Together, with hope.We recognize that the time has come for a mass movement that will change the reality of our region and that we women are the ones to lead it. We’re beginning by awakening hope in a better future for ourselves and generations to come. During our March of Hope in mid-October, we expect our voice will be strong and diverse enough to convince a critical mass of Israelis to support an honorable, non-violent, negotiated agreement with our neighbors and we have a plan to keep up the pressure on decision-makers during the year after the March. But only hope can unlock the courage and creativity needed to begin this massive change. Please lend a hand for hope. Support the March of Hope organized by Women Wage Peace.
Who are we?Women Wage Peace was founded in the summer of 2014 during the Gaza War/Operation Protective Edge to promote an honorable diplomatic resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. We’re a grassroots movement with a core of 9,000 members and thousands more supporters, both women and men, from all over the country who come from diverse communities and hold diverse political views. We believe that:
• endless rounds of violence do not promote a solution but only deepen the suffering
• a political resolution is possible – bitter conflicts the world over have been solved through diplomacy; our conflict is not unique to the point of being unsolvable
• it is our responsibility as women – as citizens, as community activists, as professional women, as mothers, spouses, and sisters – to work together toward achieving a political resolution
• the involvement of women in conflict resolution and in reconciliation increases prospects for lasting peace
What have we done so far?Since our founding two years ago we’ve been working tirelessly to advance our one goal by various creative means. So far,
• we’ve conducted hundreds of parlor meetings attended by thousands of women and men throughout the country
• we’ve held over 250 screenings to date of Pray the Devil Back to Hell about the successful struggle of Liberian women to end their country’s decades-long civil war (one of the two Liberian women leaders awarded the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize will be joining our March of Hope)
• we’ve stood at major traffic intersections and in front of government ministers’ homes throughout the country to share our message and engage in informal conversations
• we’ve organized election patrols prior to the March 2015 national election, asking each candidate, what is your party prepared to do to avoid the next war?
• we’ve initiated large-scale events in pubic spaces such as the Peace Train to the Sderot Conference on Society; the 50-day fast shared by over 300 women in front of the Prime Minister’s residence last summer corresponding to the 50 days of the previous summer’s war, Operation Protective Edge (we called our action Operation Protective Fast)
The March of HopeWe’re not stopping until there’s a political agreement is the slogan for the March of Hope scheduled from Oct 4th – 19th. We are a movement of determined women: we know how to persist and when we say we won’t stop, we mean it. The March of Hope will include:
• a 14-day trek on foot from the country’s northern border to Jerusalem beginning as the Jewish New Year ends on Oct 4th, designed to awaken hope along the way
• local supporting marches and events throughout the country on Oct 18th, including in the Upper Galilee; in Gaza border communities; on the coast in Ashkelon; in the ancient Arab city of Umm el-Fahm; in Eilat at the southernmost tip of the country; in the Arava desert; at the Acre [Akko] Festival north of Haifa
• worldwide solidarity events, including in Morocco, Jordan, Tunisia, Egypt, the United States, France, and Mexico
• going down to the Dead Sea and up to Jerusalem to demand a political agreement: on the morning of Oct 19th we’ll march together with Palestinian women to a site just north of the Dead Sea featuring prayers for peace led by Nobel laureate Leymah Gbowee of Liberia. At noon we’ll return to Jerusalem where we’ll march from the Knesset to the Prime Minister’s residence; at 6 pm we’ll hold our closing ceremony there.
The March aims to bring the message of hope nurtured by Women Wage Peace to all of Israel, recruiting to our ranks thousands of new supporters to help us continue uninterrupted our determined efforts to require our leadership to take significant and real steps toward signing a political agreement.
How can you help us?Producing an event of this scale and level of complexity requires 1) transportation for all who want to take part, 2) security services, 3) production and documentation of the major events of the March, 4) advertising and public relations. So far we’ve been able to raise the bulk of the required funds from friends of the movement and donors within Israel and abroad. However, we’re still lacking $40,000 to fund several crucial elements. Specifically, we’re turning to you, supporters and friends who share our faith and our hope that together we can change the status quo here. These as-yet-unmet costs include:
• support for the 150 mile/14-day trek from the Lebanese border to Jerusalem, whose resolute marchers will bring our message of hope to dozens of communities along the way. The costs for escort vans, security, lodging, and meals come to $62.50 (250 ILS) per marcher per day. support for coordinated transportation to and from various marches and other events. In order to get everyone to their various rallying points on time it will be necessary to charge participants a modest fee. We need your help in subsidizing transportation so that as many women as possible can take part fully in this historic occasion.
• support for the March’s related events and ceremonies in the form of temporary stages, sound systems, lighting, enclosure of event perimeters, bathrooms, security, medical asssitance, etc. Your help will make these events accessible and safe for all.
In short, your donation will help turn the March of Hope into a game-changer, forever altering the perception of who is “for” peace and who is willing to work for it. The March will also launch our sophisticated legislative program for 2017. Our voice is the strong, united voice of women from every corner of the land and every sector of Israeli society with the support of tens of thousands more worldwide – and we’re not stopping until there’s a negotiated agreement!