Palestinian and Israeli women petition together the Olmert government

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martin dufresne
Palestinian and Israeli women petition together the Olmert government

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Isha L'Isha's letter to Israeli government

Please forward to all you know:

To: Prime Minister, Mr. Ehud
Olmert January 1st, 2009
Foreign Affairs Minister, Ms. Tzipi Livni
Minister, Mr. Ehud Barak

We, women of Isha L’Isha , are following
with grave concern the violent events in our area and the deadly, irresponsible
attacks of the Government of Israel on the residents of Gaza, which leads
hundreds of thousands of residents in Israel to a situation of war and economic

The attacks of the air-force are perpetrated against
high-density population, including our sisters, the women and daughters of Gaza,
who are imprisoned, without any option to flee, due to the siege that Israel is
imposing. These attacks are taking place after many long months of blockade
which has eaten up to the core all infrastructure the Gaza residents need in
order to find shelter, protect their children and the civilian populations ,
supply medicines and food to the injured, etc.

We strongly oppose the
view that these attacks are defending us in any way, and view them as deepening
of the bloodshed and war and as a threat to the hope for peace and quite in our

We view the Government of Israel as the primary responsible party
for this violence, as the strong side, and the Hammas as a secondary responsible
party, as the less strong side in this war.

We share the restlessness
widespread among many people in Israeli society regarding this warring policy
and share their realization that the use of disproportionate force does not lead
to security but to insecurity, as indeed happened in the attacks in Jenin and in
Lebanon. Deepening of violence acts to undermine the very basis of democracy as
it throws society to the management of military persons. It acts to deepen
societal gaps as economic life in the periphery is brought to a halt. Moreover,
it causes devastating damage to the freedom struggle of women in Gaza, in Israel
and everywhere violence claims governance.

Additionally, we oppose every
attempt to undermine the legitimacy of Jews and Arabs to contest this war
operation. understanding that our fate is a shared one, and that we can only hope
for a future if we base our present on collaboration. We strongly resist all
attempts to separate between Arabs and Jews in Israeli society.

In our
name, and in the name of the next generations for which we are responsible as
part of our responsibility as citizens, we call upon the Government of Israel to
bring about the end of the cruel siege on Gaza, to stop immediately its attacks,
to free the residents of the south from their role as hostages in the hands of
politics without future, and to fulfill the role for which it was elected – to
bring about prosperity and economic security, peace and security, today and for
generations to come, for all women and men in Israeli society, while creating
true alliances with all the residents of the area.

Women of Isha


"Isha l'Isha" is an Israeli feminist organization. Its title is Hebrew, meaning "Woman to Woman". I'm not sure if the thread title is accurate here - it makes it sounds as if some special alliance has been made to write this letter. There are Arab women members I'm sure, given the anti-divisive policy of the group, but it's an Israeli organization.

Having said that, it's an excellent letter and initiative - yet another sign of the resistance within Israel, operating under difficult conditions.


[url=][color=red]Here is a joint statement[/color][/url] from their website:

We women's organizations from a broad spectrum of
political views demand an end to the bombing and other tools of death,
and call for the immediate start of deliberations to talk peace and not
make war. The dance of death and destruction must come to an end. We
demand that war no longer be an option, nor violence a strategy, nor
killing an alternative. The society we want is one in which every
individual can lead a life of security – personal, economic, and social.
is clear that the highest price is paid by women and others from the
periphery – geographic, economic, ethnic, social, and cultural – who
now, as always, are excluded from the public eye and dominant discourse.
The time for women is now. We demand that words and actions be conducted in another language.
Ahoti- For Women in Israel
Anuar- Jewish and Arab Women Leadership
Artemis- Economic Society for Women
Aswat- Palestinian Gay Women
Bat Shalom
Coalition of Women for Peace
Economic Empowerment for Women
Feminancy: College for Women's Empowerment
Feminist Activist Group – Jerusalem
Feminist Activist Group – Tel Aviv
International Women's Commission: Israeli Branch
Isha L'Isha- Haifa Feminist Center
Itach: Women Lawyers for Social Justice
Kol Ha-Isha- Jerusalem Women's Center
Mahut Center- Information, Training, and Employment for Women
Shin Movement- Equal Representation for Women
Supportive Community- Women's Business Development Center
TANDI – Movement of Democratic Women for Israel
Tmura: The Israeli Antidiscrimination Legal Center
University against Harassment – Tel Aviv
Women and their Bodies
Women's Parliament
Women's Spirit- Financial Independence for Women Victims of Violence

martin dufresne

Unionist, the list of signatories - thanks for looking it up! - includes Palestinian women's organizations and the text makes a point of Jewish-Arab solidarity:

"(...)we oppose every attempt to undermine the legitimacy of Jews and Arabs to contest
this war operation, understanding that our fate is a shared one, and that we can
only hope for a future if we base our present on collaboration. We strongly
resist all attempts to separate between Arabs and Jews in Israeli society.(...)"

