“Borders are no obstacle for women. Led by our feelings and instincts, women will cross them. Even when we are women whose very existence contradicts each other, we will talk; we will not shoot.”
Terry Greenblatt, formerly director of Bat Shalom, Israel’s national women’s peace organization, and activist in residence at the Global Fund for Women, has been a women’s rights and antioccupation activist in Israel for the past 20 years. She lectures and lobbies internationally on the enforcement of equal rights for all in Israel and PalestineJews and Arabs. She cofounded Kol Ha-Isha (The Women’s Voice) Center of Jerusalem, Shani (Israeli Women Against the Occupation), and the Community School for Women’s Studies and Economic Development.
“I live in Jerusalem and I have spent the past ten months being scared,” Terry told an audience. “We are scared as we protest in the streets of Tel Aviv and in Palestinian villages under siege. We have stood huddled in small groups of six or seven, as well as with the over 10,000 women and men in 150 cities and towns around the world. We are harassed and cursed and arrested.” Born in New York, Terry lived in Israel from 1971 to 2003 and has served as executive director of Bat Shalom. Bat Shalom is a grassroots organization of Jewish and Palestinian Israeli women working for peace that is grounded in a just resolution of the Israel-Palestine conflict, respect for human rights, and an equal voice for Jewish and Arab women in Israeli society. Since 1994, Bat Shalom has partnered with the Jerusalem Center for Women, a Palestinian organization in East Jerusalem, on a project called the Jerusalem Link. Working with a coalition of more than 100 women’s peace and antioccupation initiatives around the world, the goal of Jerusalem Link is to help bring a sustainable peace to the two nations. “The world needs the skills that women bring to peacemaking,” Terry told the United Nations Security Council in 2002. “It is our role, women on both sides, to speak out loudly against the humanitarian crimes committed in order to permanently subjugate an entire nation. You need us, because if the goal is not simply the absence of war, but the creation of a sustainable peace by fostering fundamental societal changes, we are crucial to everyone’s security concerns. You need us, because wars are no longer fought on battlefields. You have brought the war home to us. Women’s characteristic life experience gives us the potential for two things: a very special kind of intelligencesocial intelligenceand a very special kind of couragesocial courage.”
Bat Shalom Kol Ha-Isha Shani
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