • 6 September 2003
    Must the war continue? In her most recent letter, Gila reports on a peace action by Israeli and Palestinian women...
    Off with their heads!

    While a bunch of Israeli and Palestinian women were hugging and kissing outside Tulkarm today, the Israeli government dropped three 250 kg (550 lb) bombs on an apartment building in Gaza, trying (unsuccessfully) to kill the ten Hamas leaders meeting inside.  “We were only trying to send them a message,” said the news commentator on Israeli TV tonight.  “We were trying to kill them,” corrected the anchor, “but screwed up.”


  • 4 June 2003
    Last night in Israel, an evening in memory of Rachel Corrie was held. Rachel was the 23-year old member of the International Solidarity Movement (ISM) who was killed by a bulldozer as she stood her ground, trying to protect a Palestinian home from being destroyed (see www.palsolidarity.org for details)...

The Great Wall of Denial, 28 February 2003

...the completely lopsided balance of power and suffering has not penetrated the consciousness of the Israeli public as a whole. The violence on both sides is reprehensible, but most Israelis behave as if only our people are its victims, while the other side, all of them, are the perpetrators of the crimes... the important question is, how do we penetrate the numbness of Israelis, soldiers and civilians alike, about the wrongness of our actions - wrong morally and stupid strategically. As virtually everyone has recognized by now, the brutal policies only create more bitterness and desire for revenge...


Next year in Mas'Ha

By Starhawk

On the eve of Passover, after a month I spent in the occupied territories of Palestine working with the International Solidarity movment, a month that saw one of our people deliberately run over by a bulldozer driven by an Israeli soldier, and two young men deliberately shot, one in the face, one in the head, I found myself unable to face the prospect of a Seder, even with my friends in the Israeli peace movement. I couldn¹t sit and bewail our ancient slavery or celebrate our journey to the promised land. I was afraid that I might spew bitterness and salt all over any Seder table I graced, and smash something.

So I went to the peace encampment at Mas'Ha. Mas'Ha needed people, and the moon was full, and I thought I could just lay down on the land under the moonlight and let some of the bitterness drain away.

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"I was a human shield"

"The death of human rights activist Rachel Corrie, crushed to death while trying to stop an IDF bulldozer, was reason for Billie Moskona-Lerman to go to the Rafah Refugee Camp and to spend 24 hours at the most miserable place in the Gaza Strip. A place where shooting never stops, where shells whistle by the windows, the walls are covered with bloodstains on the walls, houses turn into ruins and people walk the streets."

That is the introduction to the article "I was a Human Shield" by Israeli journalist Billie Moskona-Lerman, which was published in Hebrew in the Israeli newspaper "Ma'ariv" on 28 March 2003. An English translation of her story is on the website of the Israeli peace organization Gush Shalom:

For information on the situation of international solidarity workers in Palestine -- including the deaths of and attacks on members of the international teams, see http://www.palsolidarity.org

Photos of Rachel Corrie and of the situation in Rafah, where she was killed while trying to prevent the destruction of Palestinian homes, cane be found on a website created by Muhammad, a young student from Rafah:

Women's Emergency Network:
hearing Palestinian women's voices while the world is focused on the war with Iraq.

From the Israeli feminist peace organization Bat Shalom: UPDATE #3 - April 15, 2003

In addition to reporting on the experiences of our Palestinian contacts during the past two weeks, we are including some thoughts on the upcoming Pesach holiday, a festival marking a time of freedom and liberation in Jewish history. Additionally, Pesach is an opportunity to reflect on a time in which both our Jewish and Arab foremothers found ways to support one another.

Our Israeli callers continue to report on their conversations with Palestinian women throughout the Occupied Territories over the past 10 days. Despite differences in locations and specific details of their experiences, the response from the women is an overwhelming chorus of exhaustion, depression, despair and frustration...

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Archive 2002
Archive 2001

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from 2002

An Open Letter

On the 8th of March Palestinian women call for Peace
Bloodshed and destruction do not bring peace.
Mutual recognition of each other's individual and collective rights paves the way for peace making.

We, women at the Jerusalem Center for Women (JCW), call on the Israeli community in general and Women in particular to stand against occupation, oppression, war, apartheid, humiliation and poverty. It is time to raise our voice loud and clear: There has been enough bloodshed. Peace won't be achieved when pregnant Palestinian women are killed at check-points, just as it won't be achieved through military means or a different form of occupation.

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from 2001

Gila Svirsky reports from the Women In Black action in Jerusalem, 28 December 2001

A Woman's Voice from Palestine: the speech not given
Sumaya Farhat-Naser's Address for the Global Fund for Women's
International Celebration of Women - March 8th

"Working for world peace means being able to see past the immediate events, seeking to end the cycle of violence, and speaking out against hate-fostering stereotypes... We are two of many Palestinians and Israelis who refuse to be enemies."