See you at the big demo at 1 in downtown Montreal. (I'll be carrying the "I wasn't circumsized for THIS!" placard.)


martin dufresne wrote:

See you at the big demo at 1 in downtown Montreal. (I'll be carrying the "I wasn't circumsized for THIS!" placard.)


Martin, sadly I can't be there - I'm in Trois-Rivières today - please shout double-loud for me. And don't let anyone demand proof of your placard!

martin dufresne

Pour celles et ceux d'entre vous qui savez écrire le français, on peut répondre à un billet négationniste des horreurs israéliennes signé Bernard-Henri Lévy sur le site du magazine Le POINT, au

martin dufresne

From: Yvonne Deutsch, one of the founders of the Women in Black organization

Dear all,

I saw this morning pictures from what was called by the sender 'Gaza Concentration Camp'.  This horror, this cruelty is done in my name, a Jewish Israeli woman living in West Jerusalem.  Israel's crime against humanity in Gaza is done in my name, a feminist peace activist.  These killings are done in the name of my loved ones.  This suffering is caused in the name of my community.

This crime against Palestinian children and people in Gaza is done in my name.

I feel deep shame.

I feel pain.

I mourn.

I feel rage.

I feel helplessness.

I am part of an activist community.

My community is active everyday to stop this bloodshed.
My community is active against the occupation for long years
My community is active for a just solution to the Israeli Palestinian conflict
My community is in solidarity with the Palestinian people
My community acknowledges that Palestinian people aspire to live in peace

My community is aware of the violent results of the occupation and the poverty and despair it brings.
My community is active against racism
My community is active against poverty and for social justice within Israel
My community is creating peaceful grassroots economic and ecological cooperations with Palestinians from the 67 occupied territories
My community is Jewish - Palestinian

My community is old and young

My community is active for human rights of the Palestinians
My community is active for their economic, social, civil and political rights

My community acknowledges that our own security and well being is connected to the well being of Palestinians and their security and prosperity

My community is active against violence and war.

My community refuses to take part in war and the occupation
My community is active for justice, prosperity, ecological awareness and peace
My community is part of a feminist peace political global network that links between war and violence against women as a base of patriarchy.

My community is active to stop bloodshed and cruelty in the service of superpowers that combine militaristic, fundamental, capitalist and nationalist structures

My community is made of many close and far circles of activism and knowledge

My community is rich in its colors and diversity

My community is of women, men and multi gendered

My community is hetero, lesbian, gay, bi and queer and transgender

My community is local

My community is global

My community is a world wide women's feminist peace movement

I am a Woman in Black in Israel

The Israeli government is committing crimes against humanity in Gaza.

I feel shame.

I feel rage.

I feel helplessness

We did not stop the evil,

We continue protest in the streets, to appeal to decision makers, to widespread the information, to sign petitions, to send humanitarian aid, to do direct actions

Our voices are not heard

Our clear and loud voices are silenced

Our voices do not reach our sisters and brothers in Palestine

Our voices do not stop the fire and destruction

We will continue to act and hope.

We will continue to cross imposed patriarchal walls, borders and ghettos

We will continue to hear the cry of Gaza

We will continue to hear the cry of the West Bank

We will also listen to the cry of women and children in Congo, North Uganda, South Sudan, Columbia and elsewhere

The suffering is connected and part of the same patriarchal political culture

We are saying out loud NOT IN OUR NAME

We refuse to be enemies

In the south of Israel where they suffer from rockets there are also voices for peace

We will continue to oppose war and militarism

We will continue to create a culture of non violence, justice and peace

We will continue to serve humanity

May we learn and teach that all is one

May we learn and teach that one is all

May we find transformation, justice and healing

May we all live in peace

May we all live in Joy.

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