From This Place Hope Emerges: Women (Still) Wage Peace


Women are still marching for peace. Photo by Flash 90

This weekend, thousands of tenacious Israeli and Palestinian women - yes, they are still there - marched together through the arid hills of the West Bank, the last leg of a two-week "Journey to Peace" under the banner, “We’re Not Stopping Without An Agreement.” The march, organized by Women Wage Peace, began September 24 from multiple locations across Israel and the West Bank. The women, brave souls mostly dressed in white, stopped midway to erect a “peace tent” named for Hagar and Sarah, scriptural mothers of Ishmael and Isaac, patriarchs of Muslims and Jews. The march ended Sunday with a Jerusalem rally that drew up to 30,000 people. “We are women from the right, the left, Jews and Arabs, from the cities and the periphery," said one organizer. "And we have decided we will stop the next war.”

The march and rally, held amidst a new Temple Mount crisis and the ongoing oppression of the Occupation, reiterated the tough and enduring belief by women on both sides that "we must come together (to) reach the peace that we all want." Said one participant, "To not believe in peace is to not believe in God." Among the speakers was former MK Shakib Shanan, whose son was killed in a recent terror attack at the Temple Mount. Although "my heart is bleeding," she told the crowd, "I stand here tonight with you, in pride and faith that only peace and love must connect us."  In the name of so much suffering, Palestinian and Israeli, she sent a heart-rending message to both Abbas and Netanyahu: "Enough! Sit already! We want peace. Listen to our cry, it comes from our hearts. Listen to the cries of truth and justice...From this place, hope emerges.”

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