WMFA RESOURCES

 

Women Wage Peace for a viable peace agreement.

Women Wage Peace is a broad grassroots movement, which has tens of thousands of members from the right, the center and the left of the political spectrum, Jews and Arabs, religious and secular, from the center of the country and the periphery, women from kibbutzim and from settlements, all of whom are united in a demand for a mutually binding non-violent accord, agreeable to both sides

Join us - women and men across the political spectrum,  and the change will happen this year!

See the Women Wage Peace page in our ‘Alliances’ section…

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Signed 25 years ago, the Oslo accords established an incomplete but historic rapprochement between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization. Female activists and leaders were essential catalysts of this peace process, but a quarter-century later, research shows how sidelining them may have weakened prospects for a lasting peace.

How Palestinian women led an uprising and Israeli women supported it

Thirty years ago, during the uprising now known as the First Intifada, Palestinian women entered public life in unprecedented ways. After years organizing at the grass-roots level — through collectives, unions and associations — women in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza Strip stepped into new leadership roles. When male leaders were detained, deported or killed, women filled the void, guiding some of the most strategic and nonviolent efforts of the five-year resistance movement against the Israeli occupation.

Women coordinated strike days, distributed secret leaflets outlining weekly protest strategies, ran agricultural collectives, set up “victory gardens” and operated underground schools. In some cases, they took over top political positions in highly patriarchal parties: Activists like Rabeha Diab and Zahira Kamal, in the liberation movements Fatah and the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, respectively, issued directives and guided the uprising, often behind the scenes. The new documentary “Naila and the Uprising” chronicles women’s largely unsung daily activism during the First Intifada, showing how Palestinian women revolutionized gender relations in their own society while vying for national self-determination.

On the other side of the Green Line, several Israeli women supported the uprising. Spurred by the First Intifada, Women in Black organized in 1988 to protest the occupation. Women were also key players in human rights organizations founded during this period, including B’Tselem and the Israeli-Palestinian Committee Confronting the Iron Fist. Some Israeli women participated in nonviolent direct action alongside Palestinians in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, while several female Israeli lawyers, most notably Felicia Langer and Leah Tsemel, defended Palestinian activists in Israeli courts.

Women’s participation makes resistance and negotiations more successful

Nonviolent resistance campaigns have historically been twice as successful as armed struggles, typically leading to more peaceful and democratic societies. Women’s participation is key to their overall effectiveness. One study found that movements that included gender equality in their discourse were dramatically more likely to adopt nonviolence. Other research has found that higher levels of women’s active participation in resistance campaigns correlates with greater nonviolent discipline and higher probability of achieving their stated aims. Read more…


My Stealthy Freedom

The right for individual Iranian women to choose whether they want hijab.

My Stealthy Freedom is an online social movement that was started by Iranian journalist Masih Alinejad on May 3, 2014. Since the Islamic Revolution in 1979 women in Iran have had to cover their hair in public, but many Iranian women and men feel that wearing a hijab in public should be a personal choice. To address this issue we created a Facebook page where women from inside Iran could share photos of themselves not wearing their hijabs. Our website is a living archive of the photos and videos shared with us by these brave women, and the media coverage (both good and bad) that we receive from inside and outside Iran.

In Iran women have to cover their hair in public according to the dress rule enforced after the Iranian Revolution in 1979. My Stealthy Freedom is an online social movement where Iranian women share photos of themselves without wearing the hijab. View campaigns...

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QUILLIAM: PROMOTING PLURALISM & INSPIRING CHANGE

Quilliam is the world’s first counter-extremism organisation. We have a full spectrum and values-based approach to counter-extremism which means promoting pluralism and inspiring change.

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Over the last decade we have grown to have operations all over the world and aim to tackle extremism of all kinds. To pursue our work more effectively and ensure that we are localising our efforts, we currently have a UK team, a North America team, and a Global team.

Challenging extremism is the duty of all responsible members of society. Not least because cultural insularity and extremism are products of the failures of wider society to foster a shared sense of belonging and to advance liberal democratic values.

Quilliam seeks to challenge what we think, and the way we think. We aim to generate creative, informed and inclusive discussions to counter the ideological underpinnings of terrorism, while simultaneously providing evidence-based policy recommendations to governments, and building civil society networks and programmes to lead the change towards a more positive future. Read more...


