Bless you for forwarding that, Alison. I shall pass it on.
Happy New Year
A Chide's Alphabet
Painting Without Numbers
----- Original Message -----
From: "Alison Croggon" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Saturday, December 29, 2001 9:52 PM
Subject: Fwd: Fw: A Ray of Sunshine from Corinna in Israel, with best wishes
for a happy new year
> >From: "Corinna Hasofferet" <[log in to unmask]>
> >To: "H Edwards" <[log in to unmask]>
> >Cc: "AGNI Magazine" <[log in to unmask]>,
> > "Agencia Carmen Balcells" <[log in to unmask]>,
> > "Acroggon" <[log in to unmask]>
> >Subject: Fw: A Ray of Sunshine from Corinna in Israel, with best
> >wishes for a happy new year
> >Date: Sat, 29 Dec 2001 19:48:31 +0200
> >X-Priority: 3
> >----- Original Message -----
> >From: Gila Svirsky <[log in to unmask]>
> >To: Coalition of Women for a Just Peace <[log in to unmask]>
> >Sent: Saturday, December 29, 2001 12:59 AM
> >Subject: A Ray of Sunshine
> >| Friends,
> >| Today was a ray of sunshine in an otherwise bleak Middle East.
> >| At 9:30 a.m., the organizers were still discussing whether the march
> >| should be held single file or two-by-two, as the police refused to
> >| us a permit to walk in the streets, wanting to contain us on the broad
> >| sidewalk. By 10:30 a.m., we saw there would be no hope of containing
> >| vast crowd that had showed up.
> >| An amazing 5,000 people, most dressed in black, turned up for today's
> >| events, beginning with the March of Mourning for all the victims --
> >| Palestinian and Israeli -- of the Occupation. Responding to the call
> >| the Coalition of Women for a Just Peace, people from all over the world
> >| found their way to the vigil plaza today. When the signal came to
> >| we were all mixed up with each other -- Israeli, Palestinian, European,
> >| American -- and began a slow, solemn walk, in silence (mostly), with
> >| a funereal cadence sounded by two women drummers at the center of this
> >| long procession. Although the extreme right wing staged a
> >| counterdemonstration at the beginning of our route, their small number
> >| (about 30) and angry shouts only served to dramatize the power of our
> >| dignified presence.
> >| We led with a huge banner, "The Occupation is Killing Us All", as well
> >| hundreds of black hands with white lettering "Stop the Occupation", and
> >| scores of signs calling for peace, a state of Palestine beside the
> >| of Israel, and sharing this beautiful city of Jerusalem, loved so long
> >| so many. It was an unseasonably warm and balmy winter morning, and we
> >| were suddenly feeling hopeful and powerful marching together this way.
> >| Although the police were trying to keep us all walking on the sidewalk,
> >| soon we burst our seams and spread out into the road, blocking traffic
> >| along the route. And Ezra, long-time supporter of Women in Black in
> >| Jerusalem, walked among us, handing out a thousand red roses to Women
> >| Black until the roses ran out, though the women did not.
> >| We made our way slowly toward the broad, new plaza just outside
> >| Jaffa Gate, one of the main entrances to the Old City of Jerusalem. By
> >| the time everyone arrived, we had filled up the plaza completely, with
> >| spillover inside the gate and along the roads leading up to it. Past
> >| stage, participants could see as backdrop the beautiful Citadel, rising
> >| from the walls of the Old City, with the Valley of Gethsemane spread
> >| beyond in a breathtaking view.
> >| The entire program was moderated in Hebrew and Arabic by Dalit Baum and
> >| Camilia Bader-Araf, co-MCs. They acknowledged the Knesset members who
> >| joined us for the events -- Muhammed Barake, Naomi Chazan, Zehava
> >| Tamar Gozansky, Anat Maor, Issam Makhoul, and Mossi Raz -- as well as
> >| delegations from Belgium, Canada, England, France, Italy, Portugal,
> >| and the U.S. Marcia Freedman, former Israeli MK and long-standing
> >| in Black, read the list of 118 locations around the world where
> >| events were planned for the same day (from Adelaide to Zaragoza -- see
> >| website for the full list).
> >| Speeches opened with Shulamit Aloni, first lady of human rights in
> >| and former government minister, comparing our struggle to end the
> >| occupation with the struggles led by Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther
> >| King, reminding us that although the task is arduous, it will
> >| be crowned with success. She was followed by other powerful
> >| Nurit Peled Elhanan, winner of the Sakharov Peace Prize, awarded by the
> >| European Parliament, and mother of Smadar, 13 years old when she was
> >| killed by a terrorist bomb in Jerusalem; Zahira Kamal, courageous
> >| Palestinian activist for peace as well as the rights of women and
> >| who found a way to outwit the closure in order to reach Jerusalem and
> >| address this rally; Luisa Morgantini, irrepressible Italian member of
> >| European Parliament and devoted supporter of the women's peace movement
> >| the Middle East; Khulood Badawi, chair of the Association of Arab
> >| in Israel; and Vera Lichtenfels, a 17-year old Portuguese peace
> >| representing youth all over the world who are working for peace.
