CWP-Newsletter April 2012

שני, 30 באפריל, 2012 | 13:54

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CWP Newsletter April 2012.

Women from Iran, the US and Israel/Palestine Oppose Attacking Iran

In solidarity with Iranian women, who launched a YouTube campaign opposing the inflammatory rhetoric of war mongers and threats of the Israeli government to attack Iran, CWP launched a petition "We Say No to War!". A military assault will not stop nuclear plans, but rather lead to regional war, unprecedented loss of human life and environmental catastrophe. At CWP call for action, the U.S.-based CODEPINK: Women for Peace initiated a parallel petition signed by more than 20,000 women, among them Alice Walker, Eve Ensler and Gloria Steinhem. CODEPINK implored three powerful American female politicians – Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Ambassador Susan Rice and First Lady Michelle Obama – to use their political influence to push for diplomacy, not bombing, in relations with Iran. The petition was delivered by hand to Michelle Obama who thanked the activists for this important work. The Iranian activists contacted CWP to express their gratitude and direct links have been established. We believe in the power of women from Israel/Palestine, Iran and the U.S. to take further action to stop all forms of military violence and opression in the Middle East.

International Women's Day at the Qalandia Checkpoint

On International Women's Day CWP demonstrated at the Qalandia Checkpoint together with the West bank-based PWWSD – Palestinian Working Women's Society for Development, under the slogan "Women Break Barriers". Unsurprisingly, the peaceful Palestinian-Israeli demonstration for women's liberation was met with violence and teargas from the Israeli security forces. This is the first cross-border feminist action to take place in years! Together we have called to end the occupation and liberate women from all forms of oppression – on the domestic, social and state level, expressing our solidarity with Hana Shalabi, on hunger strike before her release from administrative detention.

Intimidation of Human Rights Defenders in Israel
CWP notes with concern the continuing escalation of harassment and intimidation of human rights defenders. In April, Israeli forces blocked the entrance of international activists on the Flytilla, arresting, deporting and blacklisting hundreds of passangers, whose "crime" was to declare to the Israeli authorities their wish to visit Palestine. An Israeli official was quoted calling the Israeli response "exaggerated and undemocratic". Shortly beforehand, the Israeli security services harassed Leehee Rothschild together with several other activists, warning them not to aid international solidarity groups. Rothschild was "advised" to keep silent about the interrogation, but chose to published her full account on +972Amira Hass reported in Haaretz that two activists of Anarchists Against the Wall were called to the police station in Tel Aviv. We strongly condemn this grave violation of freedom of expression and association, in its aim to silence activists and instill fear, and extend our support and solidarity to all activists struggling for peace and justice.

Women's Right to Civil and Political Participation

In the scope of our project "Empowering Women, Building Peace" we aim to increase women's participation and enhance our ability to advocate for our rights. An intensive two-day seminar on housing policies in Jaffa, engaged 45 Palestinian and Jewish women in understanding municipal structures and decision-making processes; learning about the existing structures on civil society level, and possibilities and constrains for women's participation as well as using mainstream media as a tool. Drawing women to engage in civil and political activism means dealing with subjects acute to women's everyday lives. One of the focuses of the seminar was therefore policies of house demolitions, which affects Palestinian as well as marginalized Jewish communities in Israel.

Calling to Release Palestinian Political Prisoners

Mass imprisonment of Palestinian civilians by Israel's military courts is among the core issues of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Recently, CWP called on the diplomatic community to pressure Israel to stop the practice of administrative detention and free Hana Shalabi on hunger strike, appealing to the head of the EU delegation to Israel, Ambassador Andrew Standley. The Nobel Women's Initiative adopted CWP call for action to free Shalabi, stating "too often, women endure sexual harassment during arrest and interrogation and do not have access to independent medical care. Her strike calls the attention to the physical and mental violence – all part of a pattern of systematic discrimination – suffered by Palestinians, and particularly women, in Israeli jails." Shalabi was eventually released and deported to Gaza by the Israeli authorities. The EU expressed its "longstanding concern about Israel's extensive use of administrative detention without formal charge" in the words of Catherine Ashton, but real pressure is needed to resolve this crisis and abolish political imprisonment altogether.

G4S lost its tender securing the European Parliament in Brussels

photo: Who Profits

In 2011 CWP project "Who Profits from the Occupation?" published a report on G4S detailing the services it provides to the occupation industry: from supplying circumferential security systems to settlements to securing construction sites of the Separation Wall.

G4S also held a tender to provide security to European Parliament buildings in Brussels. Civil society and MEPs expressed concern over G4S's human rights record, demanding to review its contract. This February, EP President Mr. Martin Schultz thanked CWP for its report and stated that "there was no legal basis to revoke their contracts with G4S", while acknowledging that European companies should adhere to international law, including in their overseas operations.

The official EU tenders' website indicates that G4S was replaced by another security company (SECURITAS) and is no longer providing services to EU parliament buildings. CWP wishes to congratulate the EU for eliminating its contractual relations with one of the pillars of the Israeli occupation industry.

G4S on Who Profits Database

Please support the Coalition of Women for Peace by making a donation – your support is essential and your solidarity means the world to us!

For more information:

Dr. Hilla Dayan, International Relations Coordinator,hilla@coalitionofwomen.org

We express out gratitude to theKvinna till Kvinna Foundation for supporting CWP's International Advocacy and Outreach.

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