Confessions of an ExMuslim: From Al Qaeda to Atheism

Yasmine Mohammed is an Arab-Canadian college instructor, activist, podcaster, and writer who has written a memoir entitled: From Al Qaeda to Atheism.

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In it she describes how, even though she was born and raised in North America, she endured the same traumas that are familiar to Muslims across the planet. As a child, she was beaten for not memorizing the Quran. As a teenager, she was forced into a marriage to a member of Al Qaeda (after he was bailed out of prison by Osama bin Laden). And as an adult, she wore a niqab, and lived in a home/prison with paper covering all the windows.

Yet, with nothing but a high school diploma and a baby in tow, she got out.

Despite the dark themes, Yasmine’s message is one of hope to her fellow ExMuslims, atheists, and freethinkers. Read more...

 


Jewish Democrats grapple with party’s mainstreaming of Israel criticisM

No longer taboo, harsh approbation of the Jewish state is now common among up and coming progressives running for office, putting liberal Zionists in turmoil

NEW YORK (JTA) – After Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez shocked the political world by defeating longtime New York Rep. Joseph Crowley in a Democratic primary last month, Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez quickly aligned himself with the former political outsider, saying on a radio show that “she represents the future of our party.”

If so, that future appears to include the kind of sharp criticism of Israel once considered taboo in both major parties.

Ocasio-Cortez ran on a platform of Medicare for all, fully funded public schools and a universal jobs guarantee. But she has also been critical of Israel, calling its military’s killing of Palestinian protesters in May a “massacre.”

The Democratic Socialists of America, of which Ocasio-Cortez is a member, supports the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel. Ocasio-Cortez has remained silent on the issue.

In Minnesota, Democratic congressional candidate Ilhan Omar calls herself an “intersectional feminist” and Israel an apartheid regime. Read more...


The Forgotten Stories of Muslims Who Saved Jewish People During the Holocaust

Even in the darkest times, there are heroes—though sometimes they may be the people we least expect.

That’s the message a global nonprofit group hopes to spread Friday on Holocaust Remembrance Day, when it displays a small exhibit in a New York synagogue highlighting the little-known stories of Muslims who risked their lives to rescue Jewish people from persecution during World War II. Though the two religious groups are often presented in opposition, this exhibit is a reminder that they have also shared an important history of cooperation and mutual assistance. Read more...


EXCLUSIVE: PAYPAL CLOSES FRENCH BDS MEDIA ACCOUNT

The BDS entities were, according to legal experts, in violation of France's anti-discrimination Lellouche Law, which bans discrimination based on national origin.

The giant US online payment service PayPal shut down the account of a major French boycott, divestment and sanctions organization targeting Israel on Friday, after being informed by The Jerusalem Post that site was in violation of France’s anti-discrimination Lellouche Law, which bans discrimination based on national origin.
  
The PayPal link on the website of Agence Media Palestine – the Paris-based BDS organization – now reads, “This recipient is currently unable to receive money.”

That website states: “The campaign for Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions against Israeli occupation and settlements is growing in the world and in France.” Read more...


The Palestinian Case Against BDS

Whereas the movement's spokespeople live in comfortable circumstances abroad, boycotts will result in increased economic hardships for actual Palestinians.

Everyone appears to have an opinion on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. As I learned on a recent trip, South Africans especially display an interest in solving the problem, even more, or so it seems to me, than the Israelis and Palestinians themselves. And others far away point to the South African history of apartheid as a warning to Israel about its occupation or alleged discrimination against Palestinians.

Unfortunately, almost all of those so ostensibly dedicated to finding a solution have their own agendas, and these may not be to the advantage of either Palestinians or Israelis. A prime case in point is the boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) movement. As a Palestinian dedicated to working for peace and reconciliation between my people and our Israeli neighbors, I do not believe that the BDS advocates are helping our cause. On the contrary, they are just creating more hatred, enmity, and polarization. Read more...

 

How Hamas Sabotages Gaza's Economy to Advance Terror Aims

Gaza's dire economic situation is one reason observers cite for the ongoing violent Palestinian protests at the border with Israel. But, Israeli officials say, the blame for the stark economic reality lies with those who control Gaza.

Israel is working hard to prevent the economy of Gaza from collapsing, but Hamas is doing just the opposite, recklessly harming the economic situation of the very people it rules over.

Nowhere is this more apparent than in Friday's Hamas-orchestrated attack on a gas and fuel terminal – the only one that supplies the Gaza Strip – at the Kerem Shalom border crossing.

