women protest the wall
Israeli & international women
oppose the Wall
Report by Bat Shalom, May 12, 2004
May 11, 2004, a group of 50 Palestinian women, together with Israeli
and international peace activists, marched once again in solidarity.
We moved through the streets of Biddu to the site of the Separation
Wall, where earthmoving machinery was seen working. Walking through
the narrow streets of Biddu, many of the marchers still remembered
the violent attack of the police just two weeks earlier. This
time, we decided, we will stay together in one group. Some Palestinian
and Israeli women hold hands. The tension and the fear could not
be ignored. Someone shouted that she saw policemen on horses behind
the hill. Nevertheless, we kept on walking, holding hands and
were particularly impressed by the passion of the Palestinian women
marchers, who chanted peace slogans in Arabic and Hebrew. For anyone
doubting the Palestinian desire for peace, today's march was convincing
proof that the Palestinians are desperate for peace and ready to live
normal lives next to a non-aggressive Israel.
Finally the march arrived to the point where the soldiers were positioned.
Two horses were seen behind them, waiting. On a narrow street of Biddu
stood two groups, the soldiers and the women, facing each other for
a long time. Today, no shots were fired, no tear gas used and mounted
police were only seen in the distance – importantly: no offensive attacks
were made on the peaceful demonstrators. We were encouraged by the success
of expressing our resistance to the Wall engulfing the village of Biddu.
Following the protest, we returned back to the municipality hall for
a quick lunch and began planning future joint actions. Despite the terror
felt by many women, we will continue to set the agenda of non-violence
and non-confrontation within our protests.
the women of Bat Shalom, repeat our former assertions that the struggle
against the wall is about ending the Israeli Occupation. The Wall
is one of the tools of control by the occupying power. Its construction
is a hostile act, inflicting pain and injustice on Palestinians
today and threatening the social and economic integrity and viability
of any future Palestinian state. In opposing the wall we must make
clear that we oppose not only the human rights abuses, but that
we are promoting an alternative set of values and standards that
see as their goal an equally decent life for both people. By working
together, Israeli and Palestinian women are introducing values and
norms, which will pave the way for a just, equitable resolution
for Palestinians and Israelis.
Shalom is an Israeli national feminist grassroots organization of
Jewish and Palestinian Israeli women working together for a genuine
peace grounded in a just resolution of the Israel-Palestine conflict,
respect for human rights, and an equal voice for Jewish and Arab women
within Israeli society.