Monday, May 23rd, 2011
CWP to New Israel Fund: ‘our most important asset is the solidarity and commitment to shared values of freedom of expression and association’
On May 16, 2011, the New Israel Fund (NIF) informed the Coalition of Women for Peace that it would no longer act as its fiscal sponsor for donor-advised donations. While CWP is not a direct grantee of NIF, individuals from the US, Europe and Australia could decide to allocate their contribution to CWP via NIF. Until now.
This decision comes after NIF has come under attack from extremist right-wing groups and Knesset members. This attack specifically focuses on targeting sources of funding of peace and human rights NGOs. We regret that NIF yielded to this pressure by dissociating from CWP due to our work to end the occupation and our clear stand for accountability and adherence to international law and human rights.
Facing a climate of political persecution of peace and human rights defenders, it is our strong belief that our most important asset is the solidarity among activists and civil society organizations and our commitment to shared values of freedom of expression and association. We find that the decision of NIF is a dangerous precedent undermining solidarity and commitment to democratic values.
Will the right-wing attempt to undermine the anti-occupation struggle by threatening the financial survival of organizations succeed? That is up to each and every one of us to determine.
Please support the Coalition of Women for Peace today – your solidarity is needed now more than ever:
- Write a check to “Coalition of Women for Peace” and mail it to P.O.Box 29214 Tel Aviv-Jaffa 61292, Israel
- Make a wire-transfer directly to our bank account: Israeli Discount Bank, Hamoshava Branch #062, 21 Emek Refaim St., Jerusalem, Israel. Account number: 967017-512400, Swift Code: IDBLILIT XXX, Account name “Coalition of Women for Peace”
Wednesday, April 6th, 2011
Dear Justice Richard Goldstone,
The recent escalation in the Israeli army incursions into the Gaza strip is of grave concern to us at the Coalition of Women for Peace. The prospect of yet another flare out of large scale violence against civilians is alarming. Your recent comments on the Goldstone report are already interpreted by Israeli officials and the mainstream media channels as complete and full absolution of Israel’s military conduct in its entirety. Yet, the conclusions drawn from your statement with respect to Israel’s conduct during the Cast Lead military campaign and especially its aftermath are not backed by any new facts or findings. This seriously undermines the international, Israeli and Palestinian civil society struggle for accountability and against impunity from grave violations of human rights and humanitarian law.
You state that “we know more today about what happened in Gaza.” Which new facts have been uncovered? We who monitor the Israeli government and the situation closely on the ground know that no information was brought out to contradict the meticulous documentation of the fact finding mission you headed. In fact, it is the international pressure generated by the publication of the Goldstone report that has forced Israel to launch a significant number of investigations in the first place. These investigations corroborate what the Israeli and Palestinian civil societies already know: Israel systematically fails to conduct thorough and impartial investigations meeting international standards. As a matter of fact, most investigations prompted by the Goldstone report have not been completed yet, and those which have been completed generated only three rather minor indictments of lower rank soldiers. Considering the scope of destruction and the civilians killed during operation Cast Lead, it cannot be said that those responsible for grave violations that amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity have been brought to justice.
A key contribution of the Goldstone report to the public comprehension of the Israeli/Palestinian reality has been its readiness to approach seriously the actual context of the outbreak of violence in Gaza. This is the persistent blockade imposed by Israel on the Gaza Strip, and its continued control on Palestinians in the Occupied Territories. The recommendations to Israel – carrying your distinguished signature as a world renowned jurist – clearly addressed the blockade on Gaza, calling on Israel to immediately cease the border closures and allow free passage of goods and people to and from the Strip. The report recommends that Israel release Palestinian political prisoners, and cease actions that limit the expression of dissent by civil society organizations. The innovation of the report was precisely its readiness to acknowledge the overwhelming responsibility of the powerful party in the conflict.
Israel ignored the report and its recommendations, and did not lift the blockade or stop the persecution of Palestinian civilians and human rights defenders. The only notable change in the status quo was the escalation, immediately following the publication of the Goldstone report, of government attacks and the campaign of de-legitimization of human rights organizations and civil society. The Israeli government is currently promoting legislation, which aims at curbing our freedom of expression, freedom of association and basic social and political liberties. This political persecution is further marginalizing and excluding Palestinian and Jewish women in Israel, who oppose the militarized political establishment. The Goldstone report gave an official international force to the ever increasing demand to hold Israel accountable for grave violations of international law. Your statements undermine the credibility of the United Nations and its ability to effectively enforce international standards of conduct and international humanitarian and human rights law. Now more than ever the stakes are high for those struggling for accountability and against impunity in Israel/Palestine. Your statement raises the stakes further by granting Israel legitimacy it so desperately needs to continue its aggressive campaigns of repression of dissent on the domestic and international front.
Dear Justice Goldstone, we are asking you to do all that is in your power to enable the international community to hold Israeli leaders accountable. Only a serious commitment to accountability, which would end Israel’s impunity can prevent the next war. As it stands now, your statement is already used to justify and legitimize future crimes, even before the next war has started.
