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In this issue:

- Women Wage Peace and the war
- 6 o’clock after the war is NOW
- in her footsteps - Vivian Silver
- the BBC’s 100 most influential women of 2023
- a nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize
- how to join a supporter group abroad
- around the world
- while the mothers are crying
- links to read and watch

Women Wage Peace and the war

After four long months of war, where are we? Israelis continue to re-live the terror of Oct. 7th and there are are still 136 hostages held by Hamas. The people of Gaza live in a place akin to hell. West Bank Palestinians suffer from ongoing violence along with restrictions on their freedom of movement and challenges to their economic lives. Many Arab citizens of Israel find themselves torn between sides. There are no boundaries, of course, to the de-humanization that continues to grow from fear, humiliation, and despair. Despite the tremendous pain that everyone is carrying, we continue to work for peace along with our Palestinian sister movement Women of the Sun (WOS). With eyes wide open and hearts that cannot yet heal, we know only too well that peace is currently a word to be strenuously avoided in our societies. Nevertheless, we remain committed to it not only as the only destination, but also as the only path that willl enable a future for two people in this region.

WWP is also deepening the partnerships with other grassroots organizations within Israel since the beginning of the war. Along with the movement Standing Together, we have lent support to co-existence rallies, crying out that only peace can bring us security. These rallies are being held in Tel Aviv, with smaller gatherings in the north of Israel, especially Acre and Carmiel, both with mixed Jewish and Arab populations. Members of WWP also stand daily with families of captives in “Hostage Square”, as the Tel Aviv Museum square has been renamed.

At Hostage Square 

6 o'clock after the war is NOW

“When the war is over, let’s meet,” says Good Soldier Švejk in the1920s Czech anti-war satire of the same name. His companion announces, “Every day at six o’clock you’ll find me at that pub called The Wine Goblet.” To which Švejk answers, “Then see you after the war at six o’clock in the evening.” In Israel, this term refers to an urgent matter that should be addressed immediately after a war. But we understand that 6 o’clock after the war is NOW. As the army’s leadership has made clear, we Israelis need a political horizon even if the government chooses to continue the war. The murderous attack of Hamas on Oct. 7 has proven beyond a doubt that the tactic known as ‘managing the conflict’ doesn’t work. Creating a political horizon is an absolute necessity for all people living in this region, followed by negotiations for a new political order – that is, for a vision, with wide appeal to voters, of prosperity and well-being supported by an economic plan that increases opportunity.

Only peace will bring security

Donate to WWP

in her footsteps - Vivian Silver

It has been nearly four months since the untimely passing of Vivian Silver, a dedicated advocate for peace. Her departure has left an indescribable void in our hearts. As we witness the routine bloom of anemones near the Gaza border, the reminders of war persist – the echoes of cannons, the presence of soldiers, the tombstones along the roads, and the empty kibbutzim. These stark realities emphasize the ongoing conflict, with 136 Israelis still held captive in Gaza within the confines of Hamas tunnels.

On February 2nd Vivian would have celebrated her 75th birthday. A group of WWP members and her son Jonathan visited her grave in Be'eri. In that solemn moment, we rekindled our commitment to her legacy and reaffirmed our dedication to walking in her footsteps along the path of peace.

"Turn away from evil and do good, seek peace and pursue it." (Psalms 34:14)

Watch a movie on Vivian

the BBC’s 100 most influential women of 2023

Dr. Yael Braudo-Bahat, co-director of WWP, was selected as one of 100 inspiring and influential women by the BBC for 2023. The BBC wrote, “Yael Braudo-Bahat brings her background in law to an Israeli grassroots peace movement which has more than 50,000 members. Established in 2014, WWP seeks a negotiated political resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, emphasizing the role of women in the peace process. For the past two years, WWP has collaborated with a Palestinian sister movement, WOS. Braudo-Bahat says she owes much to her mentor, the prominent peace activist and WWP co-founder, Vivian Silver, who dedicated decades of her life to fostering understanding and equality between Israelis and Palestinians. Silver was killed in the attack by Hamas on 7 October 2023.”
Read more from BBC

Read the interview

a nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize

The Free University of Amsterdam (Vrije Universitait Amsterdam), recognized by the Nobel committee as a qualified nominator of candidates for the Nobel Peace Prize, has submitted WWP and our Palestinian partner movement, WOS, as nominees for the 2024 Nobel Peace Prize. The university is one of the most prestigious academic institutions in Amsterdam. In its letter of recommendation, the university wrote that “their work is tragically salient at the moment, given their ability to continue building peaceful connections between Palestinian and Israeli communities despite the incredible obstacles they have faced over the past two months.” Along with our two women's movements, the university also nominated EcoPeace Middle East. 

