קטגוריה: English

Women for peace and security / Sarit Bloom

In 2000 the UN Security Council adopted Resolution 1325 which stresses the importance of women’s participation in centres of decision making in order to advance solutions to violent conflicts. The background to the Resolution is the understanding, based on studies and examples from around the world, which shows the influence women’s participation has on the negotiation process, leading to a much greater chance of long lasting agreements.

In the next two years, under the umbrella of this Resolution, nine women’s seminars will be held in Israel as part of a new and unique project. Some 500 women from diverse Israeli groups and sectors, women of different backgrounds presenting a variety of voices will be gathering together at these seminars which aim to provide a platform for the exchange of ideas concerning peace and security. The organisers hope to stimulate a discourse from which women are usually excluded. The objective is to allow this dialogue to continue long after the seminars have ended by the initiation of public and communal activities to stimulate women’s participation.

The organisations taking part in this project are –

ITACH مَعَ كِ – Women Lawyers for Social Justice who work to advance women’s rights and to encourage women’s voices in the public and legal domains.

ADAM Institute – a national educational organisation working towards the advancement of democracy, peace and respect of human and citizen rights.

Women Wage Peace – a field movement voicing women’s concerns and calling for a political peace solution.

This May, this year, 50 women gathered at The Zipori Centre in Jerusalem for the first seminar. We arrived full of anticipation, enthusiasm and a strong wish to study, to understand and to find a way forward in order to change the political agenda and the public discourse within it. We were warmly welcomed – coffee and cakes waiting for us.

בונות עתיד1

It was a unique encounter of women from the north and the south, from cities, villages and kibbutzim, secular, religious and Arab women, from the left, the centre and the right of the political spectrum, women who brought with them an array of professions and knowledge. Our discourse was earnest, open and encompassing. The workshops introduced us to new information, historical events, information on the conflict and its origin, on peace and equality. Mainly, though, it presented us with different points of view, some original, some fascinating and sometimes challenging. The feminine perspective took centre place, highlighting the need to think about those different to us, about civil rights, freedom of movement and freedom of choice and to understand what issues need to be tackled when the discourse is around the subject of Peace.

The expectations from us, the participants, and from the organisers were high and the will to act even higher. The subjects discussed were weighty, such as the end of the occupation, the improvement of Israel’s democracy, healthy sex education, bringing together Israelis and Palestinians, self-empowerment, influencing the lack of tolerance in Israel towards opinions which are not the accepted norm, improving Israel’s image, citizens’ rights, learning Arabic, improving  public information [Hasbara] and abolishing racism.  In short, getting out of the rut in which the country finds itself at the moment. But not everything was solemn – the social evening drew on the participants’ humorous side and we all laughed and had a good time.

We heard some interesting lectures. The lawyer Netta Levy – responsible for the advancement and implementation of UN Resolution 1325 – spoke about the Resolution and the need to involve women in the process of peace and security. Resolution 1325 supports equal representation of women from different groups in all centres of decision making, especially where foreign and security policies are made. It supports the protection of women from all kinds of violent acts and encourages the inclusion of gender perspectives in all decision making processes when trying to prevent conflicts.

In light of the on-going Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the low women representation in centres of decision making, Resolution 1325 is extremely relevant to Israel today. A step towards implementing the Resolution in Israel was initiated by Itach movement in 2012. The plan, which was presented in 2013, includes the representation of various women’s groups in government offices and inside the different bodies whose work relates to security and foreign issues, the absorption of gender analysis in all centres of decision making, protecting women from all types of violence both in the private and the public domains, preventing violent conflicts and abolishing racism.

Over the years women’s organisations have managed to make some headways towards improving women’s representation in centres of decision making, but there is still a lot of work to be done in order to achieve real change and progress and long lasting peace.

Tammi Molad Hayo – a journalist and social activist – spoke about using media for advancing peace. She stressed the importance of having clear mutual goals, a common vision and common messages and, what’s more important, in my opinion, how crucial it is to identify others’ barriers to accepting our opinion and to learn how to tackle such barriers.

