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. 

Report from the Palestine Section

  1.  Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) Escalate Attacks on Palestinian Civilians and Property in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT), and Isolate the Gaza Strip from the Outside World

     The outcome of crimes committed by IOF since 25 June 2006:

    35 Palestinians have been killed by IOF (3 have been extra-judicially executed

    More than 100 Palestinian civilians, including 30 children, have been wounded by the IOF gunfire.

    air-to-surface missiles and hundreds of artillery shells have been fired at Palestinian civilians and military targets in the Gaza Strip.

    Two buildings of the Palestinian Ministry of Interior, the office of the Palestinian Prime Minister and a number of educational institutions have been destroyed. 

     3 bridges linking Gaza City with the southern Gaza Strip and 3 roads in Khan Yunis and al-Nusairat have been destroyed.

April 2006 Statement

The United States Section of Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (US WILPF) deplores the US government's continued use of military force to secure access to resources and to maintain control over other nations. The illegal wars and occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan, and US military and economic support for Israel's occupation of Palestine have destabilized the region, caused extensive human suffering, and destroyed the infrastructure of the occupied territories.

AFTER SADDAM, IRAQI WOMEN USED AS SEX OBJECTS

from http://www.aljazeera.com/me.asp?service_D=10709

3/14/2006 8:15:00 AM GMT

"The extent to which women have lost their rights in Iraq is shocking"

The Israeli Lobby and US Middle East Policy

John Mearsheimer of the University of Chicago, and Stephen Walt of the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University wrote a study of the Israeli Lobby. An edited version appeared in the March 23, 2006 volume of the London Review of Books. This research has sparked debate on all sides of the political spectrum. While the WCUSP leadership team does not have a consensus opinion on the Mearsheimer / Walt research, we welcome the debate on the causes of US policy in the Middle East. We believe it is important to recognize both the power of lobbying in creating government policy and the continuation of US hegemonic aggression since World War II.

Ambassador John Gunther Dean on American Policy Toward Palestine

Dear friends and former colleagues: Having just celebrated my 80th birthday, I feel the need to commit to paper my outlook on the role of an American diplomat. I should add that when I took the U.S. Foreign Service examination more than 50 years ago, there were few naturalized citizens in the Service. I still believe today that an American diplomat¹s first obligation is to look after U.S. long-term national interests and not to have dual allegiance due to family ties with another country or religious affiliations. As I repeated on several occasions before the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee when seeking confirmation for an ambassadorial assignment, I always believed and was told that I represented a secular state and that tolerance, respect for the law, justice, fairness and perhaps compassion were qualities which Americans like to be known for around the world. In my many years of public services I tried to live up to these standards.

Israeli mother of suicide bombing victim speaks to European Parliament on International Women's Day

Dr. Nurit Peled-Elhanan is the mother of Smadar Elhanan, 13 years old when killed by a suicide bomber in Jerusalem in September 1997. Below is Nurit's speech made on International Women's Day in Strasbourg earlier this month.

“Evolution of the Palestinian Feminist Movement”

Transcript of Remarks by Ghada Hashem Talhami
For the Record No. 247 (10 March 2006)*

At a recent Palestine Center briefing, Dr. Ghada Hashem Talhami addressed the political status of women in Palestine and the dynamic between their identity as women and the broader nationalist struggle against occupation. Speaking in honor of International Women’s Day (March 8), Talhami argued that Palestinian feminism can only be understood within the context of the Palestinian national struggle. Talhami is the author of several books, including Palestinian Refugees: Pawns to Political Actors (Nova Science Publishers, 2003); Syria and the Palestinians: The Clash of Nationalisms (University Press of Florida, 2001); and The Mobilization of Muslim Women in Egypt (University Press of Florida, 1996). She spoke for approximately 40 minutes and then took questions at the end.

Oppose HR 4681

The Women's International League for Peace and Freedom's national campaign Women Challenge US Policy: Building Peace on Justice in the Middle East [WCUSP] urges you to act on this important legislation!

Since the U.S.

Jerry and Sis Levin on speaking tour

Hi WILPF members and branch contacts:

As coordinator for the WILPF Middle East Campaign Speakers' Bureau, one of my tasks is to let you know when interesting speakers about the Middle East might be coming to your area.

Opinions on the Hamas Election Victory

The opinions expressed in this group of articles do not necessarily reflect the opinion of US wILPF or members of the Middle East campaign leadership team. We want to give you primary source material regarding this breaking development in Palestine, while we analyze the situation, particularly the US response to the democratic will of the Palestinian people. We hope that you will not rush to judgment of Hamas and their leadership of the Palestinian Authority.

