Coalition for Women for a Just Peace

Ten Israeli women's groups make up the Coalition of Women for a Just Peace, who organized the worldwide vigil on June 8, 2001:

Bat Shalom – The Israeli side of The Jerusalem Link – A Women’s Joint Venture for Peace (est. 1993)  e-mail:  batshalo@netvision.net.il  website: www.batshalom.org .
Women in Black – holding weekly vigils throughout Israel  (est. 1988).
Women and Mothers for Peace – Former activists of the Four Mothers Movement –instrumental in promoting the Israeli withdrawal from Lebanon.
Women Engendering Peace – Promoting a culture of peace in Israel.
New Profile - Movement for the Civil-ization of Israeli Society – Addresses issues of militarism and gives support to conscientious objectors in Israel (since 1998) web site: www/newprofile.org
WILPF –Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom - Israeli chapter.
TANDI –  Movement of Democratic Women for Israel (est. 1951).
Noga  Feminist Magazine
NELED – An acronym for “Women for Coexistence”.
Machsom-Watch – a group of women who monitor and prevent human rights violations at checkpoints.
 

Principles of the Coalition

We Jewish and Palestinian women, citizens of Israel – representatives of various women’s organizations and individuals – have agreed to coordinate and organize joint activities in order to work together for a just peace based on the following principles:

§ An end to the occupation.
§ The full involvement of women in negotiations for peace.
§ Establishment of the state of Palestinian side by side with the state of Israel based on the 1967 borders.
§ The recognition of Jerusalem as the shared capital of two states.
§ Israel must recognize its share of responsibility for the results of the 1948 war and
§ cooperate in finding a just solution for the Palestinian refugees.
§ Equality, inclusion and justice for Palestinian citizens of Israel.
§ Opposition to the militarism that permeates Israeli society.
§ Equal rights for women and all residents of Israel.
§ Social and economic justice for Israel’s citizens and integration in the region.
 

Additional Slogans of the Coalition

· There is no democracy without peace and no peace without women.
· The age of generals has ended; the era of women has begun.
· Stop shooting, start talking peace.
· Two states for two nations: Palestine side by side with Israel.
· Money for the poor, not for settlers.
 

The Vision for Peace of the Coalition of Women for a Just Peace

Like other peace movements in Israel, the Coalition of Women for a Just Peace believes that the occupation must stop, and that Israel must retreat to the 1967 borders. But the Coalition also believes that:

1. The militarism which permeates Israeli society must also come to an end. As long as the governments of Israel continue to be dominated by generals and a belief in violence as a political strategy, we will never get to peace. To end the conflict we must resolve problems through wisdom, not force; through compromise based on an understanding of the plight of the nations in the region.

2. A just peace includes a future of cooperation between Palestine and Israel, and an equitable sharing of resources with all states in the region.

3. The vision of peace is indivisible from the vision of justice and equality. We seek to install all three principles into all aspects of Israeli society.
 
 

Activities of the Coalition

The Coalition of Women for a Just Peace is a mix of Jewish and Palestinian women (all citizens of Israel) who call upon Israel to end the occupation and negotiate a just solution.

Ever since November 8, 2000 when it was formed, the Coalition has been engaged in protest and advocacy inside Israel and the occupied territories.  The first mass action was a vigil and march in Jerusalem, with 2,000 Israeli and Palestinian women calling for an end to the occupation and negotiation of a just peace.  Subsequently, we held a series of demonstrations demanding an end to the military “closure” of Palestinian towns and villages.  In the first action, where women blocked the entrance to the Ministry of Defense in Tel-Aviv in order to illustrate the problems of closure, 17 demonstrators were arrested.

Subsequent actions, sometimes in cooperation with mixed-gender peace organizations, included nonviolent resistance to closure.  These have involved the removal of blockades and filling in of trenches, both intended to be physical barriers to prevent Palestinians from entering or leaving their villages.  In other actions, individual women – young women, in particular – have pushed resistance one step further by lying down in front of army bulldozers or chaining themselves to olive trees, in an effort to prevent further destruction of Palestinian homes and property.  Most of these actions ended in arrests.

On June 8, 2001 the Coalition organized an international “Women in Black”, mobilizing 150 vigils around the world to protest the Israeli occupation.

For more information:
Gila Svirsky (053) 334-986
Debby Lerman (051) 292-373
Dita Bitterman (052) 439-009
Hanah Safran (04) 824-3638
Nabila Espanioli (050) 581-709
Samira Khouri (04) 657-0650