Sisterhood Blog

Israel Women Want to Talk Peace, Too

By Elissa Strauss

  • Print
  • Share Share

Israeli women want in on the peace process, and they think they can help.

As Haaretz’s Eetta Prince-Gibson reports, Israeli feminists recently got together to demand that the government include women on all decision and policy-making bodies, including those in charge of negotiating peace.

This would be part of their action plan to implement a U.N. Security Council resolution from 2000 that requires parties in conflict to make sure they are taking women’s perspectives and rights into account.

Currently the peace process in Israel is headed by a woman, Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, who supports the plan. But those behind the resolution say this isn’t just about the number of women, but about making sure a mix of women’s voices is being heard.

The thinking behind the resolution was that changes to warfare have led to a rise in civilian casualties, which tend to be women and children. The resolution states that women “are the key to ending violent conflict and to the establishment of lasting peace” and says U.N. member states should “take definitive action to protect women from violence.”

Israel was the first U.N. member state to adopt the resolution, back in 2005, but “like so much Israeli legislation in so many different areas, this legislation, too, remained impotently ‘on the books.’ ” So a coalition of feminists groups, 30 in total, spent two years coming up with a specific plan to make the resolution a reality.

The whole thing sounds like a no-brainer, right? The more women at the table, the better women’s interests are represented in the decision making process. Except for one little thing. Women, like men, have lots of different interests.

From Haaretz:

The process [of making the plan] pointed to the complexity of reaching agreement among women on issues of security and foreign policy. The organizers were unable to come to an agreement over the question of Israeli control over the Palestinian territories and, significantly, the word “occupation” does not appear in the National Action Plan.

In the end, most of the Israeli Palestinian feminist organizations withdrew from participating in the action plan because they were unable to reach an agreement about Israel’s control of the Palestinian territories.

Palestinian feminist activist and journalists Aida Touma Suliman told the paper that, “1325 must deal with the real issues that Palestinian women in Israel face – the policy of house demolitions, racism, discrimination, the loss of our lands. But the consensus did not pay enough attention to this.”

Getting more women on decision-making bodies is a wonderful thing. But expecting them — us — too all agree on something just to gain entry to the boys club might be setting the bar of entry too high.

All Israeli women, Jewish, Palestinian, right-wing, whatever, deserve to have their voices heard according to this resolution. It’s a shame that the new action plan has left some on the margins, the margins of the margins really, voiceless.


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: peace process, Israeli, women, Jewish

The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.




Find us on Facebook!
  • This is what the rockets over Israel and Gaza look like from space:
  • "Israel should not let captives languish or corpses rot. It should do everything in its power to recover people and bodies. Jewish law places a premium on pidyon shvuyim, “the redemption of captives,” and proper burial. But not when the price will lead to more death and more kidnappings." Do you agree?
  • Slate.com's Allison Benedikt wrote that Taglit-Birthright Israel is partly to blame for the death of American IDF volunteer Max Steinberg. This is why she's wrong:
  • Israeli soldiers want you to buy them socks. And snacks. And backpacks. And underwear. And pizza. So claim dozens of fundraising campaigns launched by American Jewish and Israeli charities since the start of the current wave of crisis and conflict in Israel and Gaza.
  • The sign reads: “Dogs are allowed in this establishment but Zionists are not under any circumstances.”
  • Is Twitter Israel's new worst enemy?
  • More than 50 former Israeli soldiers have refused to serve in the current ground operation in #Gaza.
  • "My wife and I are both half-Jewish. Both of us very much felt and feel American first and Jewish second. We are currently debating whether we should send our daughter to a Jewish pre-K and kindergarten program or to a public one. Pros? Give her a Jewish community and identity that she could build on throughout her life. Cons? Costs a lot of money; She will enter school with the idea that being Jewish makes her different somehow instead of something that you do after or in addition to regular school. Maybe a Shabbat sing-along would be enough?"
  • Undeterred by the conflict, 24 Jews participated in the first ever Jewish National Fund— JDate singles trip to Israel. Translation: Jews age 30 to 45 travelled to Israel to get it on in the sun, with a side of hummus.
  • "It pains and shocks me to say this, but here goes: My father was right all along. He always told me, as I spouted liberal talking points at the Shabbos table and challenged his hawkish views on Israel and the Palestinians to his unending chagrin, that I would one day change my tune." Have you had a similar experience?
  • "'What’s this, mommy?' she asked, while pulling at the purple sleeve to unwrap this mysterious little gift mom keeps hidden in the inside pocket of her bag. Oh boy, how do I answer?"
  • "I fear that we are witnessing the end of politics in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I see no possibility for resolution right now. I look into the future and see only a void." What do you think?
  • Not a gazillionaire? Take the "poor door."
  • "We will do what we must to protect our people. We have that right. We are not less deserving of life and quiet than anyone else. No more apologies."
  • "Woody Allen should have quit while he was ahead." Ezra Glinter's review of "Magic in the Moonlight": http://jd.fo/f4Q1Q
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.