Last week thousands of Israeli and Palestinian women marched through the desert as part of a campaign called “Journey to Peace”.
The main organiser, Women Wage Peace, whose members span ethnic and religious boundaries, aims to “pressure the Israeli government to prioritise the reaching of an agreement” with the Palestinian leadership.
“We are women from the right, the left, Jews and Arabs, from the cities and the periphery and we have decided that we will stop the next war,” said Marilyn Smadja, one of the founders of the organizing group.
Last year, a similar march was held near Jericho. In 2015, Women Wage Peace fasted (in shifts) outside the Israeli Prime Minister’s residence for 50 days, to mark one year since the 2014 Gaza war.
According to the organisers, at least 5,000 women participated in this year’s march, while some 30,000 people took part in the Women Wage Peace rally on Sunday night, in Jerusalem’s Independence Park, Haaretz reports. Speakers at Jerusalem’s rally included former MK Shakib Shanan, whose son Kamil was killed in a terror attack at the Temple Mount three months ago.
“Although my heart is bleeding I stand here tonight with you. In pride and faith that only peace and love must connect us. We have suffered so much, Palestinian families and Israeli families have lost their loved ones and been left with a wound that does not heal.
“I came here to say, we want to live! We are allowed to say this out loud – we are peace-loving. In the name of this huge audience here and hundreds of thousands of Israelis I call on Abu Mazen [Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas] and [Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu – enough! Sit already. Sit already! We want peace. Listen to our cry, it comes from our hearts. Listen to the cries of truth and justice, we want peace, from this place hope emerges.”
If you are interested in supporting Women Wage Peace, there are opportunities to donate, volunteer, and even join the organisation on their website.