Peace Actions in Israel & Palestine, Week Beginning 10/17/00Sukkot shalom peace tents and a joint olive harvest
[Note from Editor: We are posting this information even though it is "late" so that American Jews can get a sense of the approach and variety of actions for peace that are occurring in the Middle East itself. Please especially note that many of these actions focus on the internal questuion of peace between Israeli citizens of Jewish culture and Israeli citizens of Palestinian culture. One of the actions the last invites support and participation from American Jews. The list was compiled by Naftali & Naomi Raz. Rabbi Arthur Waskow, Director, The Shalom Center]
It is not at all sure whether the cease-fire proclaimed by President Clinton at Sharm-A-Sheikh will actually take hold on the ground, or whether grassroots Palestinian anger with the occupation has gone too deep. Whatever the outcome, there will be a great need for actions supporting an end to the occupation and Israeli-Palestinian peace, as well as equality and coexistence between Jews and Arabs inside Israel.
We have tried to compile a list, including all the worthwhile actions we heard of (apologies to anybody inadvertently left out). It is a quite heterogeneous list, some politically explicit and articulate, others - especially many of the Sukkot (Peace Tabernacles) which are mushrooming amazingly - having simply the message that Jews and Arabs should live in good neighborliness (which is also far from unimportant at a time when racist mobs rampage through the streets).
Before going through the chronological list, please take special note of the Jewish-Arab demonstration which is to take place at Haifa at 7.30 PM on the evening Saturday, October 21, under the slogans "A Just Peace" and "Equality for All". It was decided upon at a meeting held at Neve Shalom, attended by a wide spectrum of groups and movements (Peace Now, Yesh Gvul, Gush Shalom, Committee Against House Demolitions, Hadash, Alternative Information Center, and many others - our apologies to those not mentioned). Today, at a meeting in Kufr Manda, the Monitoring Committee, leadership of Israel's Palestinian Citizens, joined in the initiative. Hopefully, it will turn out to be a major action. Information on the route and transportation from other cities is still not available.
Call Gabi 054-418988 or Mikado 050-481039.
In Jerusalem's Paris Square an ongoing sit-in is taking place every day, from Noon to 8.00 PM, "to express horror at the killings and the extreme expression of racism and brutality within the Israeli society and its police forces" and to demand an end to the occupation.
Contact: Na'ama 051-890714, Neta 050-757504.
We know of the following Jewish-Arab Peace Tents, Peace Tabernacles, or "Sukkot Shalom", as the various organisers call them but there may be even more:
The Jaffa Peace Tent, erected by Jewish and Arab inhabitants (some being members of political movements, others never before involved) will be erected on Wed., 18/10 at 5.30 PM in Gan Hashnaim, 73 Yeffet St., Jaffa, and will stay open until 9.30 PM and on Thursday from 10.30 AM until the evening.
Contact: Keren Assaf 054-688101, Adv. Nassim Shaker 050-406889.
Residents of Taibe, Tira, Tzur Yigal and Kohav Yair built Tuesday a "Sukkat Shalom" by their own initiative, "a totally grassroots initiative" as they emphasize. It will remain there, on the Kohav Yair - Taibe Road, until the end of the Holidays.
Contact: Andres Lacko, firstname.lastname@example.org, 052 - 501823.
The Peace Tabernacle in Jerusalem, organized by "Netivot Shalom", remains throughout the Holidays at Menorah Park, on King George St., (near the Mashbir Department Store), with various lectures and discussions every evening.
Contact: Liora Lopian 054-419341, Leah Kalibinoff 053-920206.
Sukkat Shalom in Kfar Saba was started on Sunday by the town's Meretz branch for 24 hours a day. Wednesday is the last day. It is at City Square, Weizman St., opposite "Kanyon Ha'arim".
Contact: Guy Krom 052-484600.
At Meggido Junction, the three-day Peace Tabernacle of the Bat Shalom women closed Tuesday, but a Peace Tent will continue at the same place, founded by Jewish and Palestinian alumni of Leadership 2000.
At Barkai Junction, a tent was established by Peace Now, Kibbutz Artzi and Palestinian peace.
Contact: Esther Ben Hur 06-6272093.
A tent is established near the Arab village of Beit Zarzir in the north, where hundreds of Palestinian and Jewish families had a peace picnic.
A Peace and Coexistence Tent is located Tuesday to Thursday at Shoket Junction in the Negev, with programs for children, lectures, art and speakers.
A tent seems to be planned at Karmiel (details Didi Remez 054-302796).