The weekend was inspirational. I believe the participants came out with the feeling that we are not alone. There is much willingness amongst many women to bring about change and to improve our own lives and the lives of our neighbours. I believe that if we were to harness and channel this energy, this willingness and the knowledge we have, we could turn the little ripples, which each of us can create in her immediate circle, into a vast tsunami wave which will bring about the change for good in the country we all wish to live in.

                                                                                          Sarit Bloom

"Pray the Devil Back to Hell – Inspiring movie showtimes – הקרנות קרובות של הסרט מעורר ההשראה על נשות ליבריה مواعيد عرض الأفلام

בואו להקרנה של הסרט מעורר ההשראה על נשות ליבריה ומאבקן המוצלח לשלום. לאחר כל הקרנה יתקיים דיון בעקבות הסרט.

הסרט באורך שעה  בשפה האנגלית, מלווה בכתוביות בעברית ובערבית.

نتشرف بدعوتكم لعرض الفيلم "دشروا الشيطان رجعة الى الجحيم"

يوثق الفيلم كفاح نساء ليبريا, مسلمة ومسيحية لانهاء الحرب الاهلية في الدولة.ادى كفاحهن المشترك وتصميمهن ال, الى انهاء الحرب الاهليةpray the devil_ha


מאי 2016

  •  יום ראשון, 8.5.16, בשעה 09:30 בכפר בלום
  •  יום שני,  16.5.16 בשעה 12:00 באולם הקולנוע במכללת צפת
  • יום שלישי, 17.5.16, בשעה 20:00 בפאב הפאבלה במשגב
  • יום שני, 23.5.16 בשעה 20:00 במועדון ויצו במגדל העמק
  • יום רביעי, 25.5.16 בשעה 20:00, במועדון לחבר קיבוץ הזורע, פרטים נוספים: מיקי בנימין 052-3990577 ומרב -052-3990382
  • יום שני 30.5.16 בשעה 19:30 במועדון ויצו, רח' ירושלים השלמה, אילת

יוני 2016

  • יום חמישי, 2.6.16, בשעה 20:30, בקיבוץ זיקים
  • יום שני, 6.6.16 בשעה 19:00 במתנ"ס רבין בכרמיאל
  • יום רביעי, 8.6.16, בשעה 10:15, באגף המוזיקה, חדר 5, "תרשיש" בית הספר לגמלאים במכללת קיי בבאר שבע


Women Wage Peace at Tel Hai on 11 Adar

In Israel, the phrase, “It’s good to die for our country” is associated with one particular person, one date, and one place. Legend has it that these were the final words of Joseph Trumpeldor on the 11th of Adar, in Tel Hai, which at the time of his death in 1920 was a remote Jewish outpost in the far north of what would become the modern state of Israel.  On March 21st, the Gregorian date corresponding this year to the 11th of Adar, members of our movement went up to Tel Hai, both to commemorate the pioneers who defended the site and the heroic battle that took place on that date as well as to proclaim that “it’s good to live for our country” and for a life filled with hope and peace.

The event was organized by several members of our movement who live in the upper Galilee under the leadership of Einat Luzati from Kibbutz Baram. She was joined by Malka Blustein, Aura Hammer, Orit Rosenblit, Daria Arbel, Chaya Dagan, Olga Barel, and Angela Yintian. Despite the forecast for rain, we had an unspoiled view of Galilee greenery on a perfect spring day.


We began with a ceremony in memory of Trumpeldor and his comrades near the Roaring Lion Monument erected in 1934 in their honor.  The event was moderated by Einat Luzati and featured the following speakers: Batia Guy from Kibbutz Giladi [within which Tel Hai is now situated] and the former director of the haShomer [the Guardians] Museum and curator of the  Path of the Speaking Stones [a walking path west of Tel Hai featuring stone and bronze sculptures]; Michal Paneth-Peleg; Dr. Yael Admi; Dafna Abrahams from Kibbutz Amiad who is active in the advancement of equal rights and women’s freedom of choice; and Ortal Be’eri from Kibbutz Ma’ayan Baruch, involved in WWP’s Younger Women’s group. In between we listened to a girls’ chorus (made up of  Adi, Shiraz, Inbar, Mikah, Ori, and their teacher Sivan Nave Deri) as well as danced and sang along as Ofer Gavish from Kibbutz Yiftach played his guitar.

