Posts Tagged ‘Gaza’

Activestills and Coalition of women for Peace 2006-2015 photo exhibition

Monday, January 25th, 2016

March 8- Feminist Solidarity- Free Gaza now

Thursday, March 20th, 2014

Women’s Day action- feminist solidarity with Gaza

Pics from the event-

Haim Schwarczenberg

Activestills

On International Women’s Day 2014 we, feminist activists against the occupation, choose to stand as close as we can to the
northern-most neighborhood in Gaza Strip.

More than a million and a half women and men are living on the other side of the fence, though the Israeli public is completely oblivious to their existence. The daily ordeals, life and experiences of women under siege are hidden from our eyes by walls of concrete, fences and silence.

On International Women’s Day we stand in solidarity with the struggles of women in Israel., Palestine and all over the world who live under oppression .

This year we chose on this day to come and stand here by Gaza, where hundreds of thousands of women are besieged, living in extreme conditions, experiencing water shortage, lack of medical and educational services, limited freedom of movement and poverty.

Let’s open our eyes and look beyond the walls, call for an end of the siege, and an end to the navel and aerial blockade on the Gaza Strip, for life, freedom and dignity

Open Letter to Justice Richard Goldstone

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)

cwp@coalitionofwomen.org

CWP Update: Solidarity in Israel with Gaza and with the Freedom Flotilla

Wednesday, June 2nd, 2010

June 2, 2010

CWP Update: Solidarity in Israel with Gaza and with the Freedom Flotilla

1. The Siege of Gaza

Early Monday morning, we woke up to the horrible news of the Israeli raid on the peace activists of the Gaza Freedom Flotilla, which killed more than 10 people and injured dozens. Many of the hundreds of activists, who were on the boats, are still imprisoned by Israeli security forces, awaiting their deportation. The flotilla was carrying 10,000 tons of food, medicine and other supplies to Gaza, which has been placed under siege by Israel since 2005 (with harsher restrictions since June 2007).

The siege, intended to isolate and debilitate Gaza, is a collective punishment of a civilian population of 1.5 million people. Since the siege has been placed, the Coalition of Women for Peace has been publicly denouncing it and calling for its immediate removal. The international community can no longer stand by – it must use any diplomatic and civilian means to pressure Israel to end the siege of Gaza, punish Israeli officials responsible for war crimes and end the occupation.

This Friday, the Coalition of Organizations against the Occupation and the Palestinian Popular Committees will hold a joint action to mark 43 years to the June 1967 occupation of Palestinian lands. 43 years of domination, oppression, segregation, settlement enterprise, theft of water and lands, military regime, restrictions on movement, house demolitions, political arrests, torture, war crimes and colonial expansion. In this action, we will call for Israel to remove the siege of Gaza, to end the occupation and to stop the separation between Palestinians and Israelis and between Palestinians and their lands. We call on our friends in the international community to hold solidarity vigils around the world – protesting the siege of Gaza, the ongoing occupation of Palestine and the deadly assault on innocent civilians, who tried to break the siege.

Demonstration at the Port of Ashdod, 31 May 2010

2. Solidarity in Israel with the Gaza Freedom Flotilla

The Coalition of Women for Peace stands in solidarity with the people of Palestine and with heroic members of the Gaza Freedom Flotilla. Despite attempts by Israeli media and public officials to present a unanimous support for the illegal assault on international peace activists, thousands of Israelis have been protesting in the past few days against it.

Spontaneous demonstrations were held immediately after news of the brutal assault on the flotilla – in Haifa, Nazareth, Shefa-‘Amr and other cities in Israel. At the same time, 250 Israeli activists arrived at the Port of Ashdod, in an action organized by the Coalition of Women for Peace and other Israeli organizations, to protest the brutal killing and to voice their solidarity with the Flotilla and with the Palestinian people. On Monday evening, mass demonstrations were held in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Haifa and Um-El-Fahem. The demonstrators called for international involvement to lift the siege of Gaza. More demonstrations are being held throughout this week across Palestine and Israel.

