Posts Tagged ‘siege’

Gaza is calling on YOU. Noor Swirki

Wednesday, May 31st, 2017

Organizations and international institutions are warning that Gaza is on the verge of a humanitarian crisis[1] in spite of the humanitarian aid provided by the international community. Already now, Gaza is facing a water crisis, extreme pollution, electricity shortage, restricted access to health services and education as well as economic distress. All these hardships turn life into a daily struggle for survival for Gaza’s residents, both women and men. Amidst all this, women are dealing with a wide range of gender specific challenges[2]. This situation is the cumulative outcome of a decade-long siege on Gaza, in addition to the frequent military offensives on the strip every few years, and the failed attempts at reconstruction in-between these rounds.

The Gaza strip is under a high degree of effective control by Israel and is therefore under its occupation. Israel has repeatedly refused to fulfill its obligations under international law.

Therefore, we turn to the UN and EU, to hold Israel accountable and to ensure human rights for Gaza’s residents.

Link to the petition: https://goo.gl/JUjaqb

[1] https://goo.gl/tpN0fZ

[2] Ref: WOMEN BEYOND THE SIEGE: Collection of articles on womn in gaza, Coalition of Women for Peace, 2017.

Gaza is calling on YOU. Hiba Al Danf

Tuesday, May 30th, 2017

Organizations and international institutions are warning that Gaza is on the verge of a humanitarian crisis[1] in spite of the humanitarian aid provided by the international community. Already now, Gaza is facing a water crisis, extreme pollution, electricity shortage, restricted access to health services and education as well as economic distress. All these hardships turn life into a daily struggle for survival for Gaza’s residents, both women and men. Amidst all this, women are dealing with a wide range of gender specific challenges[2]. This situation is the cumulative outcome of a decade-long siege on Gaza, in addition to the frequent military offensives on the strip every few years, and the failed attempts at reconstruction in-between these rounds.

The Gaza strip is under a high degree of effective control by Israel and is therefore under its occupation. Israel has repeatedly refused to fulfill its obligations under international law.

Therefore, we turn to the UN and EU, to hold Israel accountable and to ensure human rights for Gaza’s residents.

Link to the petition: https://goo.gl/JUjaqb

[1] https://goo.gl/tpN0fZ

[2] Ref: WOMEN BEYOND THE SIEGE: Collection of articles on womn in gaza, Coalition of Women for Peace, 2017.

António Guterres and Federica Mogherini: Women demand: End the Siege on Gaza TODAY!

Wednesday, March 29th, 2017

UN and EU: it is in your hands!

  1. Include women and youth in all analysis and policy decisions related to Gaza.
  2. Ensure Israeli accountability for its human rights violations in Gaza.

Organizations and international institutions are warning that Gaza is on the verge of a humanitarian crisis[1] in spite of the humanitarian aid provided by the international community. Already now, Gaza is facing a water crisis, extreme pollution, electricity shortage, restricted access to health services and education as well as economic distress. All these hardships turn life into a daily struggle for survival for Gaza’s residents, both women and men. Amidst all this, women are dealing with a wide range of gender specific challenges[2]. This situation is the cumulative outcome of a decade-long siege on Gaza, in addition to the frequent military offensives on the strip every few years, and the failed attempts at reconstruction in-between these rounds.

The Gaza strip is under a high degree of effective control by Israel and is therefore under its occupation. Israel has repeatedly refused to fulfill its obligations under international law.

Therefore, we turn to the UN and EU, to hold Israel accountable and to ensure human rights for Gaza’s residents.

Link to the petition: https://goo.gl/JUjaqb

[1] https://goo.gl/tpN0fZ

[2] Ref: WOMEN BEYOND THE SIEGE: Collection of articles on womn in gaza, Coalition of Women for Peace, 2017.

Right wing attempts to silence the voices of Women from Gaza

Tuesday, March 28th, 2017

On March 29th, The Coalition of Women for Peace is planning to hold a conference on women in Gaza, entitled “Women Beyond the Siege”. The conference will be held at Al-Saraya theatre in Jaffa, and will host a video conference with women in Gaza, as well as feminist activists from the local and international community.

Right wing activists, in cooperation with the ministry of Culture are trying to cancel the planned event. On March 22nd, Israeli news website NRG, published an item challenging the legitimacy of holding this event supposedly due to Coalition of Women for Peace’s political stance, and quoting Culture Ministry official saying that they plan to look into state funding to the theatre.

In recent years, the state of Israel has been passing legislation, advocating and acting publically in various ways against the civil society and against any criticism of the government and its policy, creating an atmosphere of intimidation, deterrence for resistance and limiting activists, organizations, and groups opposing the occupation and acting against human rights violations.

This is but one of many cases in which Human Rights Defenders, and specifically Women Human Rights Defenders have been persecuted and it is crucial to act for the rights of these women to express their political beliefs and be protected from persecution.

The invitation to “Women Beyond the Siege”, states “Organizations and international institutions are warning that Gaza is on the verge of a humanitarian crisis. Already now, Gaza is facing a water crisis, extreme pollution, electricity shortage as well as economic distress. All these hardships turn life into a daily struggle for survival for Gaza’s residents, both women and men. This situation is the cumulative outcome of a decade-long siege on Gaza, in addition to the frequent military offensives on the strip every few years, and the attempts at reconstruction in-between these rounds. Amidst all this, women in Gaza are dealing with specific difficulties and challenges. But as already the situation in Gaza is rarely brought up, the situation of women is even less present in public debates.”

Indeed, it seems that Israeli officials are interested on keeping the voices of women in Gaza unheard and the effects of the siege not talked about in the public discourse.

The event will be held as planned, despite these attempt at silencing the women’s voices and we urge you to attend the event in support, and spread this message to help us let these voices be heard.

The event will take place on March 29th at 18:00, at Al-Saraya theatre in Jaffa.
Please contact cwp@coalitionofwomen.org for any further information.

WOMEN BEYOND THE SIEGE

Tuesday, March 28th, 2017

Organizations and international institutions are warning that Gaza is on the verge of a humanitarian crisis. Already now, Gaza is facing a water crisis, extreme pollution, electricity shortage as well as economic distress. All these hardships turn life into a daily struggle for survival for Gaza’s residents, both women and men. This situation is the cumulative outcome of a decade-long siege on Gaza, in addition to the frequent military offensives on the strip every few years, and the attempts at reconstruction in-between these rounds.

Amidst all this, women in Gaza are dealing with specific difficulties and challenges. But as already the situation in Gaza is rarely brought up, the situation of women is even less present in public debates. Precisely because of that, we ought to be all ears and listen to the calls coming from Gaza, to learn and to become active.

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We will be shedding light on these issues in our conference “WOMEN BEYOND THE SIEGE”.

Wednesday, March 29th 2017, 6 pm to 8 pm at the Arab-Hebrew Theatre ‘Al Saraya’, Mifratz Shlomo Promenade 10, Jaffa.

We will also be launching a campaign relating to the conference, raising awareness for the situation of women in Gaza. We would appreciate you taking part.

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?

(עברית) 95 ארגונים פמיניסטיים מישראל ומהעולם לממשלת בריטניה: אפשרו להעמיד לדין פושעי מלחמה ישראלים

Tuesday, December 22nd, 2009

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.


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