Women Challenge US Policy in the Middle East
March 1, 2009
To the Code Pink Delegation:
The Women's International League for Peace and Freedom would like to extend its heartfelt appreciation and support for the important mission Code Pink has undertaken with its delegation to Gaza in recognition of International Women's Day. We are pleased that WILPF members Regina Birchem and Alice Walker will be part of the group, and know that many more of our members will be with you in spirit over the next several days.
The following letter was sent to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon and others by Susi Snyder, Secretary General, Women's International League for Peace and Freedom on December 19 2008
19 December 2008
To: United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon President of the Security Council H.E. Neven Jurica, President of the General Assembly H.E. Mr. Miguel d'Escoto Brockmann and all members of the General Assembly:
On this International Day of Solidarity with the Palestine People–29 November 2008–and in this 60th anniversary year of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom calls again on the United Nations and the entire international community to take the steps needed to end the occupation of the Arab Territories occupied by Israel since 1967 and to enable the Palestinians to exercise their right to self-determination.
The Philadelphia Branch has created a very helpful glossary of terms related to the Middle East Campaign.
Please click here to obtain more information and to view/download the Glossary Order Form
Dear Secretary Rice,
On behalf of Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF), U.S. Section, we would like to thank you for your initiative in calling for a renewed peace effort in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. We will be watching as the proposed conference in Maryland takes shape and attempts to move the process forward.
Several years ago, our organization held our triennial international congress in Baltimore. Since WILPF has sections in Israel, Palestine, and Lebanon, we took the opportunity to make an appointment and send a delegation over to The U.S. State Department for a frank discussion. We brought representatives from each of our Middle East sections--Jews, Christians, and Muslims--and the under-secretary with whom we met found our evaluation of the situation to be relevant and useful. Several of our suggestions later became part of the U.S. stance in the negotiations which were then taking place.
You are invited to a conference:
The Effects of War on Women and the Environment in Israel/Palestine
Foundry United Methodist Church at 16th and P Streets NW,
Washington, DC on October 19th, 2007 from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
The intention of the gathering is to:
- Raise awareness of the disparate effect of the continued conflict on women.
- Get the facts about the exploitation of water and other natural resources in the region.
- Hear the voices and experiences of Israeli and Palestinian women.
- Explore collaborative ways to repair damage done to women, their families, and to the environment.
- Promote the United Nations Resolution 1325 for Women, Peace & Security
While Palestinian women living under Israeli occupation struggle with daily survival in the face of one of the most powerful militaries in the world, Israeli women live in a constant state of insecurity as a result of the conflict. The cycle of violence perpetuates itself and comes “home” to everyone. We don’t pretend to have the answer to this centuries’ old struggle. “Women to Women for Peace” have been promoting the strengthening of women’s role in peacemaking and intercultural understanding among women as a way to peace since 1981.
But there is a lot each one of us can do to build momentum for a peaceful solution: quality and quantity of non-governmental organization preparation for and
Educate yourself—use this information packet, gather and use the resources listed here, follow the news, and analyze the news you read.
Educate others—request additional information packets to distribute, copy this packet, organize a public program using the suggested speakers (list included), write letters to your local paper (sample included), talk to your friends and family and neighbours.
Speak up loud and clear—raise the urgent need for a peaceful solution (suggested solutions included) at every opportunity and public forum on the Middle East, war and peace events, and especially at rallies and programs calling for an end to the War against Iraq. We need to add the call for a peaceful resolution to the Iran crisis to all anti-war mobilizations.
The Israeli section watches the latest heartbreaking events in Gaza with pain and growing worry. We would like to offer our sympathy to all our Palestinian friends and our prayer and believe that the Palestinian people, who have manifested strength and courage during the prolonged Occupation, will overcome these black days, and rise over their difficulties to concentrate on their important struggle – the one for a just and honorable independence, alongside the State of Israel.
by Jessica Lee
“We who face death” is how Zakia Hakki, an Iraqi judge, describes the women of Iraq. While she was speaking at a panel during the 51st Commission on the Status of women, she herself was recovering from a knee injury, resulting from an assassination attempt.1
Since the 2003 U.S. invasion Iraqi women are suffering from a deteriorating infrastructure, social conservatism, and gender-based violence. United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 affirms that armed conflict disproportionately affects civilian women and children, and that there exists the need to protect their rights. 2 The United States maintains that Resolution 1325 was implemented in the strategies for Iraq, yet the situation for Iraqi women has become dire. In his December 2005 speech, President Bush discussed “our efforts to help the Iraqi people build a lasting democracy in the heart of the Middle East”—efforts which would “protect the interests of all Iraqi people.”3 Unfortunately, the U.S. intervention in overthrowing the Ba’ath regime has not democratized Iraq, but instead has instigated a civil war. As Zachia Hakki says, “There’s no longer one Saddam, but hundreds of ‘Saddams.’”4
The Women's International League is joining with the US Campaign to End the Occupation and United for Peace and Justice in mobilizing for a historic demonstration on June 10th, 2007. WILPF members are encouraged to seize this opportunity and gather with US peace and justice activists to unite in our efforts to challenge and change U.S. policy in the Middle East. In WILPF's tradition of promoting policies that move us closer to our mission of world peace and global equality, our goal is to challenge the neo-conservative agenda and to offer the seeds for an alternative U.S. foreign policy on the Middle East. At the core of the unresolved conflict in the Middle East is the Palestinian struggle for self-determination.We see this demonstration as an opportunity to unite with our allies, and assert our position of peace built on justice to U.S. Congress, the President and the rest of the nation.
We have developed a toolkit to assist in the organization of feminist roundtable discussion groups for envisioning a new policy in the Middle East!
Download the documents here, or we can also send you a hard copy for $10.00 that includes posters, invitation postcards, sample outreach emails, and tools to make it easy to organize a feminist roundtable. Contact Kate Zaidan at 215-563-7110 or firstname.lastname@example.org to order.
(Printed in London Review of Books Vol. 28 No. 6 23 March 2006)* download pdf
by Libby Frank
Member, Leadership Team, Women Challenge U.S. Policy: Building Peace on Justice in the Middle East (Women's Int'l. League for Peace and Freedom)
Grassroots Campaign calls on Bush Administration to remedy humanitarian crisis
For Immediate Release: Wednesday, June 21, 2006
The Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, U.S. Section, calls for an end to U.S. political and economic sanctions against Palestine, and an end to U.S. support of the Israeli occupation.
At this time of holidays--Kwaanza, Chanukah, and Christmas--we are reminded that many of the Palestinian children will go without food, education, and health care that they should receive.
The WCUSP Campaign acknowledges that U.S. foreign aid is a complex topic. We have compiled a clearinghouse of information on aid as it has been historically distributed in Palestine, distributed after the sanctions imposed on the Hamas led government of Palestine, and how aid is allocated globally.