Women Challenge US Policy in the Middle East

Women Challenge US Policy

WILPF's Middle East Action Committee will examine the role of U.S. policy in the dynamics of current conflicts. It will educate communities to policy dimensions seldom discussed regarding Palestine, Israel, Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere. What economic interests underlie the power struggles in the region? What U.S. policy changes will end violence and promote justice? The Action Committee will work to bridge gaps, engage diverse groups in developing a women's vision for U.S. foreign policy, and join with women in the region to claim U.N. Security Council Resolution 1325's promise that women's active participation can bring peaceful, democratic resolution to the conflicts.

New WILPF DVD Series Exposes Palestinian Situation: Do you want to learn more about how the U.S. supports Israel? A new, original DVD series is available from the Western Asia Study and Action Group (part of WILPF's Cape Cod Branch.) Hear first-hand what life in occupied Palestine is really like, the real role of the U.S., learn about the plight of children in this region, listen to the words of Rachel Corrie and Howard Zinn, and much, much more. Begun as part of WILPF's "Women Challenge U.S. Policy: Building Peace on Justice in the Middle East" campaign, this study group researched the history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Members wanted to take what they'd learned to the wider community, and produced this excellent seven-DVD collection. Funding was provided by WILPF and the Social Justice Ministry of First Parish Brewster.

You can purchase each DVD separately for $10 or the entire collection for only $50. Checks should be made out to: "West Asia" and mailed to: Western Asia Study and Action Group, P.O. Box 668, N. Eastham MA 02651-0668.

Download series brochure in .pdf format here.

Download WILPF's Statement on Human Rights Responsibilities in Gaza here.

Feminist Action Guide To Challenging U.S. Policy
The WCUSP Feminist Action Guide to Challenging US Policy in the Middle East is a 165 page tool for forming a study group or embarking on independent study as an individual, and is complete with original source material, articles, maps and steps to take action. The Feminist Action Guide will serve as a launchpad for future action to challenge U.S. Policy in the Middle East. 

Support the People of Gaza and the Peace Process

Support the People of Gaza and the Peace Process

WCUSP continues to be concerned about conditions in the Gaza Strip, where poor nutrition, health concerns, water contamination and power cuts have become an everyday worry. The blockade of Gaza by Israel and the continued closure of the area have made life for ordinary citizens very difficult. Bombing raids have put everyone at risk and contributed to psychological wounds as well as physical ones. We urge both sides to stop attacks and move to the peace table. We encourage our members to sign and submit the Gaza postcards to your Congressional representatives. Those we receive without representatives listed are being delivered to the Presidential candidates.

We also are making plans for workshops at the National Congress in Iowa which will help to link Middle East issues to other relevant issues in WILPF work, such as disarmament, water, and racism.

March 11: Conference Call on Gaza and Military Aid to Israel

Call-In Number: 712-775-7000
Access code: 061252#

Tuesday, March 11
9 PM EST

WILPF's Women Challenge US Policy: Building Peace on Justice in the Middle East Campaign joins the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation and United for Peace and Justice to invite you to a debriefing conference call on the massive military assault in the besieged Gaza Strip and the consequences of the increase in military aid to Israel requested by President Bush.

The massive Israeli military assault on Gaza of recent days is the most immediately murderous part of a series of escalating regional crises that are rippling across the Middle East, involving Palestine and Israel, Egypt and Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Syria -- and U.S. warships moving into strategic positions off the Lebanese coast.

In Gaza, Israel's attack killed between 125 and 131 Palestinians, of whom half were civilians, and at least 22 of whom were children, including several infants. The attack devastated Gaza's 1.5 million residents already suffering under what a coalition of British humanitarian agencies including Amnesty International and Oxfam called "worse than at any time since the beginning of the Israeli military occupation in 1967."

The United States should be cutting off military aid to Israel for its human rights abuses and violations of the U.S. Arms Export Control and Foreign Assistance Acts, not increasing it.

Join Phyllis Bennis on the conference call!

