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Statement on the Situation in Palestine/Israel
Women Living Under Muslim Laws (WLUML), international
April 5, 2002
The international solidarity network Women Living Under Muslim Laws
(WLUML) is well placed to identify extreme Right political projects
hidden under religious/ethnic agendas and their devastating effects
on progressive forces at large and on women in particular.
The present escalation in Palestine/Israel is not due to a conflict
between religious and ethnic communities. Clearly, it is the result
of the coming to power in Israel of extreme Right forces mercilessly
bent on implementing a colonial project.
Unfortunately, its brutality sparked off the hijacking of the
legitimate protest and struggle of the Palestinians by extreme right
fundamentalist forces within them. We know from experience that the
rise of such forces will inevitably work against the interests of
people, especially minorities and women in Palestine.
We here pay tribute to the progressive people in Israel who have for
decades now struggled against the colonial project of their
successive governments and today continue to do so under such violent
and dangerous circumstances. We pay tribute to Israeli women and men
who have refused to participate as soldiers in the war against the
Palestinian people. We pay tribute to those who demonstrate daily
against occupation of Palestinian land, be it by creating new
settlements, by evictions, by destruction of properties or by
military occupation. We pay tribute to those who physically joined,
as human shields, the Palestinian villages attacked by the
Israeli army, the Palestinian plantations of orange trees and olive
trees that were pinpointed for destruction by the Israeli army.
We especially pay tribute to the Women in Black anti war movement and
to all the women’s organizations that have consciously and stubbornly
attempted and succeeded in bridging the divide between Jews and
Arabs. We fully support their struggle and share their analysis of
the fascist nature of the present government of Israel.
We also pay tribute to all those from Arab countries who have
struggled for a just peace in the region without falling into the
arms of fascist fundamentalists, without adopting hatred and racism
as rallying elements of their struggle. We pay tribute to all those
who fight fundamentalist fascism from within their own contexts. We
pay tribute to all those who have recently met with their fellows in
peace making within Israel, confronting the accusation of betrayal
for doing so and bearing with the following threats they suffer.
We pay tribute to all those Palestinians women and men who, under
such a deluge of fire from the Israeli government and army, maintain
their human and political links with Israeli progressive and anti war
forces in the hope of building a durable and just political settlement.
We pay tribute to all those who, in Europe and especially in France
these days, confront the rise of anti-Semitic racism—i.e. racism
against "Jews" as well as racism against "Arabs" or "Muslims"—and
the terrorist acts of destruction that are now taking place against
synagogues or shops owned by French Jews. We pay tribute to the
Muslim religious authorities and ordinary immigrants from North
Africa who have arrived at the scene of these barbarities to show
their solidarity and speak up against racism.
We call on international media to—at last—give visibility to
progressive forces within Israel and within Palestine who offer the
only viable alternative to the war in the region.
In order to immediately stop the bloodshed, we call upon the UN
Security Council to take extraordinary but necessary measures,
including steps to enforce an immediate ceasefire and withdrawal from
Palestinian cities and to send UN peacekeeping troops to
Palestine/Israel. We call on the Security Council to force the
Israeli government to immediately implement past UN resolutions that
it has systematically disregarded. By failing to act decisively, the
UN Security Council becomes an ally in the massacre of Palestinians
by the Israeli government.
We demand that the women and men from Israel and from Palestine who
have actually worked hand in hand towards a just peace during the
past decades of conflict be the ones to be called to the negotiation
table. No other group can bring peace to the region.
Women Living Under Muslim Laws (WLUML) is an international network that provides information and support for all women whose lives are shaped, conditioned or governed by laws and customs said to derive from Islam.