Prior to the deadly raid CWP published a public declaration in support of the flotilla:

http://www.shiptogaza.se/node/372

We would like to share with you some of the voices of CWP members following the raid:

In a personal account of the Israeli resistance to the attack on the flotilla, Inna Michaeli, CWP’s Resource and Development Coordinator, writes: “Despite this attempt to silence criticism, there are many Israeli citizens that object to this massacre and demand accountability from those responsible. The official version of the military and government has very little credibility, especially after imposing an electronic blockade on attempts to document the raid. The international community has done so little to bring to trial those accountable for war crimes committed against the Palestinian people. Will other countries make more of an effort to intervene after crimes have been committed against their own citizens?”

You can read the rest of her account here.

Eilat Maoz, the General Coordinator of the Coalition of Women for Peace, said: “The killing of more than 10 activists is exclusively the responsibility of the State of Israel, and it was fully within Israel’s power to avoid the wasteful spilling of blood.  The siege of Gaza and the pirate takeover by the Israeli Military of the Flotilla vessels – these are the real provocations. This atrocity must open the eyes of the international community to the crimes perpetrated by Israel.”

Areen Hawari, Balad activist, member of the Coalition of Women for Peace and a close person to MK Hanin Zoabi, who was on one of the vessels, said: “If this is what the State of Israel is capable of doing to peace activists, human rights defenders and members of parliament, then what is it capable of doing to civilians under military occupation? Now is the time to wake up the international struggle against the siege of Gaza and the occupation.”

Some interviews with CWP members in the international media:

The National – Israelis are Shocked but not Surprised

Maan News Agency – Israeli Activists Call for Ships to Enter Gaza

Christian Science Monitor – After Israeli raid, Freedom Flotilla aid starts to flow to Gaza

The Coalition of Women for Peace is currently working on additional local and international actions. Please contact us with your ideas, suggestions and information on actions you organize: cwp@coalitionofwomen.org

Demonstration in Tel-Aviv, 31 May 2010

Solidarity with the Gaza Freedom Flotilla / Inna Michaeli

Tuesday, June 1st, 2010

Photo by Keren Manor / Activestills.org

It was a strangely familiar feeling: waking up in the morning to the news of 10 people killed by the Israeli military forces. Within minutes, the Coalition of Women for Peace and several other organizations issued a call for a demonstration to meet the members of the Free Gaza Flotilla, who were brought in to the port of Ashdod, and to protest the siege of Gaza and the killing of peace activists.

Soon after the arrival of the first activists to the scene, just south of the port, we spotted two silhouettes in the calm waters of the Mediterranean: A small, white ship, one of the ships of the flotilla, and a dark missile boat circling it. As the boats approached, we unwrapped two big signs banners with our message of solidarity: “FREE GAZA”.

Private vehicles began arriving and joining us on the beach. For the organized buses, which were bringing protesters from Tel-Aviv and Jerusalem, reaching the site was more difficult. The bus from Tel-Aviv was stopped by the Israeli police and was allowed to pass only after our lawyer intervened and with a close escort by the police. The bus from Jerusalem was attacked by right-wing activists. Ultimately, everyone was able to gather at the beach, and more than 250 people stood with signs in support of the flotilla and in protest of the siege.

Thousands of protesters everywhere took the streets. Spontaneous protests took place in Haifa, Shefa-’Amr and other cities and towns. In the universities of Haifa, Tel-Aviv and Beer Sheva, students went out to protest. Mass demonstrations were organized later on Monday in Tel-Aviv, Jerusalem, Um-El-Fahem and Haifa. I participated in the Tel-Aviv demonstration, where despite the short notice, more than a thousand people came to protest in front of the Ministry of Defense, demanding the release of the peace activists that were arrested and the immediate removal of the siege on Gaza. More demonstrations were organized on Tuesday in Jaffa and Haifa and the High Follow-Up Committee of the Arab citizens of Israel declared a general strike on that day.