Finally, over in London, Peace Now UK are organising a mobile Succah on three evenings (Tuesday to Thursday), in solidarity with the Peace Coalition in Israel, at Kensington High Street opposite Palace Green.
Contact: Neil Nerva email@example.com.
Earlier this week (on Sunday, 15/10), an ad in Ha'aretz was signed by 85 Israeli Jewish and Arabic "prominent persons", pledging to work together for an end to violence, for peace and for equal rights. A planned 2ed ad can be joined by sending name + profession + city to firstname.lastname@example.org, at the same time sending 100 Shekels (at least) to P.O.B.39796, Ramat Aviv 61396.
Wednesday, 18/10, two women, Ivtisam Mahmud and Yael Agmon, will be on the last leg of a "Walk for Peace" from Rosh Hanikra on the Lebanese border to Jerusalem. They ask that as many women as possible join them in the afternoon, either the part from Kiryat Ya'arim to Ein Karem (1 kilometer) or from Ein Karem to the Rose Garden (Gan Havradim) near the Knesset (4 kilometers) where they will conduct a Peace Circle.
For more details call 058-795048 or 06-6397139.
Also Wednesday, New Profile activists and others will pay a visit to a group of mothers of Palestinian citizens of Israel killed during the recent confrontations. Meeting point at 4.00 PM in Arara (in Wadi Ara) , proceeding from there to the towns of Umm El Fahm and Jatt to meet several mothers.
For full details and/or car pooling call Michal Pundak 09-9552484, 052-751261.
On Friday, 20/10 (as on every Friday), at 1.00 PM, there will be Women in Black vigils in Jerusalem (Kikar Paris/Hagar), and in Tel-Aviv (jointly with Yesh Gvul) at Tnuva Junction (where Petach Tikva Rd., Namir Rd. and Shaul Hamalech Blvd. meet). Starting this week, the Haifa Women in Black are resuming their vigils after a long hiatus, on the same day and time as in the other cities, at Beit-Hakeranot (corner of Balfur and Herzel).
Contact: Dalia Sachs email@example.com.
Saturday, 21/10 - an Arab-Jewish "Wake-Up Convoy", organized by Neve Shalom will be leaving from the Latrun gas station in the direction of the airport at 7:30 AM. You can join the convoy at the following locations:
Tzomet HaYarkon - 8:30 AM, Tzomet Ra'anana - 9:00 AM, Tzomet Beit Lid - 9:20 AM.
The convoy will continue on to Umm El Fahm, Nazareth, Arabeh, Haifa and Kfar Saba.
For more information contact Nave Shalom: 02-9916282.
Also on Saturday, 21/10, Jews and Arabs will join in an olive harvest at Ar'ara (Wadi Ara), to help an Arab farmer whose land lies in a "military area" near Kufr Kara and who is apprehensive that - under the present conditions - he and his family would be harmed if they try to enter it. Meeting point at 9.00 AM at the Paz Gas Station at the entrance to Kufr Kara, info Teddy Katz 051-244674. (At a later date, a larger-scale olive harvest is planned for the lands near Umm El Fahm and Muawiya, whose attempted confiscation in 1998 set off that year's wave of riots.)
And, of course, the evening of the same Saturday will see the Jewish-Arab demonstration in Haifa which was already mentioned in the beginning of this message.
Last Friday morning, Yesh Gvul activists distributed to many soldiers on the highways and "trempiadot" a new brochure, calling upon them to examine whether or not a war on behalf of occupation and settlements is moral and worth fighting in. A further such a action is planned, and an up-to- date Yesh Gvul petition, declaring the signatories' refusal to serve the Occupation, is being prepared.
About both, call Yesh Gvul 02-6250271.
Meanwhile, the 29-year old Conscientious Objector Shmulik Szeintuch, who is also a member of Yesh Gvul, was surprisingly exempted from reserve military service for officially-recognized reasons of conscience. (That privilege is usually reserved for female objectors, male ones usually getting discharged for "unfitness" or the like.) But... the 19-year old refuser Noam Kuzar is still in prison - you can write to him at the address Noam Kuzar 7016478 Pluga Alef Military Post 02507 Tzahal - Israel Defense Force.
A quick way to send Noam a paper letter from your computer follows: Postil (Israel's postal service on the internet):
You can switch from one to the other, once inside. Letters can be directly typed in, or attached as a Word document. Once in the page select "Doar-Tech" . Ignore the suggestion to "get a password" and go straight to "mail a letter", where you will be charged less than $0.60 on your credit card.