This last week before the Israeli elections has been a roller coaster of hope laced with a good dose of despair. Saturday at the checkpoint in Qalandiya, hundreds of Israeli women - Jewish, Christians and Muslims of all ages - came to meet their Palestinian sisters on the other side of the checkpoint. One thousand Palestinian women from the West Bank started walking towards the check point, only to be greeted by a wave of tear gas which injured thirty women.
The Israeli side had a small helping of gas, but not enough to prevent us from shouting words of encouragement and banging our drums to support their brave step. Perhaps this is the beginning of a new era which will be spearheaded by women.
Saturday night some 80,000 Israelis came to demonstrate in Tel Aviv for change. Let us hope that this bodes well for March 17th - the day of the elections.
Sunday, March 8th, International Women's Day, was an opportunity for the bereaved Palestinian and Israeli women at the Parents Circle to express their desire for change and to illuminate our message of reconciliation and nonviolence. We, who have paid the highest price in the conflict and who work on a daily basis for dialogue and understanding the needs of the other, invited the public to join us to view a monument we created commemorating the future victims of the conflict. We invited them to meet the bereaved families and to discuss with them the need for a vote for those who value human life above all.
This monument is an extraordinary multiplication of graves. It should bring home to all who witness, the need for a better future, free of violence and be a catalyst for those going to the polls on Tuesday.
The public will also be invited to stand with us this coming weekend on the famous Rothschild Boulevard in Tel-Aviv to view the monument and vote for life.