The Israeli media repeated its familiar drill, highlighting a right-wing action of a dozen people with Israeli flags cheering to the army and dismissing thousands of local peace demonstrators. News flashes on “violent Arab riots” faithfully gave the Israeli public the impression that violent people simply decided to riot for no good reason, rather than Arabs and Jews acting upon their conscience and humanity.

The official version of the Israeli military and the government was embraced by the media with the usual readiness. Questioning “our” military is unpatriotic, as if questioning official versions is not the formal obligation of the media. In Israel, it simply doesn’t work that way. Phone calls we received from all the major TV channels in Israel and the interviews we gave to all the major newspapers were mostly unpublished, silenced by either the reporters or the editors.

Despite this attempt to silence criticism, there are many Israeli citizens that object to this massacre and demand accountability from those responsible. The official version of the military and government has very little credibility, especially after imposing an electronic blockade on attempts to document the raid. The international community has done so little to bring to trial those accountable for war crimes committed against the Palestinian people. Will other countries make more of an effort to intervene after crimes have been committed against their own citizens?

PRESS RELEASE: Thousands of Israelis Protest Killing of Flotilla Activists and the Siege of Gaza

Tuesday, June 1st, 2010

Photo by Keren Manor / Activestills.org

Thousands of Israeli citizens demonstrated yesterday (Monday) throughout Israel, in protest of the killing of 9 Gaza Freedom Flotilla activists by Israeli security forces.

Spontaneous demonstrations were held immediately after news of the brutal assault on the flotilla – in Haifa, Nazareth and other cities in Israel. At the same time, 250 Israeli activists arrived at the Port of Ashdod, in an action organized by the Coalition of Women for Peace and other Israeli organizations, to protest the brutal killing and to voice their solidarity with the Flotilla and with the Palestinian people.

On Monday evening, mass demonstrations were held in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Haifa and Um-El-Fahem. The demonstrators called for international involvement to lift the siege of Gaza. More demonstrations will be held today (Tuesday).

Eilat Maoz, General Coordinator of the Coalition of Women for Peace, said: “The killing of more than 15 activists is exclusively the responsibility of the State of Israel, and it was fully within Israel’s power to avoid the wasteful spilling of blood. The siege of Gaza and the pirate takeover by the Israeli Military of the Flotilla vessels – these are the real provocations. This atrocity must open the eyes of the international community to the crimes perpetrated by Israel.”

Areen Hawari, Balad Activist and member of the Coalition of Women for Peace, and a close person to MK Haneen Zoabi, who was on one of the boats, said ” If this is what the State of Israel is capable of doing to peace activists, human rights defenders and members of parliament, then what is it capable of doing to civilians under military occupation? Now is the time to wake up the international struggle against the siege of Gaza and the Occupation.”

(עברית) בעזה נחשפת ערוותה של ישראל / אורלי נוי

Friday, May 28th, 2010

PRESS RELEASE: 98 Israeli and International Feminist Organizations to British Government: Enable Prosecution of War Criminals

Tuesday, December 22nd, 2009

98 feminist peace organizations, from 24 countries, among them 20 Israeli and Palestinian organizations, sent a letter this morning (Tuesday, December 22, 2009) to the British Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, and to the British Foreign Secretary, David Miliband, demanding that they not restrict the principle of universal jurisdiction in the UK. Universal Jurisdiction enables local courts to prosecute foreign war criminals – among them Ehud Olmet, Ehud Barak, Tzipi Livni and other high ranking Israeli officials – who are responsible for the war in Gaza last year.

The letter was initiated by the Coalition of Women for Peace, an Israeli feminist organization that was founded in 2000 and is a leading voice in the Israeli anti-occupation movement. The letter was sent following Gordon and Miliband’s recent declarations that they will restrict universal jurisdiction in the UK – following an arrest warrant issued last week by a London court against Tzipi Livni, Israeli Minister of Foreign Affairs during the war in Gaza.