Coalition of Women for Peace (Israel)
Wednesday, June 9th, 2010
The Coalition of Women for Peace declares its support for the “Stolen Beauty” campaign, which calls for the boycott of Ahava Beauty Products because of the company’s involvement in Israeli settlement products, thereby profiting from the occupation of Palestinian lands.
Ahava products are yet another example of Israeli corporations profiting from the ongoing occupation of Palestine. The company’s involvement in the occupation of Palestinian land is indisputable and has been researched and documented by “Who Profits”, a project initiated by the Coalition of Women for Peace in order to research corporate involvement in the occupation.
Two Israeli settlements – Mitzpe Shalem and Kalia – own nearly 45% of the company, and the company factory and visitor center are located in the Mitzpe Shalem settlement. Both of these settlements are deep inside Palestinian territory. The Israeli settlement industry is one of many manifestations of Israel’s colonialist policies of expansion and land expropriation, in violation of international law. By practically annexing illegal settlements, Israel actively redraws the map of the region in order to sustain and deepen the occupation of the West Bank. Ahava and other companies that operate in illegal Israeli settlements are an essential component of this Israeli economy of occupation.
As Israeli peace activists, we see it as our duty to support the international community in taking measures against Israeli companies that are involved in sustaining the occupation. This international pressure is crucial in changing corporate policies and public opinions, both locally and internationally.
The international campaign to boycott Ahava Beauty Products is an important step in the struggle against the occupation of Palestine, against the oppression of the Palestinian people and towards a just peace for all inhabitants of the region.
The Coalition of Women for Peace – Israel
Thursday, March 11th, 2010
The Coalition of Women for Peace (Israel) would like to congratulate the European Parliament on its official resolution, dated March 10th 2010, endorsing the Goldstone Report and its findings. We would like to extend our support to the European Parliament for not succumbing to pressures by the “pro-Israel” lobby and for adopting a resolution that seeks justice and accountability.
As Palestinian and Jewish women, citizens of Israel, we call upon the European Parliament, the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and the Member States – to pressure Israel to implement the recommendations of the Goldstone Report, to investigate the war crimes it committed during the assault on Gaza, to lift the ongoing siege of Gaza, which constitutes a collective punishment of a civilian population, and to end the occupation of Palestinian lands.
In its resolution, the European Parliament also stressed “the importance of the cooperation between official authorities and non-governmental organizations in the follow-up investigations and in the implementation of the Goldstone Report’s recommendations” and expressed its “concern about pressures towards NGOs involved in the elaboration of the Goldstone Report and in the follow-up investigations, [calling] on authorities on all sides to refrain from any restrictive measures towards the activities of these organizations”.
The Coalition of Women for Peace and its member organizations have been one of the targets of these growing assaults from Israeli officials, extremist organizations and journalists, because of our cooperation with the United Nations Fact-Finding Mission and our ongoing struggle against the occupation of Palestine and for a just peace.
In response to this growing wave of assaults on Palestinian and Israeli human rights organizations and activists, we urge the European Parliament and the Member States to use any available diplomatic and legal measures to ensure that the Israeli government and parliament will cease all attempts to restrict the work of civil society organizations or to legalize limitations on financial support from European countries and the EC.
We are greatly encouraged by the European Parliament’s involvement towards achieving a just peace in the region, and we call upon you to pressure Israel until it abides by the legal and ethical standards of international human rights and humanitarian law.
The Coalition of Women for Peace – Israel
Tuesday, August 25th, 2009
Mr. Fredrik Reinfeldt
The Parliament of Sweden
We, citizens of Israel, Palestinian and Jewish members of the Coalition of Women for Peace
(Israel), turn to you in order to express our concern in light of the attack of the Israeli
government on Sweden, and on the Swedish government in particular.
It is not by chance that the Israeli government has chosen to attack the Swedish government
and create a clash between the two countries over an unfounded newspaper article, while
exploiting the history of the Jewish people and the Holocaust.
In our understanding, the Israeli government has chosen to attack the Swedish government
due to its current term of presidency of the European Union, aiming to undermine the
capacity of Sweden to lead a European-wide political move to stop the Israeli policy of
occupation and settlements in the Palestinian Territories.
In February 2008 representatives of the Coalition of Women for Peace were invited to the
Swedish parliament in Stockholm. We were deeply impressed by the commitment of
Sweden to promote peace. We hope that this attack will not discourage the Swedish
government from acting towards peace and justice in the Middle East.
We, citizens of Israel committed to promoting a just Israeli-Palestinian peace, turn to you
with request that by the power of your position and the position of Sweden as the president
of the European Union, you will take action to generate a European political move with the
aim to remove the obstacles for a just peace: dismantlement of all settlements, end to the
Israeli occupation in the Palestinian Territories, realization of the Right of Return according
to the UN General Assembly Resolution 194, guaranty of full civil and social equality for all
residents of the region, and guaranty of representation to the Israeli civil society in the
Peace Processes, including Palestinian citizens and women from diversity of ethnic identities
Coalition of Women for Peace, Israel