Two peace activists -- one Palestinian, one Israeli - have written to George W. Bush

read the letter

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Groups active for peace in Israel/Palestine (in alphabetical order):

  • Bat Shalom - the Israeli side of The Jerusalem Link: A Women's Joint Venture for Peace, seeking peace through partnership with Palestinian women.
  • Gush Shalom - determined fighters to end the occupation, recent recipients of the "Alternative Nobel Peace Prize".
  • High School seniors - a group of Israeli high school seniors who signed a letter asserting their refusal to serve in the army to support the occupation.
  • International Women's Peace Service - documents human rights abuses, works with the media, and non-violently intervenes in conflict situations
  • Israel Committee Against Home Demolitions - seeking to expose and end the crime of demolishing homes of Palestinians.
  • Machsom Watch - women monitoring military checkpoints to end the abuse of Palestinians at these locations.
  • Mothers and Women for Peace - formerly the 4 Mothers Movement, who were instrumental in getting Israel out of Lebanese occupation.
  • New Profile - seeking to end militarism in Israeli society and support conscientious objection to army service.
  • Peace Now - mobilizing to end the occupation, and focused on the illegality of the Israeli settlements in the territories.
  • Rabbis for Human Rights - bringing a religious Jewish perspective to the struggle to end the injustice of occupation.
  • Refuser Solidarity Network - webportal to unite international supporters of Israelis who refuse to serve in the military and support the Occupation in the Palestinian Territories
  • Ta'ayush - a partnership of Jewish and Palestinian citizens of Israel providing aid and resistance to the occupation throughout the territories.
  • Women in Black - holding vigils throughout the world to stop violence and injustice, founded in Jerusalem in 1988 to end the occupation.
  • Yesh Gvul - encouraging soldiers to refuse service in the occupied territories.

Website Links from Women in Black (Vienna)
February 2004

contact: Womeninblack-vienna@gmx.at

www.coalitionofwomen4peace.org - Coalition of Women for Peace (co-ordinating agency of ten feminist peace organizations)
www.womeninblack.org - Women in Black International
www.newprofile.org - Movement for the Civil-ization of Israeli Society
www.batshalom.org - Bat Shalom (Israeli women’s peace group)
www.gush-shalom.org - Gush Shalom (Israeli Peace Block)
www.btselem.org - B’tselem (Israeli human rights organization)
www.machsomwatch.org - Women for Human Rights – Checkpoint Watch
www.hamoked.org - Center for the Defense of the Individual
www.rhr.israel.net - Rabbis for Human Rights
www.peacenow.org - Peace Now Israel
www.yesh-gvul.org - “There is a limit“ (Appeal to soldiers, not to serve in the occupied territories)
www.seruv.org.il - “Courage to Refuse” – Signature campaign in support of soldiers refusing to serve in the occupied territories
www.refuz.org.il - Petition in support of sentenced Conscientious Objectors
www.haaretz.co.il/eng - Ha’aretz (Israeli newspaper)
www.alternativenews.org - Alternative Information Centre („News from Within“) (Progressive magazine)
www.indymedia.org.il - Independent Media Centre
www.phr.org.il - Physicians for Human Rights
www.rebuildinghomes.org - Global campaign to rebuild homes in Palestine
www.icahd.org - Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions
www.taayush.org - Arab-Jewish Partnership
www.ariga.com - Israeli-Palestinian Human Rights and Peace Groups
www.palestinemonitor.org - The Voice of Civil Society
www.stopthewall.org - Pengon’s website on the Wall
www.miftah.org - The Palestinian Initiative for the Promotion of Global Dialogue and Democracy
www.tmfm.net - Nablus website – regularly updated
www.rafah.vze.com - Rafah website
www.arij.org - Applied Research Institute, Jerusalem
www.infopal.org - Independent Palestinian Information Network
www.imemc.org  - International Middle East News website
www.ramallahonline.com - (articles by Israeli and Palestinian journalists and intellectuals in English
www.pchrgaza.org – Palestinian Centre for Human Rights, Gaza
www.pmwatch.org - Palestine Media Watch
www.nad-plo.org - Palestinian Peace Negotiations Site (Landkarten von Siedlungen u.a.)
www.passia.org - Palestinian Academic Society for the Study of International Affairs, Jerusalem
www.phrmg.org - Palestinian Human Rights Monitoring Group
www.birzeit.edu- Birzeit University
www.alhaq.org - Palestinian NGO in consultative status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations
www.electronicintifada.net - Updated information on the Intifada and action alert possibilities
www.badil.org - Badil Resource Centre (with emphasis on Refugees, Right of Return)
www.pij.org - Palestine/Israel Journal
www.cpt.org - Christian Peacemaker Team Hebron
www.rapprochement.org - The Palestinian Center for Rapprochement between People, Beit Sahour
www.palsolidarity.org  - International Solidarity Movement
www.adalah.org - Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel
www.addameer.org - Prisoner Rights and Human Rights Association
www.womenspeacepalestine.org - International Women’s Peace Service – reports on human rights violations and on life under occupation in the Salfit district (near Nablus)
www.fmep.org - Foundation for Middle East Peace
www.mepc.org - Middle East Policy Council
www.amnesty.org  - Amnesty International
www.hrw.org - Human Rights Watch
www.freemedia.at - International Press Institute, Vienna
www.ejjp.org - European Jews for a Just Peace
www.endtheoccupation.org - U.S. initiative to End the Israeli Occupation
www.junity.org - Jewish Unity for a Just Peace
www.thestruggle.org - Middle East Crisis Committee, USA
www.jvao.org - Jewish Voices Against the Occupation
www.jppi.org - Jews for Peace in Palestine and Israel
www.btvshalom.org - Brit Tsedek V’Shalom: Jewish Alliance for Justice and Peace
www.ifamericansknew.org - U.S. website giving information on the occupation, Intifada, etc.


Anis Online is a journalistic art website in German, English, and Arabic with about 800 pages. It contains music, poetry and prose, essays, children's stories, satires, interviews, media reviews, Palestiniana, Orient Online, drawings, an Elvis page, and a lot more.

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