The signatories claim that the Goldstone Report raises serious suspicions regarding systematic and intentional execution of war crimes during the war in Gaza (Operation Cast Lead). The letter asks Brown and Miliband to “defend and maintain the important principle of universal jurisdiction, despite political pressures by war criminals and their allies.”

The organizations further claim that restricting universal jurisdiction sets a dangerous precedent in the prosecution of war criminals from around the world. They stated: “As feminist organizations, we regard this as an act of collaboration with violence against women, since women and girls are particularly susceptible to poverty, displacement and marginalization in times of war, and are more frequently subjected to domestic violence, sexual abuse and rape.”

Eilat Maoz, CWP General Coordinator, said: “We reach out to the international community aiming to protect the people of our region, Palestinians and Israelis alike, from war criminals that still walk freely among us. As Israelis, we have an important role in supporting the international pressure on Israel. The vast response to our call demonstrates that the international community has lost its patience to the Israeli occupation.”

Lana Khaskia, CWP General Coordinator, said: “We all witness the growing international public pressure, which influences governments around the world to act. This was the case in the recent decision to label settlement produce in the UK, and in recent successes of the global Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement. We see ourselves as a part of this international movement, which calls upon Israel to end the occupation at once.”

PRESS RELEASE: 7 Jewish Children, a Play for Gaza, in Tel Aviv

Friday, June 12th, 2009

Photo by Meni Berman

SEVEN JEWISH CHILDREN – A PLAY FOR GAZA was preformed yesterday in Tel Aviv in front of 200 people.

Caryl Churchill’s controversial play, SEVEN JEWISH CHILDREN- A PLAY FOR GAZA, was staged in Israel directed by the Palestinian political prisoner Samieh Jabbarin. The play was preformed without a permit from the Israeli authorities in a busy public space – Rabin square, by Tel Aviv city hall, where thousands of people attended “The Hebrew book week” fair, which was visited the same evening by the president of Israel, Shimon Peres.

Hundreds gathered at 19:30 to watch SEVEN JEWISH CHILDREN. The play was preformed 3 times – twice in Hebrew by accomplished Israeli theatre actresses and once in English by the US women-led peace organization, CODEPINK.

It was staged by the Coalition of Women for Peace and Jabbarin as part of 10 days of action against the siege on Gaza.

The performers received standing ovations- but the biggest cheers were reserved for the absent director, confined to house arrest in the town of Umm el Fahm.

Churchill wrote to Jabbarin and the Coalition saying she is “delighted to hear that Women for Peace are performing Seven Jewish Children as part of their protest about the siege of Gaza” and sending her best wishes and thanks to everyone involved.

Jabbarin, an actor, director and peace activist, was arrested on February 10th, on the day of Israel’s general elections, during a demonstration against the appointment of fanatic settler leader Baruch Marzel as a supervisor of the ballots in Jabbarin’s home town, Umm el Fahm. Following his arrest, Jabbarin was imprisoned awaiting a hearing for three weeks, and then committed to house arrest under extremely restrictive terms for an indefinite period of time. It is clear he was “marked” by the Israeli authorities for organizing and participating in peaceful protests again the attacks on Gaza – like several hundred Palestinian citizens of Israel who were arrested or interrogated during the political persecutions which highly increased during and after the assault on Gaza.

Jabbarin was delighted to undertake the challenge of directing and casting the play long-distance and under great pressure since he feels that “In SEVEN JEWISH CHILDREN Churchill has achieved a beautiful artistic communication of a fundamental yet subversive truth: Profound pain has no home. Pain is pain is pain is pain. Pain is universally human.”

The cast of the production – two renowned Jewish theatre actresses – Sara Von Schwarze and Gabi Eldor and a young mime artist – Layla Batterman, and the famous actor Ramie Hoyberger- expressed their wishes to continue performing SEVEN JEWISH CHILDREN as soon and as often as possible.

