WWP First Civil Cabinet at Kibbutz Nahal Oz

Seven years have gone by since Operation Protective Edge. Not even one moment of calm was taken advantage of in order to search for solutions to peace and long term alternatives.
We all pay the price for this failure.
We, Women Wage Peace, demand that the government act immediately to calm things down. In this demand we represent the silent majority which aspires to a better future and not to another round of warfare.
A week before the crisis erupted, on April 29th, , we held the ‘First Civil Cabinet” at Kibbutz Nahal Oz.
This gathering  concluded  a series of meetings and tours in the Western Negev and the Gaza border, which we held during the past months.
35 men and women from the region participated in the Cabinet. They came from Nahal Oz, Sufa, Sa’ad, Sde Avraham, Kerem Shalom, Gevim, Nir Oz, Nir Yitzhak, Nirim, Sderot, Alumim….

In addition, two Knesset members, Mossi Raz and Nira Shpak participated. Knesset member Shpak , a resident of the area, informed us that she is trying to set up a special Caucus for the Gaza border region. Other participants included members of various organizations such as Voice of Mothers, Other Voice, the Lighthouse, the Future of the Western Negev.

The title of the Cabinet: From Words to Actions . We met in order to discover what is shared among the diverse voices from the region, and what is shared with Women Wage Peace.

The Cabinet began with an “aquarium” of personal stories which included loss of a child, loss of a grandchild, raising a child with PTSD and everyday life with PTSD. Afterwards, former Knesset member Meli Polishuk spoke about tools with which citizens can influence decision makers; she emphasized the importance of the direct communication between the Knesset and the residents of the region.

This was followed by discussion groups: Peace and Security, Economy, Education and Community, Let our Voice be Heard.  After summaries were presented in the plenum, areas of cooperation between the residents and WWP were defined.

A Facebook and an Instagram page “Life on the Gaza Border – Things you Must Know” were created as a result of the cabinet.

What now?

The team which worked on the project and the Cabinet will meet to define their next steps. In addition, we will follow Knesset member Shpak’s plans to establish the Caucus .

The Project which encouraged tours and meetings in the South, made it clear that a political agreement is urgent. We will continue to demand that the decision makers leave no stone unturned to find an honorable agreement with our neighbors.