Sunday, September 18th, 2011
International recognition of the right to self-determination of the Palestinian people is an important and vital step in the process of internationalization of the Palestinians struggle for independence, freedom and equality. It may possibly strengthen the Palestinians struggle against the occupation and hand over the responsibility for ending the occupation and eliminating racial discrimination to the international community.
Nevertheless, mere declaration of statehood in the West Bank and Gaza Strip is incapable of ending decades of occupation and racial discrimination based on legal mechanisms that match the UN definition of apartheid, to solve the refugee problem or to lead to civil equality between Jews and Palestinians citizens of Israel. These issues can only be resolved in a just agreement to end the occupation while maintaining the basic individual and collective rights of Palestinians, wherever they reside.
The Palestinian people has inalienable rights, including the right of return, right to self determination and national independence. The right to self-determination is a collective right of all Palestinians, regardless of geographic location. These rights have been previously recognized by the UN as immutable. In order that the initiative succeed in producing a significant transformation in the Palestinian struggle and create new political alliances, it must demand the right of return of refugees and the rights of the Palestinian citizens of Israel.
CWP accentuates that any diplomatic initiative must maintain the status of the PLO as the official representative of the Palestinian people in the UN and in other international institutions; to protect and promote the rights of the Palestinian people as a whole. The PLO is recognized as representing the Palestinians in the international arena, and draws its legitimacy from the Palestinians in exile, in Israel and in the occupied territories, as well as from recognition by the Arab League and the UN itself. We stress that any appeal to ratify the right of self determination of the Palestinians must not undermine the status of the PLO as the representative of all Palestinians. In particular, we are concerned with the representation of Palestinian women and men who do not live in the West Bank and Gaza.
We call for ending the occupation, maintaining the Palestinians right of return and the right to resist the occupation by all legitimate and popular forms of resistance acceptable by international norms. We maintain and reiterate our call upon the international community to exert pressure on Israel until it meets obligations under international law and end the occupation.
Wednesday, December 8th, 2010
8 December 2010
CWP published a new report today, titled “All-Out War: Israel Against Democracy.” This comprehensive report documents the increasing political persecution of peace and human rights organizations and activists, and describes the connections between the assaults led by Israeli government officials, security forces, courts, journalists, and extreme-right organizations in this well-orchestrated offensive on democracy.
The report was published in Hebrew, Arabic, Russian, and English.
“In the past two years, CWP has witnessed a growing wave of assaults on Israeli peace and human rights NGOs, and delegitimization and persecution of Jewish and Palestinian human rights defenders,” states the report. “According to our research and analysis, the assault on Gaza between December 2008 and January 2009, and the subsequent Goldstone Report, increased and accelerated international pressure on Israel to end the occupation. Thus, voices of resistance within Israel, and the support and information they provide to international bodies and to the global peace movement, have become a strategic threat to the continued enforcement of the occupation. Silencing them has therefore become a primary goal for the Israeli government and Knesset and for right-wing movements within Israel.”
But the report ends with the somewhat optimistic conclusion that: “The rise of such a coordinated offensive against the forces fighting the occupation, specifically at this moment in time, indicates the success of the local and global movements against the occupation […] This means that Israel will sooner or later have to address the criticism it attempts to suppress today.” The report marks the launch of a new CWP campaign responding to this political persecution.
CWP’s new report on the growing political persecution in Israel, and specific cases of violations of freedom of expression of human rights NGOs, peace activists, academics, and Arab Members of Knesset, were sent today to the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression and Opinion, Frank La Rue. The report was sent following a request from La Rue for information on violations of freedom of expression, for his upcoming visit to Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories in January.
Among the examples of violations of freedom of expression and opinion documented in the report: anti-democratic bills proposed in the Knesset, such as the Nakba Bill, a proposed bill to dismantle NGOs that aid in the prosecution of Israeli officials abroad, and the Prohibition on Instituting a Boycott Bill; the recurring assaults on Arab Members of Knesset; police brutality against protesters in solidarity vigils in Sheikh Jarrah and in peace demonstration during the assault on Gaza; and the attacks on leftist Israeli academics, led by the Minister of Education, Gideon Saar, and by the extreme right-wing movement Im Tirtzu.