"The Crisis in Gaza" - a WILPF Declaration

"The Crisis in Gaza" - a WILPF Declaration

The Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, U.S. Section (WILPF US), having considered reports of an escalating humanitarian crisis in Gaza including Israel's continuing siege, deprivation, bombardment, and military assault upon the citizens of Gaza resulting in civilian deaths and countless injuries during the past months and that indiscriminate random rocket attacks have been launched from Gaza into Israel resulting in a number of injuries to Israeli citizens;

Taking note of statements by the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) that "Gaza's border closures are without precedent," leaving Palestinians "effectively incarcerated...without fuel and spare parts, public health conditions are declining steeply as water and sanitation services struggle to function. The electricity supply is sporadic,"

n/a

n/a

The Effects of War on Women and the Environment in Israel/Palestine

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.

There Is No Military Solution To the Iranian Nuclear Situation

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.

WILPF Israel Section: Gaza 2007

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.

Read WILPF's recent statement of the Middle East Committee

Statement from WILPF Israel- 21 June 2007

Disaffirming Resolution 1325

by Jessica Lee

Preface


“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

Understanding US Policy

Thoughts on Mearsheimer

WCUSP has followed the debate created by the publication of John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt's "The Israel Lobby" study. WCUSP leadership team member Libby Frank articulates four main problems with Mearsheimer and Walt's "The Israel Lobby" study in her response, "Confusing the Issue: Mearsheimer & Walt's 'The Israel Lobby.'" While Ms. Frank's paper should be viewed as her own work, it does reflect US WILPF's goal of exposing the root causes of oppression and our challenge to US policy on Israel / Palestine.

Myth and Reality: Jewish Influence on US Middle East Policy

In working for a just resolution of the Israel-Palestine conflict, we constantly bump into the fact that the powerful party is the state of one of history’s most oppressed groups. Some get frustrated by always having to address anti-Semitism while working toward a just resolution to the plight of the Palestinians. But we’re kidding ourselves if we believe for a moment that anti-Semitism is not an integral part of the problem. It is that history which creates the fear and anger that drive many Israeli policies. And if we fail to recognize the leg (pdf) itimate fear that history has instilled in the Jewish people, we fail before we start. When dealing with the question of US support for Israel’s occupation, this awareness is especially critical.

Download the pdf here ...

Bibliography of Books, Media, and Websites

Recommended by the Leadership Team of “Women Challenge US Policy” Campaign

Books: History of the Region

American Friends Service Committee. When the Rain Returns: Toward Justice and Reconciliation in Palestine and Israel. AFSC, 2004. Report of International Quaker Working Party on the region, peacemaking efforts, and recommendations for US policy.

U.N. Resolutions and Maps

Map of Apartheid Wall


FOLLOWING ARE U.N. RESOLUTIONS FREQUENTLY CITED

Two Occupations, Same Goal, Similar Characteristics

August 11, 2005
Rachell Marshall
WILPF National Congress

A year ago last spring, during the same week that Israeli forces were attacking a Gaza refugee camp, bulldozing buildings, ripping up water pipes and power lines, and killing civilians, American forces were laying siege to Iraqi cities. The tanks and helicopter gun ships were identical. The rubble left by the bombs looked the same whether it was in Rafah or Karbala. The faces of Iraqis and Palestinians mourning their dead showed the same grief. Last may there was a front page article in the Times describing a U.S. bombing attack on an Iraqi village the day before that had killed 45 people while they were celebrating a wedding. Next to it was a picture of a man standing in the ruins of a house in Gaza holding his dead child in his arms. The child and several others were killed when an Israeli tank fired into a crowded street. The picture fit both news stories.

Women Challenge US Policy -Action Alerts

Support the People of Gaza and the Peace Process

Support the People of Gaza and the Peace Process

WCUSP continues to be concerned about conditions in the Gaza Strip, where poor nutrition, health concerns, water contamination and power cuts have become an everyday worry. The blockade of Gaza by Israel and the continued closure of the area have made life for ordinary citizens very difficult. Bombing raids have put everyone at risk and contributed to psychological wounds as well as physical ones. We urge both sides to stop attacks and move to the peace table. We encourage our members to sign and submit the Gaza postcards to your Congressional representatives. Those we receive without representatives listed are being delivered to the Presidential candidates.

We also are making plans for workshops at the National Congress in Iowa which will help to link Middle East issues to other relevant issues in WILPF work, such as disarmament, water, and racism.

