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Subject:

Re: Fwd: Fw: A Ray of Sunshine from Corinna in Israel, with best wishes for a happy new year

From:

"david.bircumshaw" <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Poetryetc provides a venue for a dialogue relating to poetry and poetics <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Sat, 29 Dec 2001 22:07:28 -0000

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (277 lines)

Bless you for forwarding that, Alison. I shall pass it on.

Happy New Year

Dave


David Bircumshaw

Leicester, England

Home Page

A Chide's Alphabet

Painting Without Numbers

www.paintstuff.20m.com/index.htm

http://homepage.ntlworld.com/david.bircumshaw/index.htm
----- 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
grant
> >| 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
the
> >| 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
of
> >| 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
begin,
> >| we were all mixed up with each other -- Israeli, Palestinian, European,
> >| American -- and began a slow, solemn walk, in silence (mostly), with
only
> >| 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
own
> >| dignified presence.
> >|
> >| We led with a huge banner, "The Occupation is Killing Us All", as well
as
> >| hundreds of black hands with white lettering "Stop the Occupation", and
> >| scores of signs calling for peace, a state of Palestine beside the
state
> >| of Israel, and sharing this beautiful city of Jerusalem, loved so long
by
> >| 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
in
> >| Black until the roses ran out, though the women did not.
> >|
> >| We made our way slowly toward the broad, new plaza just outside
historic
> >| 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
the
> >| stage, participants could see as backdrop the beautiful Citadel, rising
> >| from the walls of the Old City, with the Valley of Gethsemane spread
out
> >| 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
had
> >| joined us for the events -- Muhammed Barake, Naomi Chazan, Zehava
Galon,
> >| Tamar Gozansky, Anat Maor, Issam Makhoul, and Mossi Raz -- as well as
the
> >| delegations from Belgium, Canada, England, France, Italy, Portugal,
Spain,
> >| and the U.S.  Marcia Freedman, former Israeli MK and long-standing
Woman
> >| in Black, read the list of 118 locations around the world where
solidarity
> >| events were planned for the same day (from Adelaide to Zaragoza -- see
our
> >| website for the full list).
> >|
> >| Speeches opened with Shulamit Aloni, first lady of human rights in
Israel
> >| 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
inevitably
> >| be crowned with success.  She was followed by other powerful
speeches --
> >| 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
workers,
> >| who found a way to outwit the closure in order to reach Jerusalem and
> >| address this rally; Luisa Morgantini, irrepressible Italian member of
the
> >| European Parliament and devoted supporter of the women's peace movement
in
> >| the Middle East; Khulood Badawi, chair of the Association of Arab
Students
> >| in Israel; and Vera Lichtenfels, a 17-year old Portuguese peace
activist,
> >| 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
their
> >| work -- the killed, the wounded, the homes demolished, the trees
uprooted,
> >| the children whose lives were fractured, as well as the efforts of
those
> >| who refuse to give in to the despair, but keep on struggling to
transform
> >| this nightmare into a vision of peace and partnership (see below for
the
> >| names and descriptions of these organizations).
> >|
> >| These are words that one simply doesn't hear in this region, so
publicly,
> >| by Israelis and Palestinians together.  And then we held a concert
rarely
> >| heard in the Middle East -- a "peace happening" of Palestinian and
Israeli
> >| performers.  It opened with the Elisheva Trio -- 3 talented black
Jewish
> >| 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
and
> >| Hebrew political lyrics.  Ending it all was a hopeful reprise by the
> >| Elisheva Trio, with many in the crowd holding hands, swaying, and
singing
> >| together.
> >|
> >| When the concert was over, few wanted to leave and let go of the
feeling
> >| that peace is really possible.  Fortunately, we didn't really have to,
> >| because Peace Now was holding its own optimistic rally just inside
Jaffa
> >| 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
about
> >| the hope for peace that had swept through Jerusalem today.  I saw
nothing
> >| 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
words
> >| of Shulamit Aloni earlier today:  "Even though Israel's 'patriotic'
media
> >| 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
the
> >| 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,
> >| 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:
Svinna
> >| till Svinna Foundation, the Moriah Fund, Sally Gottesman, the Steve
Berman
> >| 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
signed
> >| 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
abuse
> >| of Palestinians at these locations.
> >| **Mothers and Women for Peace - formerly the 4 Mothers Movement, who
were
> >| instrumental in getting Israel out of Lebanese occupation.
> >| **New Profile - seeking to end militarism in Israeli society and
support
> >| 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
the
> >| struggle to end the injustice of occupation.
> >| **Ta'ayush - a partnership of Jewish and Palestinian citizens of
Israel,
> >| providing aid and resistance to the occupation throughout the
territories.
> >| **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
> http://www.users.bigpond.com/acroggon/
> Masthead
> http://au.geocities.com/masthead_2/
>

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