“The circumstances and cases described raise concerns regarding an orchestrated and widespread assault on the freedom of expression and opinion of Israeli human rights and peace organizations and Palestinian and Israeli human rights defenders,” concludes the letter sent to the UN Special Rapporteur. “Based on the documents we have enclosed, we respectfully request that you investigate these matters and communicate your concerns to the government of Israel and to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights.”
A few links to articles in English about CWP’s work:
“Israeli government officials say they have taken steps to ensure that the Tel Aviv-Jerusalem line would one day benefit Palestinians […] But researcher Dalit Baum said that idea is ‘a cynical ploy that is only suggested in order to justify this train route as legal.’ Baum wrote a report on the project published this week by an Israeli watchdog group, the Coalition of Women for Peace.”
“‘By crossing the border into the West Bank, the train line is unlawful and unethical,’ argues the Coalition of Women for Peace, a group of Israeli feminist peace organizations which has compiled a report on the project. The coalition argues that international law states that an occupier may not use occupied resources solely for the benefit of its own citizens.”
“’The Coalition of Women for Peace and other organizations opposed Israel joining the OECD precisely because it’s impossible to separate the occupation economy – an exploitative element which runs contrary to international law – from the normative economy of Israel,’ the research coordinator for the organization’s Who Profits project, Merav Amir, told Haaretz.”
“’The big success is that is has become an issue,’ added Merav Amir of the Tel Aviv-based Coalition of Women for Peace, whose database of companies has become a resource for investors and activists.”
And if you haven’t seen it yet, check out the fabulous video of the “Opertheid” flashmob, organized by the Coalition of Women for Peace and BOYCOTT!:
The Coalition of Women for Peace
Sunday, September 26th, 2010
Thursday, June 24th, 2010
June 24, 2010
On Wednesday, 23 June 2010, the European Parliament held a meeting regarding the situation of NGOs and civil society in Israel. The Coalition of Women for Peace published a position paper, which was distributed at the EP meeting. The full position paper is attached, but please note especially the following section on 3 proposed Knesset bills that are intended to restrict the international work of Israeli NGOs, and particularly CWP:
4. The 3 proposed Knesset bills, attempting to restrict the work of Israeli peace and human rights organizations, are:
a. “Disclosure Requirements for Recipients of Support from a Foreign Political Entity – 2010” (a government-backed bill, submitted on 8 February 2010, passed a preliminary vote on 17 February 2010): Under the pretext of increasing transparency of foreign funding of NGOs, this bill stipulates that organizations “seeking to influence public opinion in Israel” should be deemed as political organizations and therefore will be required to register with the Registrar of Political Parties and lose their tax-exempt status. Any spokesperson of such an organization will have to declare in all public appearances and publications that they represent an organization that receives funding from a “foreign political entity.” This bill is intended to curtail the foreign funding that Israeli peace and human rights NGOs rely on, as well as to delegitimize and intimidate these organizations.
b. “Associations Law (Amendment – Exceptions to the Registration and Activity of an Association) – 2010” (a private bill, introduced by 19 MKs on 28 April 2010, a revised version submitted by 25 MKs on 14 June 2010) – This bill aims to prohibit the registration of, or to close down any existing NGO, if “the association was involved in, or will provide information to foreign entities regarding, legal proceedings abroad against senior Israeli government officials or military officers, for war crimes.” Universal jurisdiction, the right of national courts to prosecute foreign war criminals for atrocities committed abroad, is a central enforcement mechanism in international law. As such, this bill undermines international human rights law and the ability of Israeli NGOs to demand accountability for human rights violations committed by Israeli officials. In interviews given to the Israeli media, the MKs specifically targeted the Coalition of Women for Peace, as well as Adalah – the Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights, Physicians for Human rights and the Committee Against Torture.
c. “Prohibition on Instituting a Boycott – 2010” (introduced by 25 MKs from the coalition and the opposition on 9 June 2010, not yet submitted) – According to the bill, Israeli citizens must not initiate, encourage, or provide support or information for a boycott against the State of Israel; internationals who do so will be barred from entering Israel for at least 10 years; and foreign governmental entities who engage in boycott activity against Israel will be banned from engaging in any activity in Israeli bank accounts, Israeli stocks, or Israeli land and assets. This bill is a violation of the freedom of speech and freedom of association and is intended to intimidate NGOs and individuals from engaging in a nonviolent, democratic and legitimate form of political activity. This bill also directly targets CWP, due to our research project “Who Profits from the Occupation,” which provides information on Israeli and international corporate involvement in the occupation.
