How do we put pressure on decision-makers while expanding our grassroots at the same time?
In brief: for the past year, WWP volunteers – mostly residents from the Jerusalem area – have formed a Knesset Committees Team, a sub-set of our Government Relations Team whose goal is to influence decision makers at all levels. In Israel, these include the Knesset, ‘the government’ [the name for whichever coalition is in power, similar to ‘the administration’ in American politics] as well as mayors and regional council heads. We are determined to influence all of them in order to advance both a political agreement as well as the participation of women in every aspect of decision-making related to war, peace, and security.
The Knesset Committees Team attends relevant meetings in order to listen to our decision-makers and to be heard by them. In addition to becoming a constant presence in the country’s highest legislative arena, we’ve been learning about parliamentary discourse and how the Knesset conducts its law-making. We understand that it is also our right as a civilian body, under the Freedom of Information Law, to seek answers to our questions. We invite any WWP member living in the area to join us; there are still plenty of sessions we would like to cover.
As for strengthening our grassroots, our Women’s Knesset continues to offer any woman from anywhere in the country the chance to go to the Knesset with other women from her region. Traveling to Jerusalem via reserved bus using a simple online pay-what-you-can model, WWP is now present at the Knesset every Monday in rotating groups based on geographical area. After assembling in the building’s dairy cafeteria for a little camaraderie, we meet privately with an MK [Member of Parliament] and then sit en masse in the gallery during plenum sessions. In addition, women may still join our ongoing monitoring project of Knesset members, Samot Lev.
Below, WWP presents Speaker of the Knesset Yuli Edelstein [Likud] with a special gift from us, a panel of squares with messages of hope and peace contributed by women worldwide as part of our Piece-for-Peace project.