After the ceremony we hiked along the Path of the Wounded to the Courtyard of Tel Hai, which was restored in accordance with the design of the original structures built over a century ago. We convened in this historic courtyard for a panel entitled “Beginning in Tel Hai and Still Hai [alive],” under the guidance of Orit Rosenblit from Metula and with the participation of Tuffaha Saba, Saviona Rotlevy, Yifah Amit-Schleyer and Moriah Shlomot.

Orit Rosenblit, whose research is related to Jewish culture, spoke about the importance of the spiritual strength of women throughout generations and about their role in the history of the Jewish people.  In regard to the women at the beginning of the Book of Exodus (Moses’ sister Miriam, their mother, Pharaoh’s daughter), it is written in the Talmud: “By virtue of righteous women, Israel went out from Egypt.”  For it is women who emphasize [the importance of] uniting in thought and [demonstrating] mutual responsibility

Tuffaha Saba, a lecturer at Tel Hai College and advisor to Arab students at its Center for Peace and Democracy, spoke of feeling a different kind of ‘peripheral’ [in Israeli culture, periphery has a connotation of ‘backwater’] ; she spoke of feeling foreign. When she leaves home in the morning from Isfiya [a Druze village and local council in northern Israel], she feels as if she doesn’t have a country – feels alienated in terms of land, citizenship and Israeli culture. It’s an experience of total alienation for her and therefore she has a major identity issue. She doesn’t feel Israeli; but on the other hand, as both a secular woman and a feminist, she senses her lack of belonging to Arab society.

Saviona Rotlevy, a retired judge and vice president of the District Court in Tel Aviv, referred to Tuffaha’s remarks and noted that she also has been focussing lately on questions of identity and alienation. Saviona recounted childhood experiences that shaped her political awareness. Today she holds onto the hope that many women in Israel, both Jewish and Arab, are putting aside political differences and uniting in order to struggle together for [a livable] life here. Saviona remarked, “Ironically enough [despite this site’s association with death and our movement’s with life; its association with building a Jewish future and ours with building a shared future], here in Tel Hai it’s important to emphasize that we are part of a chain.  Deborah Drechler, a member of [the youth movement] haShomer, met her death here in the courtyard of Tel Hai. She led a ‘women’s revolt’ against the men who excluded the women from matters of security and defense of the outpost. In their petition, the women of Tel Hai wrote: ‘If we have indeed been [your] partners in the work [of settling the land] day in and day out for years on end, we will be your partners in every sense. No gathering can take place without us; no secrets may be kept from us.’  With the understanding that what unites women is not only the experience of motherhood but also that of representing good judgment and common sense against the march of folly that advocates only the use of force. The fact is that we [the State of Israel]  are the strongest regional power and yet we have no security. More planes, more submarines, more fences and walls will not bring us security…”

אוהל הידברות
Our dialog tent in Kiryay Shmoneh

The last stop on this busy day was at the plaza next to the shopping area in Kiryat Shmoneh where we set up, late in the afternoon, our dialogue tent around which an open gathering took place with women, men, and young people on the subject of peace, hope, and an agreement. The tent was set up and staffed by Daria Arbel, Yael Admi, and Aura Hammer.

It’s possible that the alternative ceremony we established this year on the 11th of Adar 5776 [the current year as reckoned in the Jewish calendar] will become a tradition and that next year it will attract hundreds of participants – both members of the movement as well as residents of the communities, towns and cities of the Galilee

Einat Luzati – A Woman Waging Peace

I’m happy that I dared to dream and that I was able to realize my/our event at Tel Hai despite obstacles and difficulties.  When I was 19 years old, a tumor was removed from my brain  that caused harm to my hearing. As a result my face became asymmetrical and thus it happened that I was freed from a sense of distance and time, of right and left, of spatial orientation… I don’t have a driver’s license and so forth…