Professor Shimon Levy of the theatre faculty at Tel Aviv University and Play writer-director Uri Shani of translated SEVEN JEWISH CHILDREN into Hebrew. The fabulous Arabic Calligraphy artist Anisa Ashkar designed the set, and the performance was accompanied by the talented saxophone player Dirar Kalash. All participants happily donated their talent and labor.

SEVEN JEWISH CHILDREN- a PLAY FOR GAZA, described by the author as “A history of Israel” will be published in Hebrew and Arabic by the Coalition of Women for Peace. It will be distributed in the region free of charge.

The Play will be staged in Israel again in the very near future- as a subversive and thought provoking street theatre performance and in theatre halls. The Coalition of Women for Peace will publish and distribute the Hebrew and Arabic translations of SEVEN JEWISH CHILDREN – free of charge.

Getting Serious About Making Change: BDS / Pam Rasmussen

Tuesday, June 9th, 2009

Photo by Keren Manor / Activestills.org

When you analyze just about any major sea change in the  status of a population’s human rights, it’s clear that it is people power that makes the lasting difference.  Without a broad, sustained, grassroots movement, American women wouldn’t have the vote, blacks still would be slaves and gays wouldn’t be seeing gradual progress in their fight for the right to marry. Likewise, it was years of people power that pushed governments around the world to insist on an end to South African apartheid.

The same is true for the Palestinian people. The bright side of the Israeli attack on Gaza — if there is one — is the broader willingness of the public to criticize Israel’s policies and the call that is building for an end to Israel’s “sacrosanct” status in American foreign policy. One manifestation of this building movement is the increasingly loud and forceful calls for boycotts, divestments and sanctions — the same tools used so successfully at the grassroots level in the fight against South African apartheid. In addition to raising awareness among consumers of goods made or grown in Israel, for instance, we are calling on consumers to refuse to buy them and ask their supermarkets to take those goods (barcode 729) off the shelves altogether.

The U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation has chosen Motorola cell phones for its consumer boycott campaign. The company developed a radar “perimeter defense system” that has been installed in as many as 47 Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank. In some cases, the radar stations were erected on private Palestinian land to detect and prevent Palestinian movement near the Israeli settlements. Meanwhile, Aeronautics Defense Systems – which acquired the radar business — developed and provided the “Mountain Rose” communication system for the Israeli army, which is a specially designed mobile system for field conditions in the occupied West Bank. In addition, a subsidiary called MIRS is the Israeli army’s cellular services provider, and it has an extensive infrastructure network erected in West Bank army bases and Israeli settlements.

With this trip to Palestine, CODEPINK is now on board, and has chosen as its target Arhava Dead Sea Laboratories. The company, based in the Israeli settlement Mitzpe Shalem, labels its products as being “of Israeli origin”; however, according to international law, the West Bank cannot be considered part of the State of Israel short of a mutual agreement. In addition, its products – which are based on Dead Sea mud – are widely sold in New York City, and are thus a good target for U.S. media coverage.

To mark our entry into the BDS campaign and our solidarity with our partner, Coalition of Women for Peace, CODEPINK is targeting Arhava skin-care products, with a prominent Ahava Spa in Tel Aviv’s Hilton hotel as the launchpad. A small core team went in first to scope out the spa and purchase one of its mud facials. They then disappeared and returned a short while later with some of the mud hidden in their hands. Before anyone in the store could register their growing suspicion (the security guards in the hallway were called and began asking people like me why we were hanging around with our cameras seemingly at the ready), they had stripped down to their underwear and began slathering their bodies with the mask!

We all joined in the chant:

Ahava, Ahava
Your products made in stolen lands
We’re here to show your dirty hands.

Watch the video!

For more information on the BDS campaign, including which companies and products/services are being targeted, visit www.whoprofits.org and www.bdsmovement.net

  • Originally published on: http://open.salon.com/blog/booknut/2009/06/09/getting_serious_about_making_change_bds

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