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   Women Wage Peace                                            October 2021 Newsletter

A mutual call of Israeli and Palestinian mothers on International Peace Day:
"We all want to live in peace, we don’t want to rest in peace.“

Israeli and Palestinian mothers meet on International Peace Day

Women Wage Peace has begun a robust collaboration with a new Palestinian womens’ peace movement being established in the Palestinian Authority. The two groups recently penned a joint petition, The Mothers’ Call, demanding a future of peace, freedom, equality, human rights, and security for all children of the region.

Meeting via Zoom on Sept 22, International Peace Day, two hundred participants heard from a diverse group of women speakers living between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan Valley about their hopes, fears, and life experiences that led them to become activists in their relevant peace movement.

Brief greetings from the USA, Argentina, Brazil, India, Uganda, Taiwan, and Switzerland were followed by first-hand accounts by Palestinian women living under occupation and military administration with its checkpoints, imprisoned family members, and resistance to the peace process from within Palestinian society. One woman commented, “We have to learn from WWP how to achieve the broad support you have been steadily gaining within Israeli society with your 45,000 members. Together, I know we can create a template for resolving the conflict.” Another Palestinian speaker commented on her work with leading figures in the region: “Today I believe we have to start from the bottom up. Top down clearly
hasn’t worked.”

Want to know more about our work plan to start negotiations in 2022? click here

A march, a human chain, a rally

Hundreds of Jewish and Arab women and men in white and turquoise holding matching banners and posters with the message “4 Million Mothers Call for Peace” took part in a colorful demonstration in Jerusalem also marking International Peace Day [see above] and launching a year of intense activity with our partners from the new Palestinian women’s peace organization. The immediate goal of this collaboration is to bring political leaders together during next year’s International Peace Day.

Cheerful marchers created a human chain along the walls of the Old City where many Orthodox Jewish families had come to celebrate Sukkot; the convergence led to some worthwhile interactions. A rally followed, and different women shared their experiences: midwives shared their thoughts about mothers and babies, two mothers living close to the Gaza Strip noted that fifteen years of military operations have not succeeded in bringing more than brief periods of calm to the area. A young mother from Israel’s urban center shared her decision to become active in WWP: “I sat with my baby in the shelter in Tel Aviv in May during the most recent conflict between Israel and Hamas. His eyes looked at me in complete trust while I heard rockets exploding around me. Because of him I’m now active.”

The project coordinators of the WWP read the full text of the petition, The Mothers’ Call, followed by moving appeals to break away from the social and political prison we are all stuck in, going beyond the desperation so many feel in order to save our sons and daughters through a negotiated agreement.

Click here to view more pictures

The Mothers’ Call, a petition of Israeli and Palestinian Mothers

Something hopeful is happening between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan Valley, in this violent neighborhood where two peoples live entangled in a Gordian knot of a conflict that is now more than a century old. We, Israeli and Palestinian women, are taking matters into our own hands. Together we are crafting a new approach to the resolution of this conflict, using tools and insights unknown or under-utilized in previous rounds of negotiations. We are determined to reach a political agreement that puts a stop to seemingly endless cycles of violence.

Nadia Younis, a Women Wage Peace activist, reflected on the past three years of meetings between Israeli women, both Jewish and Arab, and Palestinian women: “Sometimes we were sad, we were angry, we often cried – but today we are united.”

Please read the Petition and sign it here. Every signature counts.

A local initiative: women gatherings in the Peace Sukkah

The WWP initiative Woman to Woman - Making Contact with Those Different from Me - was created to build long-term personal relations that will allow for honest and empathetic dialogue. The target is to respect diversity and seek the common good. After all, all mothers care about their children and their country and often seek other women as allies.

The recent Jewish holiday of Sukkot offered an opportunity to host and to be hosted in a peace sukkah [temporary booth, open to the weather]. WWP was able to facilitate eighteen sukkahs during three days, enabling 160 women to gather. Many of the hosts had a religious background, hosting the mostly secular women living in the same neighborhoods. A good atmosphere prevailed, even when charged issues arose. There was plenty of mutual appreciation and a strong desire to continue the dialogue.

our next webinar, bottom-up peacebuilding

We would like to invite you to a webinar organized by the Jewish Community Relations Council [JCRC] of New York, together with members of the Israeli and the Palestinian Women peace movements, Women Wage Peace and Women of the Sun. The webinar is co-sponsored by Women, Peace and Security program, Columbia University; Global Engagement Program, SUNY; Dispute Resolution Center, CUNY; and the History Department, Brooklyn College.

Please register for this Zoom event, Bottom Up Peacebuilding: Women, Academia and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, scheduled for October 12, 2021 at 12 noon EST / 7 pm Israel time.

To register click here

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