According to senior Israeli defense officials, Hamas operatives divided rioters into groups and gave them specific instructions on which part of the crossing to attack on the Gazan side – the same side that serves the basic needs of Gaza's estimated 1.8 million inhabitants. Read more...


EMET: TRUTH, A Podcast by Howard Lovy

Anti-Semitism on the right: Many American Jews felt true anti-Semitism for the first time in their lives beginning with the 2016 US presidential campaign, when suddenly their social media feeds began to fill up with horrible anti-Jewish hate, using words and images that they thought had gone away with their grandparents' generation. I spoke up for the first time in public, grabbing a megaphone at a local rally and a microphone for my IndieVoices podcast, which highlighted voices of those marginalized in the 2016 presidential campaign. 

Anti-Semitism on the left: As it has been in previous generations, strange mythology about Jewish money and power seemed to be coming not only from the right, where it's expected, but from the left, too. Most American Jews believe Israel has a right to exist, but favor a two-state solution with the Palestinians. Leaders of the Women's March embraced anti-Semite Louis Farrakhan, and that was the last straw for many American Jews, who do not feel like they have a place within the resistance. Similar problems are occurring in the LGBTQ Jewish community, where they are facing anti-Israel loyalty tests. Read more...


GERMAN MUSIC FESTIVAL DEMANDS BAND YOUNG FATHERS REJECT BDS

"We approached the Young Fathers, in order to also receive an unambiguous disassociation from every form of antisemitism and racism,” event organizers stated.

The music and arts festival Ruhrtriennale has called on the Scottish band Young Fathers to withdraw its support for the boycott, divestment, sanctions (BDS) campaign targeting Israel ahead of the band’s slated appearance in August.

The Ruhrtriennale wrote in a Facebook post on Thursday that it “expressly distances itself from the ‘Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions’ campaign and its direct or indirect goals. We approached the Young Fathers, in order to also receive an unambiguous disassociation from every form of antisemitism and racism.”

If Young Fathers refuses to reject BDS, it is unclear if the Ruhrtriennale – which is located in the city of Bochum in the Ruhr region in West Germany – will disinvite the band. Young Fathers pulled out of the 2017 Berlin-based Pop-Kultur festival because the Israeli Embassy sponsored an artist from Israel with a 500-euro donation. Read more...


BDS: Squeezing Palestinians to Hurt Israel

At the core of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement (BDS) is economic warfare meant to delegitimize and marginalize Israel. But the fatal fallacy of the movement is rooted in the fact that its proponents are hurting the very constituency they claim to represent. Read more...


 

PALESTINIAN EMPLOYEES HURT BY BDS SPEAK UP ABOUT ITS NEGATIVE EFFECTS

The PA also gets money from taxes. Palestinian workers in an Israeli industrial zone must pay 1,000 NIS a month to the PA, according to Basherat.

What effect does denormalization and the Boycott, Divestment and Sanction campaign actually have on Palestinian society? That was the question discussed by Palestinians and Israelis who gathered for a roundtable discussion on Monday, to talk about building “bottom-up peace” through economic cooperation in Area C of the West Bank.

The forum at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs was centered around its new book, Defeating Denormalization: Shared Palestinian and Israeli Perspectives on a New Path to Peace. Read more...


Republicans and Democrats Grow Even Further Apart in Views of Israel, Palestinians

Netanyahu remains a deeply polarizing figure in the U.S.

The partisan divide in Middle East sympathies, for Israel or the Palestinians, is now wider than at any point since 1978. Currently, 79% of Republicans say they sympathize more with Israel than the Palestinians, compared with just 27% of Democrats.

Since 2001, the share of Republicans sympathizing more with Israel than the Palestinians has increased 29 percentage points, from 50% to 79%. Over the same period, the share of Democrats saying this has declined 11 points, from 38% to 27%. Read more...


Boycott Israel Movement Stunts The Palestinian Economy

A push to “boycott, divest and sanction” (BDS) Israeli companies has limited impact on the credit profile of Israel, yet it directly harms its intended beneficiaries, the Palestinians. The BDS movement, including universities, pension funds and leaders of some Christian denominations (to the chagrin of many congregants), ignores economic data. And it coincides with a disturbing rise of violent anti-Semitism across Europe. Read more...


