Svirsky from Jerusalem, 14 September 2004:
An update of several issues occupying the Israeli peace movement lately.
Israeli & international women oppose
Corrie, a Year Later. Gila Svirsky remembers, from Jerusalem
A Two State Solution
or an Apartheid State
Farhat-Naser: The Wall
Statement of the Jerusalem Center
for Women on March 8th, 2004
from Israel and Palestine
Svirsky on the Geneva Accord
Human Rights March of Women December 20, 2003 - January 10, 2004
to women and peace
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
Whatever you call
it, it means imprisoning the Palestinian people for the illusion of
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.
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.
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
November 2003: A Visit to Al Khalil
Sarah S. reports from Hebron
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...
back to Palestine and
from Jerusalem, from Israeli writer and peace activist Gila Svirsky:
Gila Svirsky writes on the recently signed Geneva
Accords, an independent effort to define acceptable terms for peace
in the Middle East.
Must the war continue? In her most recent letter, Gila reports on
a peace action by Israeli and Palestinian women...
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
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
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.
back to women and peace
was a human shield"
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:
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
Women's Emergency Network:
hearing Palestinian women's voices while the world is focused on the
war with Iraq.
the Israeli feminist peace organization Bat Shalom: UPDATE #3 - April
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.
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...
back to women and peace
to women and peace
An Open Letter
the 8th of March Palestinian women call for Peace
Bloodshed and destruction do not bring peace.
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.
back to women and peace
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
back to women and peace
Groups active for peace in Israel/Palestine (in
Shalom - the Israeli side of The Jerusalem Link: A Women's Joint
Venture for Peace, seeking peace through partnership with Palestinian
Shalom - determined fighters to end the occupation, recent recipients
of the "Alternative Nobel Peace Prize".
School seniors - a group of Israeli high school seniors who signed
a letter asserting their refusal to serve in the army to support the
Women's Peace Service - documents human rights abuses, works with
the media, and non-violently intervenes in conflict situations
Committee Against Home Demolitions - seeking to expose and end
the crime of demolishing homes of Palestinians.
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.
Profile - seeking to end militarism in Israeli society and support
conscientious objection to army service.
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.
Solidarity Network - webportal to unite international supporters
of Israelis who refuse to serve in the military and support the Occupation
in the Palestinian Territories
- a partnership of Jewish and Palestinian citizens of Israel providing
aid and resistance to the occupation throughout the territories.
in Black - holding vigils throughout the world to stop violence
and injustice, founded in Jerusalem in 1988 to end the occupation.
Gvul - encouraging soldiers to refuse service in the occupied
Links from Women in Black (Vienna)
- Coalition of Women for Peace (co-ordinating agency of ten feminist
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
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
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
www.alternativenews.org - Alternative
Information Centre („News from Within“) (Progressive magazine)
www.indymedia.org.il - Independent
www.phr.org.il - Physicians for Human Rights
- Global campaign to rebuild homes in Palestine
www.icahd.org - Israeli Committee
Against House Demolitions
www.taayush.org - Arab-Jewish
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
www.rafah.vze.com - Rafah website
www.arij.org - Applied Research Institute,
www.infopal.org - Independent
Palestinian Information Network
www.imemc.org - International Middle
East News website
- (articles by Israeli and Palestinian journalists and intellectuals
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
- 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
www.rapprochement.org - The Palestinian
Center for Rapprochement between People, Beit Sahour
International Solidarity Movement
www.adalah.org - Legal Center for
Arab Minority Rights in Israel
www.addameer.org - Prisoner Rights
and Human Rights Association
- 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
www.mepc.org - Middle East Policy
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
- 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
www.jppi.org - Jews for Peace in
Palestine and Israel
www.btvshalom.org - Brit Tsedek
V’Shalom: Jewish Alliance for Justice and Peace
- U.S. website giving information on the occupation, Intifada, etc.
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.