Recently I’ve been verbalizing something about myself using Tel-Hai as a metaphor. A tel is [a mound created by human occupation] in which there are genetic, dynastic, and cultural remnants, traces of DNA throughout generations.  I feel that I’m continuing, mortal though I am, to choose life. Each day I sing – if I remember to – a [gender-appropriate paraphrase of several verses from Psalm 34]:

"I am the woman whodesires life, loves long days to see good. Keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking deceit,turn aside from evil, seek peace and pursue it…”

עינת עם מקרופון

I never imagined that I would conduct a memorial service for Joseph Trumpeldor and his comrades. The legend of Tel Hai [including Trumpeldor’s final words, It’s good to die for our country] and our version of this legendary phrase –  it’s good to live for our country”  – converged in a dream that we were able to fulfill this year. I hope we’ll be able to fulfill it every year from now on and will be able to say, it’s good to live for our country – a shared country that belongs to all of us.

At Kibbutz Baram [located 300 meters from Israel’s border with Lebanon, where I live] I conduct ceremonies for mourners. Even there, as in the ceremony that we conducted at Tel Hai, I try to emphasize life, hope, and continuity.

At Tel Hai we mentioned Nava Shai, of blessed memory, who has been the inspiration for all my activism on behalf of peace. Thanks to her, I came upon “Neighbors,” a project which served as my introduction to multicultural dialogue. It was there that I also met with displaced women from the village of Bir’em. I hope that an agreed upon solution will be found so that they can return to their village, which today is part of a national park.

During “The Road to Tel Hai” [a name for the Women Wage Peace activities related to Tel Hai], I was happy to change my approach. It was important for me to listen to different points of view and to be influenced by them. The many email conversations and WhatsUp group chats suited me quite well. They were productive, varied, and bore no grudge or hint of jealousy.

עינת - פרופיל שלי

I want to take this opportunity to thank, from the bottom of my heart, the women from our movement who came up to Tel Hai. I also want to thank the Courtyard Museum of Tel Hai, Saviona Rotlevy, Anat Negev, Yael Admi, Tami Yakira, Hadassah Nava and Ayelet Harel, from the center of our movement, and all the enthusiastic supporters who were with us in spirit. Also Tupacha Saba, Yifah Amit Shleyer, Moria Shlomot, Michal Paneth-Peleg, Lili Weisberger, Batya Guy, Dafna Abrahams, Ortal Be’eri, the singers Adi, Shiraz, Inbar, Micah, Uri, and their teacher Sivan Nave Deri, and Ofer Gavish. special thanks to my friends, all dear and steadfast partners: Malka Blustein, Aura Hammer, Orit Rosenblitt, Daria Arbel, Chaya Dagan, Olga Barel and Angela Yantian, who, through enthusiastic teamwork  – and despite a number of twists and turns in both plot and characters – managed to fulfill a dream…

During Operation Protective Edge/the 2014 Gaza War, I was dumbstruck. I looked for a way out of the para-lysis, the silence, and the silencing. A way to create a space for expression, a space in which to feel that one could make a difference. I found such a space in the  movement Women Wage Peace, which I joined after a meeting at Rosh Pina [near Safed in the upper Galilee]. I feel that we are courageous, practical, talented, and determined women, some of whom I know virtually and some of whom I know personally from [demonstrations] at Goma junction, from the peace patrols at Carmiel junction, from Tel Hai and from other meetings as well.

Another context in which I learn and create space for expression and influence is the study group known as “Makers of Melody,” part of the Oranim Seminar. We are wise and creative women, secular and religious, from every denomination, all of us seeking, studying and interpreting Talmud and other texts from a personal and feminist perspective.

I’m still a member of Kibbutz Baram, where I was born, and I love living there. I have two daughters and a companion. I do a variety of work: teaching, library, postal service. For many years I edited the local paper. I’m active in the areas of culture and relationship-building; I practice yoga and am learning spoken Arabic. I’ve never left Kibbutz Baram. It’s a unique experience to have lived in the same community, in the same place, all fifty-five years of my life…

Translated by Donna Kirshbaum.