Let’s Not Compare Ferguson to Palestine

By Kenneth Jacobson, Deputy National Director, ADL

The latest strategy being used by those who make a career of assaulting the good name of the state of Israel is to link the issue of full equality for African-Americans, as symbolized by the word “Ferguson,” with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The most recent egregious example of this took place in Santa Cruz at an event on Jan. 28 commemorating Martin Luther King Jr. sponsored by UC Santa Cruz.

The announced speaker was Angela Davis, a professor emerita at UCSC, who among other things has a long record of anti-Israel activism. Our concern about Davis surfaced first in the title she gave to her address: “Racism, Militarism, and Poverty From Ferguson to Palestine.”

So here was an event that should be unifying, celebrating the life of the great civil rights leader, that was now going to be apparently transformed into an assault on Israel.

And Ms. Davis did not disappoint. She linked Ferguson to Palestine by noting it was no coincidence that while events were taking place in Ferguson, Israel was attacking Palestinian civilians in Gaza. And she crudely connected Israeli police methods, among the most sophisticated and reasonable, to the militarized police of Ferguson.

Shame on Angela Davis for distorting and abusing one of the most important days in the calendar year to bring people together.

There is a long history of using legitimate American social justice issues to undermine the Jewish state. We saw it during the Vietnam War, where small contingents linked opposition to the war to opposition to Israel. We saw it in protests against the war in Iraq, which some linked to Israeli policy toward the Palestinians. We saw it during the Occupy Wall Street movement, when some targeted Israel as well as the financial system.

There is, however, no rational connection between the challenge of racism in America and the situation facing the Palestinians.

In America, the history of racism has been our great sin — whether it was slavery, segregation, lynchings, institutionalized discrimination, racial profiling. The list is painfully long. Of course, we have come a long way, as represented by the commemorations of the Civil Rights bill of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the March on Selma. Read more...


The Women's March Has a Farrakhan Problem

The group refuses to be accountable for a high-level alliance with an open anti-Semite.

A year ago, the Women’s March punctuated Trump’s inauguration with what was likely the largest single-day mass demonstration in American history. Today, it finds itself embroiled in an unexpected controversy after the initial refusal of several of its leaders to distance themselves from one of America’s leading anti-Semites, the Nation of Islam’s Louis Farrakhan. It’s a conflict that stems from the long, entangled history between black and Jewish communities in the United States, in which friendship and friction are giving way to struggle over the dimensions of peoplehood. It also reveals anti-Semitism as a crucial blind spot of contemporary left-wing activism. Read more...

More by John-Paul Pagano on Tablet Magazine


Revlon Award Winner Has History of Anti-Semitism

As both editor and performer, Amani Al-Khatahtbeh endorsed blood libels against Jews and 9/11 Truther conspiracies

Amani Al-Khatahtbeh, founder and editor-in-chief of MuslimGirl—an online magazine where “Muslim women talk back” to combat “misconceptions surrounding Islam”—made headlines last week when she turned down an award from multinational beauty giant Revlon because of the company’s engagement with Israeli actress Gal Gadot.

“I cannot accept this award from Revlon with Gal Gadot as the ambassador,” Al-Khatahtbeh announced in a statement on Twitter. “Her vocal support of the Israel Defense Forces’ actions in Palestine goes against MuslimGirl’s morals and values.” Read more...

More by John-Paul Pagano on Tablet Magazine


The good news about Gaza you won’t hear on the BBC

Donald Trump’s election as US president has meant the whole notion of ‘fake news’ and ‘alternative facts’ is now very much part of a wider conversation. But for decades before the Trump era, more honest or open-minded journalists were aware that some of their colleagues often didn’t tell the whole truth about all kinds of matters, or cherry-picked what they reported. And perhaps no subject has been so misreported as the Palestinian issue.

Western media has often focused on this issue to the detriment of many other conflicts or independence movements throughout the world. The BBC, in particular, has devoted an inordinate amount of its budget and staff to covering the West Bank and Gaza in thousands of reports over the years. But you would be hard pressed to learn from the BBC’s coverage that, despite many difficulties, Gaza’s economy is also thriving in all kinds of ways.

To get a glimpse of that you would have to turn instead to this recent Al-Jazeera report from Gaza, showing footage of the bustling, well-stocked glitzy shopping malls, the impressive children’s water park (at 5.25 in the video), the fancy restaurants, the nice hotels, the crowded food markets, the toy shops brimming with the latest plush toys (at 8.39 in the video). (This video was translated into English by the excellent Middle East Media Research Institute). Read more...