FORA is an organizing of Russian-speaking activists within the Coalition of Women for Peace. The women in for a come from a variety of spheres in the civil society: human rights and women’s organizations, anti-occupation movements, LGBT groups, social justice organizations, and non-affiliated women who think and work on those issues.
FORA was founded and is operated by Russian-speaking activists, in order to define and conceptualize common experiences of Russian-speaking immigrant women, to enhance and empower their voices, to strengthen their partnership and solidarity with women from all parts of society, and to enrich the civil society in Israel.
In the Israeli society, generals and military officials are considered to be the decisive voice in shaping government policies and societal priorities. But it is civil society – and particularly women, who have the smallest share in the circle of violence and military actions – that can develop a sustainable alternative to armed solutions and militaristic thinking. A civil alternative, based on respect for human rights and the abolishment of all forms of racism and violence, is vital for ending the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories and for creating a safe and egalitarian society for all the inhabitants of the region.
The pressure placed upon immigrants to belong to the Israeli society and to prove their citizenship pushes many of them to extreme nationalism and to racism towards disadvantaged communities; first and foremost at the expense of Palestinians, but also at the expense of Mizrachi Jews and other disadvantaged groups. Political criticism coming from immigrants is considered illegitimate, and they are expected to join the nationalistic and patriotic discourse.
FORA exposes the Russian-speaking community to feminist viewpoints and to critical positions on militarism and the occupation, human rights and civil rights, and sexism and homophobia, and works towards a deep-rooted change of discourse in the Russian-speaking media and towards enhancing the participation of Russian-speaking women in political and social activism.