March 11: Conference Call on Gaza and Military Aid to Israel

Call-In Number: 712-775-7000
Access code: 061252#

Tuesday, March 11
9 PM EST

WILPF's Women Challenge US Policy: Building Peace on Justice in the Middle East Campaign joins the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation and United for Peace and Justice to invite you to a debriefing conference call on the massive military assault in the besieged Gaza Strip and the consequences of the increase in military aid to Israel requested by President Bush.

The massive Israeli military assault on Gaza of recent days is the most immediately murderous part of a series of escalating regional crises that are rippling across the Middle East, involving Palestine and Israel, Egypt and Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Syria -- and U.S. warships moving into strategic positions off the Lebanese coast.

In Gaza, Israel's attack killed between 125 and 131 Palestinians, of whom half were civilians, and at least 22 of whom were children, including several infants. The attack devastated Gaza's 1.5 million residents already suffering under what a coalition of British humanitarian agencies including Amnesty International and Oxfam called "worse than at any time since the beginning of the Israeli military occupation in 1967."

The United States should be cutting off military aid to Israel for its human rights abuses and violations of the U.S. Arms Export Control and Foreign Assistance Acts, not increasing it.

Join Phyllis Bennis on the conference call!

"The Crisis in Gaza" - a WILPF Declaration

"The Crisis in Gaza" - a WILPF Declaration

The Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, U.S. Section (WILPF US), having considered reports of an escalating humanitarian crisis in Gaza including Israel's continuing siege, deprivation, bombardment, and military assault upon the citizens of Gaza resulting in civilian deaths and countless injuries during the past months and that indiscriminate random rocket attacks have been launched from Gaza into Israel resulting in a number of injuries to Israeli citizens;

Taking note of statements by the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) that "Gaza's border closures are without precedent," leaving Palestinians "effectively incarcerated...without fuel and spare parts, public health conditions are declining steeply as water and sanitation services struggle to function. The electricity supply is sporadic,"

n/a

n/a

The Effects of War on Women and the Environment in Israel/Palestine

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.

There Is No Military Solution To the Iranian Nuclear Situation

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.

WILPF Israel Section: Gaza 2007

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.

Read WILPF's recent statement of the Middle East Committee

Statement from WILPF Israel- 21 June 2007

Disaffirming Resolution 1325

by Jessica Lee

Preface


“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



see all WCUSP Action Alerts ...

Get Involved with WCUSP

Blog | Contact us! | Campaign Brochure

WHAT'S A MEMBER TO DO?

1. Fill out and return enclosed questionnaire.

2. Have one branch member designated to receive emails on Middle East issues.

3. Have brown bag lunch discussion groups within your branch to learn what other branch members are thinking.

U.S. Hegemony in the Middle East

by Tura Campanella Cook

Hegemony can be defined as the domination of one state over another; it can also be defined as the domination of one state over its allies. U.S. hegemony in the Middle East, an example of both definitions, is primarily about oil. Since the end of World War II, U.S.

The Israel Lobby

by John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt

Originally published in The London Review of Books

For the past several decades, and especially since the Six-Day War in 1967, the centrepiece of US Middle Eastern policy has been its relationship with Israel. The combination of unwavering support for Israel and the related effort to spread 'democracy' throughout the region has inflamed Arab and Islamic opinion and jeopardised not only US security but that of much of the rest of the world. This situation has no equal in American political history. Why has the US been willing to set aside its own security and that of many of its allies in order to advance the interests of another state? One might assume that the bond between the two countries was based on shared strategic interests or compelling moral imperatives, but neither explanation can account for the remarkable level of material and diplomatic support that the US provides.

Study: AIPAC works against US interests

NATHAN GUTTMAN Jerusalem Post correspondent,

THE JERUSALEM POST Mar. 19, 2006

A new study, claiming that the pro-Israel lobby in America caused the United States to skew its Middle East policy in favor of Israel, is stirring controversy in the pro and anti-Israel communities in the US.

A silent, crippling fear

By Paul Woodward, The War in Context, March 21, 2006

The prospect of American ports being run by an Arab company ignited a firestorm in the blogosphere -- and the mainstream media and Congress. Now two of America's leading political scientists allege that U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East is being skewed away from U.S.

CONFUSING THE ISSUE: MEARSHEIMER & WALT'S "THE ISRAEL LOBBY"

(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)

Syndicate content
online pharmacy