> >| These speeches were eloquent and inspiring, but I myself was especially
> >| moved by the ceremony of torch lighting by 13 Israeli organizations who
> >| have shown extraordinary commitment to activism for peace and human
> >| rights. Each representative lit a torch about one aspect related to
> >| work -- the killed, the wounded, the homes demolished, the trees
> >| the children whose lives were fractured, as well as the efforts of
> >| who refuse to give in to the despair, but keep on struggling to
> >| this nightmare into a vision of peace and partnership (see below for
> >| names and descriptions of these organizations).
> >| These are words that one simply doesn't hear in this region, so
> >| by Israelis and Palestinians together. And then we held a concert
> >| heard in the Middle East -- a "peace happening" of Palestinian and
> >| performers. It opened with the Elisheva Trio -- 3 talented black
> >| women from Dimona, singing peace songs in soul and rock arrangements.
> >| There were readings of poetry and plays, a performance piece, and an
> >| amazing duo of young Palestinian rappers from Lydda/Lod doing Arabic
> >| Hebrew political lyrics. Ending it all was a hopeful reprise by the
> >| Elisheva Trio, with many in the crowd holding hands, swaying, and
> >| together.
> >| When the concert was over, few wanted to leave and let go of the
> >| that peace is really possible. Fortunately, we didn't really have to,
> >| because Peace Now was holding its own optimistic rally just inside
> >| Gate, with Palestinians and Israelis signing a Peace Declaration and
> >| releasing doves into the sky over the city. Palestinians and Israelis
> >| wandered in and out the streets of the Old City trying to hold tight to
> >| the beautiful warm thaw in the air, within this long winter of violence
> >| and tragedy.
> >| This evening, I watched Israeli TV to see if anything was reported
> >| the hope for peace that had swept through Jerusalem today. I saw
> >| about either the Coalition of Women for Peace or the Peace Now events,
> >| though I did hear that the Coalition action made the radio news several
> >| times today. We are used to this by now, and it brought to mind the
> >| of Shulamit Aloni earlier today: "Even though Israel's 'patriotic'
> >| seek to ignore you, there is no doubt that your voice will be heard and
> >| that a great many others will join your cause. You will break through
> >| silence because yours is a vision of freedom, justice, and peace."
> >| May it come to pass. Today I feel more hopeful than I have for a
> >| long while.
> >| Thank you to everyone all over the world who joined us in solidarity
> >| today, whether in vigils, through contributions, or in your hearts.
> >| Shalom, salaam,
> >| Gila Svirsky
> >| Jerusalem
> >| _________________________
> >| Special thanks for their support, which made this event possible:
> >| till Svinna Foundation, the Moriah Fund, Sally Gottesman, the Steve
> >| Social Action Award, and many individuals from all over the world.
> >| The organizations represented at the torch lighting ceremony (in
> >| alphabetical order):
> >| **Bat Shalom - the Israeli side of The Jerusalem Link: A Women's Joint
> >| Venture for Peace, seeking peace through partnership with Palestinian
> >| women.
> >| **Gush Shalom - determined fighters to end the occupation, recent
> >| recipients of the "Alternative Nobel Peace Prize".
> >| **High School seniors - a group of Israeli high school seniors who
> >| a letter asserting their refusal to serve in the army to support the
> >| occupation.
> >| **Israel Committee Against Home Demolitions - seeking to expose and end
> >| the crime of demolishing homes of Palestinians.
> >| **Machsom Watch - women monitoring military checkpoints to end the
> >| of Palestinians at these locations.
> >| **Mothers and Women for Peace - formerly the 4 Mothers Movement, who
> >| instrumental in getting Israel out of Lebanese occupation.
> >| **New Profile - seeking to end militarism in Israeli society and
> >| conscientious objection to army service.
> >| **Peace Now - mobilizing to end the occupation, and focused on the
> >| illegality of the Israeli settlements in the territories.
> >| **Rabbis for Human Rights - bringing a religious Jewish perspective to
> >| struggle to end the injustice of occupation.
> >| **Ta'ayush - a partnership of Jewish and Palestinian citizens of
> >| providing aid and resistance to the occupation throughout the
> >| **TANDI - struggling for rights for Arab women, and coexistence between
> >| Jews and Arabs within Israel.
> >| **Women in Black - holding vigils throughout the world to stop violence
> >| and injustice, founded in Jerusalem in 1988 to end the occupation.
> >| **Yesh Gvul - encouraging soldiers to refuse service in the occupied
> >| territories.
> >| One picture is already up at our website:
> >| Web site of the Coalition of Women for a Just Peace:
> >| http://www.coalitionofwomen4peace.org
> Alison Croggon
> Home page