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Declaration for International Women's Day 2002
Bat Shalom, Israel
March 8, 2002
International Women's Day commemorates the human rights of women worldwide. But as history testifies, those rights are never achieved in isolation. They are embedded in the complex of universal rights, and their realization reflects and measures a society's commitment to justice, equality and democracy.
Israel's military occupation of Palestinian land and its continued rule over more than a million Palestinians severely violate the individual and national rights of another people, and turns Israelis into both perpetrators and victims of violence. Today we see that the most basic threat to the rights and well being of Israeli and Palestinian women is the perpetuation of the occupation.
We Israeli women, Jewish and Palestinian, working to build the conditions for peace and reconciliation, are dismayed and revolted by our government's policies. We refuse to silently bear witness to the destruction of the hope and future of Israelis and Palestinians. And we need your help.
The Israeli government's flagrant violation of international law and moral norms present a great challenge to the international community, and we are appealing to you and your government to meet that challenge. In view of the current situation, an immediate international humanitarian response is needed. We therefore request your support for the dispatching of international monitors to the area, whose presence may provide some measure of protection for Palestinian civilians.
Ending the occupation is the prerequisite to securing peace. In view of the Israeli government's obdurate refusal to commit itself to ending the occupation, we call upon you and your government to initiate urgent diplomatic efforts to convince Israel to make that commitment.
On this March 8, 2002, thousands of women around the world are presenting similar declarations to both their government representatives, as well as to Israeli foreign diplomats in their region. It is our greatest hope that you will elect to commemorate International Women's Day by honoring women and addressing our concerns.
Bat Shalom is a feminist peace organization of Israeli Jewish and Palestinian women.
Bat Shalom presented the above declaration to the foreign embassies and consulates in Israel.