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

Report from the Palestine Section

  1.  Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) Escalate Attacks on Palestinian Civilians and Property in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT), and Isolate the Gaza Strip from the Outside World

     The outcome of crimes committed by IOF since 25 June 2006:

    35 Palestinians have been killed by IOF (3 have been extra-judicially executed

    More than 100 Palestinian civilians, including 30 children, have been wounded by the IOF gunfire.

    air-to-surface missiles and hundreds of artillery shells have been fired at Palestinian civilians and military targets in the Gaza Strip.

    Two buildings of the Palestinian Ministry of Interior, the office of the Palestinian Prime Minister and a number of educational institutions have been destroyed. 

     3 bridges linking Gaza City with the southern Gaza Strip and 3 roads in Khan Yunis and al-Nusairat have been destroyed.

April 2006 Statement

The United States Section of Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (US WILPF) deplores the US government's continued use of military force to secure access to resources and to maintain control over other nations. The illegal wars and occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan, and US military and economic support for Israel's occupation of Palestine have destabilized the region, caused extensive human suffering, and destroyed the infrastructure of the occupied territories.

AFTER SADDAM, IRAQI WOMEN USED AS SEX OBJECTS

from http://www.aljazeera.com/me.asp?service_D=10709

3/14/2006 8:15:00 AM GMT

"The extent to which women have lost their rights in Iraq is shocking"

The Israeli Lobby and US Middle East Policy

John Mearsheimer of the University of Chicago, and Stephen Walt of the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University wrote a study of the Israeli Lobby. An edited version appeared in the March 23, 2006 volume of the London Review of Books. This research has sparked debate on all sides of the political spectrum. While the WCUSP leadership team does not have a consensus opinion on the Mearsheimer / Walt research, we welcome the debate on the causes of US policy in the Middle East. We believe it is important to recognize both the power of lobbying in creating government policy and the continuation of US hegemonic aggression since World War II.

Ambassador John Gunther Dean on American Policy Toward Palestine

Dear friends and former colleagues: Having just celebrated my 80th birthday, I feel the need to commit to paper my outlook on the role of an American diplomat. I should add that when I took the U.S. Foreign Service examination more than 50 years ago, there were few naturalized citizens in the Service. I still believe today that an American diplomat¹s first obligation is to look after U.S. long-term national interests and not to have dual allegiance due to family ties with another country or religious affiliations. As I repeated on several occasions before the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee when seeking confirmation for an ambassadorial assignment, I always believed and was told that I represented a secular state and that tolerance, respect for the law, justice, fairness and perhaps compassion were qualities which Americans like to be known for around the world. In my many years of public services I tried to live up to these standards.

Israeli mother of suicide bombing victim speaks to European Parliament on International Women's Day

Dr. Nurit Peled-Elhanan is the mother of Smadar Elhanan, 13 years old when killed by a suicide bomber in Jerusalem in September 1997. Below is Nurit's speech made on International Women's Day in Strasbourg earlier this month.

“Evolution of the Palestinian Feminist Movement”

Transcript of Remarks by Ghada Hashem Talhami
For the Record No. 247 (10 March 2006)*

At a recent Palestine Center briefing, Dr. Ghada Hashem Talhami addressed the political status of women in Palestine and the dynamic between their identity as women and the broader nationalist struggle against occupation. Speaking in honor of International Women’s Day (March 8), Talhami argued that Palestinian feminism can only be understood within the context of the Palestinian national struggle. Talhami is the author of several books, including Palestinian Refugees: Pawns to Political Actors (Nova Science Publishers, 2003); Syria and the Palestinians: The Clash of Nationalisms (University Press of Florida, 2001); and The Mobilization of Muslim Women in Egypt (University Press of Florida, 1996). She spoke for approximately 40 minutes and then took questions at the end.

Oppose HR 4681

The Women's International League for Peace and Freedom's national campaign Women Challenge US Policy: Building Peace on Justice in the Middle East [WCUSP] urges you to act on this important legislation!

Since the U.S.

Jerry and Sis Levin on speaking tour

Hi WILPF members and branch contacts:

As coordinator for the WILPF Middle East Campaign Speakers' Bureau, one of my tasks is to let you know when interesting speakers about the Middle East might be coming to your area.

Opinions on the Hamas Election Victory

The opinions expressed in this group of articles do not necessarily reflect the opinion of US wILPF or members of the Middle East campaign leadership team. We want to give you primary source material regarding this breaking development in Palestine, while we analyze the situation, particularly the US response to the democratic will of the Palestinian people. We hope that you will not rush to judgment of Hamas and their leadership of the Palestinian Authority.



see all WCUSP Action Alerts ...

Get Involved with WCUSP

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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)

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