Publication in the Jerusalem Post

how to join a supporter group abroad

We have received hundreds of messages of support from around the globe since Oct. 7th and wish to thank you for your warm words of encouragement and your empathy. Hearing from you has meant a great deal to us during these sad days. Many of you have asked how you can support us, beyond making a donation. As you have been reading above, we are continuing to make our voices heard, offering the same message with which we began in 2014 in the aftermath of the 50-day Gaza War/Operation Protective Edge. We demand political negotiations, with women equally represented in every aspect of peacemaking. These are ultimately the only means for ending the conflict and creating safety, security, and opportunity for all people living in this region.

We are currently in the process of forming supporter groups abroad. In several countries local groups have already been established. We are still looking for women to lead supporter groups in the USA. These groups can do a lot to spread the word about WWP and our partnership with WOS.

Read more.....

around the world

The WWP foreign relations team does not rest for a moment. The relationships with diplomats developed by Angela Scharf, co-coordinator of WWP during the past years, combined with further development of robust supporter groups abroad, have now born fruit. Currently a number of initiatives are being launched both in Israel and in Europe, that will surely play an important role abroad in the advancement of our peace-building efforts.

Berlin, Germany, December 2023 – a benefit concert of the Berlin Philharmonic was held under the title “together for humanity”, calling for the release of the hostages held in Gaza and for the protection of civilians on both the Palestinian and the Israeli side. Watch Meera Eilabouni who talked on behalf of WWP and WOS. 

Paris, France, January 2024. Hana Assouline is the creator of the film “Warriors of Peace” about WWP and the founder of a French women’s movement with the same name, “les Guerrières de la Paix. She screened her movie at the French Parliament in Paris, in an event hosted by the Mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo.
Read more..

Swedish Ambassador to Israel Erik Ullenhag hosts a round table at his residence for WWP and WOS representatives and ambassadors from various countries in early February.

Slovenian Ambassador to Israel Andreja Purkart Martinez launches several initiatives for WWP and WOS. On March 8 representatives of WWP and WOS are invited to the Slovenian Parliament, a prominent university, and meet with large media outlets. Additional events are in preparation.

The Cypriot Ambassador to Israel Kornelios S. Korneliou launches a meeting of WWP and WOS representatives with the Speaker of the Cypriot Parliament in mid-April.

Brussels, Belgium: various events are planned for the international community, the European Parliament, the Parliament of Belgium, with the participation of Jewish and Muslim dignitaries in April.

Ventimiglia, Italy, April 21: the School of Peace (Scuola di Pace) in Ventimiglia awards the Witness of Peace prize to WWP and WOS.

Vienna, Austria, May 6, 2024. Representatives from WWP and WOS have been invited to keynote a “symposium on Peace” as part of a Peace exhibition at the Jewish Museum. This is organized in conjunction with the Salzburg Global Seminar.

Paris, Berlin, Tel Aviv

while the mothers are crying

While the mothers are crying,
the men sling their guns over their shoulders,
Marching unified soldiers,
Singing of victory.

While the mothers are crying
the men sit in meetings, their guns quiet,
discussing the war, animated by it,
comparing units and tactics.

While the mothers are crying,
the men in charge – and how they feel it –
make plans to invade in secret
those dark tunnels of nightmares.

While the mothers are crying,
the men eat the cooked meals prepared
by all those mothers who are so scared
whether husbands or sons will return.

Forgive me. Forgive me.

There are women too
Fighting with guns, also soldiers
with warm guns over their shoulders,
but they are not yet mothers.

They are not yet the mothers who are crying.

Shoshana Lavan, WWP Member and Mother

in the media - things to read and see

Vivian Silver, Activist Killed in Hamas Attack, Remembered as Peacemaker at Winnipeg Memorial - CBC News 

Remembering Vivian Silver, Israeli Canadian Peace Activist Killed in Hamas Attack - Democracy Now 

A statement by the European Women’s Lobby – Dec. 4, 2023 
Stop Barbaric Violence and Start Listening to Women 

In photos: Canadian Israeli peace activist Vivian Silver’s memorial service

Ghadir Hani, member of Women Wage Peace featured in The Times of Israel


Picture credits: Tamar Matzafi

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