The full position paper is attached. CWP would like to particularly thank our Swedish partner organization Kvinna till Kvinna, for helping us in reaching the European Parliament.
A few links to articles relating to CWP’s work:
Ilana Hammerman, an Israeli translator and editor and activist in one of CWP’s member organizations, might be facing trial for taking 3 Palestinian girls on a fun day out in Tel Aviv: http://theonlydemocracy.org/2010/06/civil-disobedience-is-a-fun-day-out-in-tel-aviv/
“Dr. Dalit Baum and Merav Amir are waging a resolute economic battle against businesses operating beyond the Green Line. Their comprehensive study maps out all of those companies and served as the basis for the boycott throughout the world, which is expanding. In an interview with the Calcalist Supplement they explain they are not extremists — it is simply Dankner, Levayev, Arison and about a thousand other companies who are violating international law”. Ari Libsker, Calcalist: http://coteret.com/2010/06/21/maariv-targeted-boycott-and-divestment-pushing-companies-out-of-the-settlements/ (scroll down for this specific article).
“’The Coalition of Women for Peace declares its support for Italian supermarket chains COOP and Nordiconad’s decision to suspend sales of Agrexco produce in their stores, and hopes that more supermarket chains will follow in their footsteps.’ So begins the declaration of the prominent Israeli coalition of 11 feminist organizations, released in support of the Italian Stop Agrexco campaign.” Elena Hogan, Near East News Agency: http://www.nena-news.com/?p=1730
New bill attempts to outlaw boycott of settlements or Israel: http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3902932,00.html
The full translation of this proposed bill is available on the “Who Profits” website: http://www.whoprofits.org/articlefiles/BDS%20LAW_Eng.htm
CWP’s declaration of support for the “Stolen Beauty” campaign: http://www.codepinkalert.org/article.php?id=5456
In France, the Ahava campaign comes to court. Adri Nieuwhof, The Electronic Intifada: http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article11341.shtml
“Yoana Gonen, from the Coalition of Women for Peace, voiced her support of the international musicians’ decisions to cancel due to Israel’s current political situation. “I hope that the BDS movement will succeed […] If this international momentum is lost, maybe we all will be doomed to more decades of occupation, siege, poverty, bombings and separation.” Alison Avigayil Ramer and Ronnie Gross, Jewlicious: http://www.jewlicious.com/2010/06/cultural-boycott-recent-cancellations-by-international-musicians-spur-debate-in-israeli-public/
The Coalition of Women for Peace
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, December 22nd, 2009
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.”
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
Tuesday, June 9th, 2009
Tuesday, 9.6.09 – Erez Checkpoint (10:00) / United States Embassy in Israel (12:30) / the entrance to the hotel Hilton Tel Aviv (15:00).
American organizations and Israeli peace activists will hold a series of protest actions against U.S. funding of the siege on Gaza and Israeli occupation.
1. Melting the fences / an Israeli-Gazan-American Demonstration to end the siege, on both sides of the Erez checkpoint. 10:00.
For the third and last time, a delegation of the American organization CodePink arrives today at 10 am, to run the last part of the current campaign “Freedom to Gaza”. They will demonstrate against the US funding of the siege and the attacks on Gaza, which are enduring the cycle of violence. On the other side of the Erez crossing, will be protesting in a “sister-demonstration”, women and men, residents of Gaza and activists of human rights organizations.
CodePink, CWP, and peace activist women from the south, will call to end the siege on Gaza, and to stop the US financing of the Israeli occupation army. They will also protest preventing – all through the last few days – the entry of playground facilities, food and essential goods to Gaza, brought by the American organization (See photos), and the total refusal to allow their entry to Gaza through Israel.
Simultaneously, on the other side of the crossing, hundreds of Gazans and Human rights activists will demonstrate demanding to remove the siege.
Kites and balloons will be flied above and beyond the Fortified walls and fences.