נשים עושות שלום בתל-חי – טוב לחיות בעד ארצנו – גלריית תמונות – WWP at Tel-Hai – Photo Gallery

טקס תל-חי IMG-20160321-WA0001 IMG-20160322-WA0042 IMG-20160321-WA0005 IMG-20160322-WA0034 IMG-20160321-WA0002 IMG-20160321-WA0004

Black/Israeli/Palestinian Lives Matter / Orna Raz, The Time of Israel

Soon after the murder of the two African Americans, Michael Brown and Eric Garner, at the hands of the police, we were walking one night in New York City and came across a demonstration. The protesters were chanting “Black Lives Matter.” At that time, December 2014, there were many similar street protests, against police brutality toward black people, especially young black men.

Black Lives Matter started on social media, in 2013, with the use of the hashtag  #BlackLivesMatter. It has turned into an international activist movement which campaigns against violence toward black people.

Within Israeli society we also hear from Israeli parents about their inability to control their kids. One  example is the extreme case of the Hill-Top Youth in the settlements. Only recently we were shocked  to hear, from parents, the inside story of those youth who live outside society on the hills of the occupied territories and are engaged in risky behaviors and commit serious crimes against Palestinian.

Whether they are Black, Israelis or Palestinians young people would benefit from internalizing the message that life matters. Moreover, it is time to replace the old heroic motto with a new one which insists that it is preferable to live for our country than to die for it.

Read the full article in The Times of Israel

Women's Knowledge / Hamutal Guri 1.3.16

Perhaps I was born a woman; perhaps, as in the words of Simone de Beauvoir, I have become a woman.  In any event, being a woman is a very central part of the montage of my personal and political identities.  Womanhood is the lens through which I view myself and the world.

It may be anachronistic to write about my identity as a woman in this post-modern era – especially ever since Judith Butler disrupted our universe with her concepts of gender identity as social construction, a form of performance, rather than something that is "natural." Indeed, it seems that in feminist discourse, identity is always perched at the top of a slippery slope, tipping towards essentialism, social construction, and the very stereotypes that we seek to escape.

Yet along these slippery slopes and within the different spaces in which I move, I demand the right to actively define my own identity as a woman.

My identity as a woman is made up of pieces of women's continuous history; it is composed of an ongoing dynasty of witches and story-tellers; farmers, cultivators and healers, women writers and scholars; women who cook and sing; women who have held a sleeping child close to their breasts. My identity is made up of my grandmothers, may their memories be a blessing, and my mother, may she be blessed with a long life; the sisters in my own family and the sisters I have drawn in close to me through the years. It is nurtured by and develops from my daily interactions with those whom my heart loves above all.  It is made up of women I have never met and those I have met in the pages of books, pictures, and stories.  It is made up of real-life women and mythological figures.

And over the past few months, I have come to realize that my identity also draws from the courage of brave Liberian women.

About two years ago, I first encountered the film that documents the struggle of Liberian women, Muslim and Christian, to bring peace and put an end to their country's cruel, bloody civil war.  The film, Pray the Devil Back to Hell, is one in a series of documentary films about women throughout the world who have brought a peaceful conclusion to bitter, brutal conflicts.

Activism in the "Women Wage Peace" movement has brought me the opportunity to see the film again and again in screenings throughout the country.  Each time I see the movie, I see another detail; another sentence engraved into my memory; another scene troubles my sleep. Yet each viewing also restores my belief in the human spirit and its capacity for great compassion, deep wisdom and emotional resilience in the face of unutterable cruelty.

Continue reading on:


The Peace Guards

Translated by Orna Raz

As the knives Intifada refuses to cease, many women feel that they cannot remain silent any longer. Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked in Tel Aviv , Yair Lapid in Tel Aviv and in front of the home of Transportation Minister Israel Katz in Kfar Achim. Women from Tel Aviv, Ramat Gan and Givataim have been standing every Friday, for  over 3 months in the entrance to Ha’carmel Market in Tel Aviv to talk to passers by about the movement and about peace

משמרות שקד2

Orly Haklai shared her impressions from the Guard in Tel Aviv:

