end of winter 2019 update for English speakers worldwide
Updates in English will now be sent quarterly, barring our need to contact you urgently. For more frequent news, we encourage you to join ourFacebook group for English speakers.
Mothers’ Tent, Tel Aviv version
WWP is currently encamped in Tel Aviv’s Rabin Square until 3 April –a week beforenational elections – in a reprise of our Mothers’ Tent pitched so successfully last summer across from the Knesset. This open-sided and welcoming space gives the public, its current decision-makers, and national candidates a gathering place in which to move beyond shallow slogans and engage in deep conversations about peace, security, and the role of women in transforming a climate of fear and anxiety into one of hope and prosperity in our region. Since its launch on International Womens’ Day, March 8th, the Mothers’ Tent has already welcomed distinguished peace-makers from Israel and abroad, bereaved mothers of fallen soldiers, politicians, and passersby. Former Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni set the tone from the start, reminding the crowd: “People falsely equate security with strong men, and peace with weak women. The opposite is true, my friends. The opposite is true. Women understand that peace and security go together.”
Recent conversations in the packed schedule have included “It’s Good to Live for One’s Country”; a celebration of the 40th anniversary of Israel’s peace treaty with Egypt; a screening of Lili Rivlin’s documentary about American activist Heather Booth; and a presentation by a grandson of Mahatma Gandhi who shared his grandfather’s understanding of the crucial role of personal transformation in stopping passive violence, to which physical violence is often the response.
Feeling moved to support more Israeli conversations, sowing something new and brave? DONATE HERE to help us bring the Mothers’ Tent to more locations throughout the country.
Yes, a law to prevent the next war. And you can help make it a reality.
• ask Israelis you know to watch this 2-minute video (with English captions) about our bill, Political Alternatives First, requiring the Security Cabinet to examine diplomatic solutions before resorting to military options, with input from civil society
• share the results of this national survey conducted last month (Feb 2019)
81% of Israelis want the political party with which they identify to dedicate time and resources to political solutions
75% of Israelis want the Prime Minister to promote, to the extent possible, a political solution
71% of Israelis want a fixed process in which political alternatives are examined both routinely and on an emergency basis
• urge them to signthis petition calling on the 21st Knesset [next Parliament] to pass it
Election patrols, walking the talk while standing and waving, polling station booths.
Most candidates running in the upcoming national elections already recognize us – the women who show up at their town halls in white shirts and turquoise scarves. Our nationwide election patrols have appeared at over 100 meetings with candidates so far, sharing our singular message during the run-up to the elections: above all, a political agreement.When we succeed in getting them to call on us at these events, we ask them more specifically about their own plan to put a negotiated agreement at the top of the legislative agenda. And we record responses or lack thereof.
Meanwhile, our Go in Peace initiative has stepped up its presence at every major traffic intersection as well as shopping malls around the country, with women standing multiple times a month from now until Election Day in order to share our messages that Yes, peace is possible and that above all, we need our decision-makers to reach a political solution.
On Election Day itself, we’ll be stationed at many polling stations throughout the country, encouraging voters to sign our petition on behalf of our bill, Political Alternatives First: the Law to Prevent the Next War (see above to help us add even more signatures.)
Interested in sponsoring an Election Day booth in a location dear to you?
Other grassroots actions continue, despite the ubiquity of election-related activity
• film screenings of Pray the Devil Back to Hell
•celebrations of International Women’s Day, some including a popular lecture called “One Hundred Years of Feminism at a Glance” by one of this year’s Steering Committee coordinators (as close as our non-hierarchical movement gets to enshrining certain women as leaders)
• tabling at local festivals and commemorative events, especially to promote our bill
• expanding a new program of ours – tiyul∙richla, a shared Palestinian and Israeli day trip (tiyul in Hebrew, richla in Arabic) for WWP members and Palestinian women in order to form rich personal relationships through visits to historical and cultural sites that hold meaning for both peoples
• resuming the Women’s Knesset – our weekly presence at the Knesset plenum combined with private meetings with individual MKs [members of Parliament] after election results determine which parties, and which proportion of each, will make up the 21st Knesset and after legislators are sworn in.
• supporting the full implementation of the landmark UN Resolution 1325, part of Israeli law since 2005. Our 250 core activists are currently voting on a project that would enable the new 1325 team to offer a comprehensive, professional, multi-disciplinary training program to all women in the movement. It would enable us to turn our catch phrases into content and knowledge, update the actual requirements of 1325, and formulate an action plan for its full implementation. The training would also link WWP’s demand for a political agreement with the issue of women’s personal safety, often cited by women’s organizations as a matter of grave concern, but seen by the public, so far, as an individual matter and not as the broad political-social issue we know it to be.
a woman waging peace – Michal Panet-Peleg
I was blessed (or not) with a strong political consciousness. Of course, I have other traits and tendencies, but political consciousness prevails over everything else from time to time. This apparently started for me in high school where history was my favorite subject largely thanks to my teacher, Yaakov. If we’re lucky, we can remember a teacher who made a lasting impression on us, whose classes were interesting, who opened our minds, who believed in us even though we did not study as hard as we could have during the turbulence of adolescence. In addition to Yaakov, my father greatly influenced my future by making me read books in English, including Churchill’s memoirs and the Rise and Fall of the Third Reich. I managed to finish, by the way, three of Churchill's six volumes… Thanks to my father’s strictness, I learned English and a bit of modern history, as well as the notion that all empires collapse from within as a result of hubris, tyranny, and corruption. Those empires wise enough to have extricated themselves and withdrawn in time succeeded in the task of rehabilitation and in building democratic states. read more here
DONATE HERE to bring even more energetic, determined women like Michal into WWP!