2. Obama Go to Gaza – 0$ to the army of siege and occupation / 12:30 in front of U.S. embassy
CodePink and CWP, will demonstrate in front of the American embassy in Tel Aviv, demanding to stop the U.S. funding the Israeli army of occupation, and the Israeli siege. They will also call George Mitchell to visit Gaza, and will invite Barak Obama, the US president, to Gaza strip so to witness by himself the destruction and the suffering caused by the assistance of billions of dollars flowing to Israel. A similar demonstration was held by CodePink in front of Cairo University during the speech of Obama.
The demonstrators, American and Israeli citizens, appreciate the positive change in the American adminstration, but demand that words turn into deeds grounded in reality. Israel can not continue to occupy the West Bank and impose the siege on Gaza without the $ 3 billion U.S. financial aid to the army. If Obama is truly interested in achieving peace, he should close the faucet and immediately stop funding the occupation and the siege.
3. Stolen Beauty / CodePink will launch a campaign against AHAVA – turning out of mud to the front of Hilton Hotel, 15:00
The money of American tax payers are not the only source of US support of Israel’s occupation. CodePink seeks to bring to conscience the fact that civil money flow to the occupied territories out of the pockets of consumer women from America. Therefore, CodePink will launch a consumer boycott campaign of the AHAVA products. This firm is run by the Dead Sea Laboratories, and it’s visitors center is located in Kibutz Mitzpe Shalem, in the occupied territories.
CodePink members will arrive to front of the prestigious Hilton hotel, in the “Independence garden” in Tel Aviv, where they will coat their bodies and faces with black mud, so to unfold the “dirty laundry” of AHAVA in front of the women visitors in the shop of the company, located in the hotel.
Later, they will hold a press conference outside the hotel, where they will announce the launching of the international Boycott campaign, and call the actress Kristin Davis, (Charlotte, in “sex and the city”) to cease promoting the AHAVA products.
Thursday, May 14th, 2009
“We, Israeli organizations …, call upon the Norwegian people to join us in our efforts and to stop investing in the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory”. Twenty different Israeli organizations send an appeal to the Norwegian people to withdraw Norwegian national pension fund’s investments in all Israeli and international corporations which are involved in the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories.(see the full letter here: http://coalitionofwomen.org/home/english/articles/norway-fund )
In an unprecedented way, a wide array of Israeli civil society and grassroots organizations has sent a letter to the Norwegian Pension Fund, addressed to its Council on Ethics, urging it to support their efforts for a just peace and equality in Israel/Palestine by divesting from all companies involved in the Israeli occupation.
These Israeli organizations include feminist organizations and community centers, peace and human rights organizations, comprised of Jewish and Palestinian women and men, organizations concerned with civil rights and equality within the state of Israel and organizations dedicated to ending the occupation of Palestinian territories, to the benefit of all people living in Israel/ Palestine.
This appeal follows and expands a previous call on the Norwegian fund, by two Palestinian West Bank villages and eleven other organizations from around the world to divest from Africa-Israel, an Israeli corporation involved in building Israeli settlements on occupied Palestinian land.
But Africa-Israel is not the only settlement-builder on the fund’s investment portfolio. As shown by a recent report by Who Profits from the Occupation research, at least 30 other companies have a continuous involvement in the occupation: some build illegal Israeli settlements or provide vital services to them; some provide specifically designed equipment for the surveillance and repression of Palestinian population through restrictions of movement and collective punishments; some exploit Palestinian labor and natural resources. The examples listed also include international corporations such as the Belgian Bank Dexia, which finances Israeli illegal settlements’ municipalities by long term loans, or the Mexican Cemex and the German HeidelbergCement, both giant construction materials’ suppliers that own and operate Israeli plants and quarries on occupied land, and thus both contribute to the Israeli illegal colonization of Palestinian lands, and exploit the Palestinian nonrenewable natural resources, for the needs of the Israeli economy and in violation of international law.
The letter is framed as a general appeal to the Norwegian people, mentioning the Norwegians’ “long-standing commitment to peace, justice and democracy” in Israel/Palestine, and presenting the current investment in corporations that “support and maintain the Israeli occupation” as contradicting the Norwegian governments’ own policies, as well as the pension fund’s own ethical guidelines, which preclude investments in companies involved in gross violations of human rights or humanitarian principles. Copies have been sent to Norwegian civil society organizations, ministers and parliamentarians.