On Friday morning, my dear son, who is a combat soldier, came home for Shabbat. I made him an omelet, left him on the sofa and travelled with my partner from Meitar to the north of Tel Aviv to stand in the Peace Guards with my friends from Women Wage Peace. It was hard for me to leave Guy, whom I haven’t seen for two whole weeks, but I told myself that my trip would be more helpful for  him than washing his uniform.  As we were standing in front of the house of the Minister of Justice, Ayelet Shaked, suddenly I saw a young lean brunette with sun glasses, no hairdo, no make-up, holding the hand of a little boy. For a moment I thought that she was another activist from our Movement, but then I realized  that it was the Minister. She asked what we were doing there and I explained that it was for our children. She introduced her little son Uri. So I told her, “Ok you too are a mother and you should reach an agreement for your son and the rest of the children as well because they deserve to live in peace, enough with the wars, they deserve to live.”  I told her about the Movement and about our demand to the leaders to do the outmost to reach an agreement. She mumbled something about having no partner for talks, I explained that there was a partner, and that the conflict won’t end until we talk. Some minutes later she got into her car and drove off. Just another mother in black jeans, with no make-up  on Friday afternoon.  But perhaps we provided that mother, who happens to be our Minister of Justice some food for thought

משמרת שלום -בנט

EU grant to promote women’s activism for peace

The Steering Committee is pleased to announce the approval of a grant from the EU for a joint project chaired by Itach –Maachi (who runs  Coalition 1325), Adam institution and Women Wage Peace. The amount of the award is 500000Euros for two and a half years (starting February 2016), and the budget is divided evenly between the organizations and the movement. The project, initiated and written by the 3 organizations, will enable us to enlarge the movement and to connect women from different communities and populations to the activity of promoting peace. Adi Katz will direct the project on behalf of the movement.

The goal of the project is to recruit 500 women from different communities (most of whom are not members of Women Wage Peace) and to provide them, a two days, training. That training will deal with themes related to activism, the role of women in conflict resolution, peace processes, utilizing social networks and so on. The training will be provided by the Adam Institute. Each of the participants will commit, upon completing the training, to hold two home seminars on the theme of peace and to become an activist. An example for an activity could be to write an opinion essay in local papers, or in the social networks, to be active in the travelling tent of the movement in her area of residence. It’s important to note that the activism will be pro peace but not aiming to defy the government. The EU is committed not to interfere in Israeli policy and is very cautious not to get involved in activities which could be interpreted as interfering. This is the reason why it doesn’t fund other activities of the movement.

The participants in the training and the activism will become part of an endeavor to promote and embed he UN Resolution 1325. This initiative will involve workshops, round tables, and a media campaign in order promote the implementation of resolution 1325 , led  by Itach-Maachi. The culmination of the project will be signaled by conference, with the participation of the women who received the training.

It Could Happen Here Too – The Irish Case

By Orly Gilat, translated by Orna Raz

Violent and bloody conflicts around the world have been resolved, let’s plant the seeds of hope, to remind us that it can happen here too:

This time: Northern Ireland

For hundreds of years, Ireland  was the scene of the fiercest fight between Protestants (the supporters of English royalty) and Catholics. This conflict had its roots in the conquest of the Irish Isle by English settlers in 1169. This is the historical background. In the 1960s Northern Ireland suffered violent struggles and terror attacks that cost the lives of more than 3500 people, mostly civilians. There were  50000 wounded and more than 20000 imprisoned.  Naturally those years of fighting  took an economic, social and educational toll on Northern Ireland.

It seemed that Northern Ireland would live forever on its  sword. However, on April 10th 1998 a peace treaty was signed “The Good Friday Agreement” which included mutual recognition of the suffering on both sides of the violent conflict. It also acknowledged disagreements between the two sides, and a commitment to reach an agreement in a democratic way. Not surprisingly women on both sides of the conflict played a significant role in furthering the agreement. They were part of the process with demonstrations, protests, and declarations.

Although there were still some dissent following the agreement , violence ceased almost completely. The two sides adhered the treaty. To this day there is an on- going dialogue and decisions are reached in a democratic way. Both sides, the royalists Protestants and the Catholics, who in the past refused even to negotiate, are collaborating and work together to heal the wounds of the past.

Today Ireland has a political party  which consists of Protestant and Catholic women.                         It happened in Ireland, it could happen here as well