One Million for Peace

 

Women Wage Peace has succeeded in raising more than NIS 1 million in a matter of days through a crowdfunding campaign. The funds will enable the movement to carry out projects planned for 2021, such as a regional peace conference and the establishment of heritage sites for coexistence and peace.  “The speed at which donations were collected is proof of how much the Israeli public supports progress towards peace with our neighbors,” said Avital Brown, a member of the movement’s steering committee and crowdfunding campaign sub-committee

 

Women Wage Peace, Israel’s largest grassroots movement, has succeeded in a matter of days to raise more than NIS 1 million in a show of support for the promotion of a negotiated peace agreement with the Palestinians. This impressive sum of money will enable Women Wage Peace (WWP) to move forward with four ambitious projects which are now in their final planning stages: (1) a regional peace summit with the participation of leaders and policy-makers from the region and world in cooperation with Palestinian peace activists (2) a Citizens’ Cabinet to demand a solution to the problems of the residents of southern Israel, specifically those bordering the Gaza Strip; (3) the establishment, throughout Israel, of heritage sites honoring coexistence and peace; (4) a research-based campaign to assist in identification of beliefs and stigmas that inhibit support for peace.

 

“The summer of 2021 presents us with a unique window of opportunity to step up our efforts towards a negotiated accord,” notes Avital Brown, a member of the movement’s steering committee and crowdfunding campaign sub-committee. “Various changes and developments underway in Israel, in the region, and world such as the Abraham Accords, the re-emergence of the word ‘peace’ in public discourse, the new administration in Washington, indications from the Palestinian Authority regarding their willingness to enter into negotiation,” Brown continues, “all these, and more signal the possibility of fertile ground for progress towards a negotiated agreement between Israel and the Palestinians.”

 

Approximately 2,500 people responded to the movement’s call for donations. “Beyond the success of the campaign itself, we also received endless heart-felt, even stirring, comments from donors, reinforcing our belief that the Israeli public is ready for peace with its neighbors,” says Brown. “With the help of these contributions we will continue to declare, all over the place and all the time, that peace is possible, and we will continue to demand that decision makers move quickly towards negotiations, ensuring active participation of women in all aspects of this process. Conditions point toward the coming year as one of unprecedented opportunity; we will be there to demand that such opportunities are not missed.”

 

During 2020, despite the challenges presented by the Coronavirus crisis, Women Wage Peace attracted many new members, and now numbers approximately 45,000 women and men. In July 2020 the movement was granted NGO consultive status at the United Nations. This past Fall, its Political Alternatives First bill, which requires examination of diplomatic options before resorting to military ones, was introduced in the Knesset. The bill already enjoys strong support from a wide range of policymakers and thought leaders in the defense and security communities as well as from Knesset members across the political spectrum, from experts, and from the public.

In the Media

The Jerusalem Post, February 18th