What are women doing and saying in Israel and Palestine now?

What are women doing and saying in Israel and Palestine now?

I wrote to the Israel and Palestinian women in my film and other women I’ve been in touch with over the decades and asked: WHAT ARE WOMEN DOING? Here is on of the responses from Galia Golan:

The IWC put out a statement the first day of the fighting and women have been participating in the mixed marches, demonstrations and petitions. There may be more women activities that I do not know about. But in any case there is very little anti-war sentiment expressed although Meretz and Shalom Achshav did call for a cease-fire on Sat. before the ground invasion of Gaza.

I can say that women, including me, have had a hard time geting into the media with the exception of regular journalists such as Amira Haas and tv interviewers. Once again it is the time of the general, pat present and future. women of course appear as victims, witnesses in the Israeli towns shelled.

Unpublished article by Galia Golan:

Thoughts of a Zionist, member of the executive of Meretz and of Shalom Achshav while marching in a demonstration organized by Hadash. I did not ask “what am I doing here with this lot?” That question I had answered already during Lebannon II. I did ask, “What is Israel doing?” How are we here, with still another war – the purpose of which is unclear, the results of which cannot move us even a centimeter closer to resolution of the Arab-Israeli conflict or greater security for Israel. But worse still, how did we get to the point of moving into heavily populated residential areas with virtually no chance to distinguish between armed and unarmed and no place for the innocent to flee? Of course Hamas was sending rocket after rocket into civilian areas of Israel, but what brought this reality about? Was it not the absence of any sign of real progress towards the end of the occupation? Was it not the continued stealing of land for settlements that foreclose options for a Palestinian state? Was it not the failure to release prisoners or loosen the yoke of the occupation? Was it not the rejection of the unity government born of the Mecca Agreement and the engulfing of Gaza into a large prison – all of which brought an extremist group like Hamas to power, strengthening it, while weakening those Palestinians engaged in negotiation with Israel and urging peaceful resolution of the conflict?

In fact, however, I believe the real source of the present path lies deeper somewhere not only in our leadership but in our own psyche – our continued view of ourselves as a beleaguered victim surrounded by hostile Arabs even when the entire Arab world in the form of the Arab League has offered us peace and security, normalization and end of conflict. Our chauvinist sentiment that a show of force – once again – will somehow finally get across the lesson that we are not weak galut Jews but “real men.” And what is regaining our “deterrence capability” if not our bruised pride dictating still another show of force (maybe for domestic consumption as well). But isn’t it strange – somehow the lesson never seems to get learned and collective punishment never seems to deter the other side from continuing its struggle instead of rebelling against their leaders. Would we expect the citizens of Sderot under fire to opt to join the ranks of the PLO against an Israeli leadership that continues to quibble over every kilometer of withdrawal that might bring about a settlement of the historic conflict?

Everyone including the IDF knows that there is no military solution either to the Kassams nor to the conflict. The only answer is an end to the occupation and a peace agreement – something that Hamas will not give but cannot resist if the PLO achieves it. What will bring about the demise of Hamas is not Israeli force, but a Palestinian state next to the state of Israel.

By | 2009-01-06T17:42:00-05:00 January 6th, 2009|Blog|1 Comment

One Comment

  1. flash January 10, 2009 at 4:14 am - Reply

    thoughtful, moving. Good to hear a woman’s voice in the midst of all this violence and anguish. And a voice of reason, touching the deeper issues and causes

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