Desperate Times Call For Desperate Measures: Women Wage Peace

It was just beautiful, earlier this month hundreds of Australian protesters literally buried their head in the sand in Bondi Beach, in a demonstration over climate change inaction. The purpose of this dramatic protest was to send a message to the prime minister and the G20 leaders ahead of the 2014 summit in Brisbane.

It is unclear whether such a demonstration will bring about the needed changes, but I cannot think of a better way to illustrate blindness and to protest against stupidity.

A similar symbolic act was chosen to mark the launching of a new Israeli movement Women Wage Peace. Last Tuesday more than 1000 women boarded  “a train for peace” from Tel Aviv to Sderot to protest against the irresponsibility of Israeli leaders whose “leadership train” has derailed and it is speedily heading for destruction of  all passengers –Jews and Arabs alike.

Women Wage Peace demands to find an agreement, to end violence, and to choose life. It is especially crucial that women whose biological role is to give life will be part of any political solution.

It had happened before, not that long ago,another women organization: The Four Mothers, was influential in changing public opinion and eventually helped convincing the Israeli government to withdraw from Lebanon. In May 2000 when Ehud Barak withdrew from Lebanon, it was largely thanks to the relentless work of the group..

But normally male politicians in Israel dismiss women’s ability to solve military and political problems. For example, the same Ehud Barak did not hesitate to draw on his celebrated military career in a campaign to discredit his female opponent Tzipi Livni, and arrogantly declared: “we need a leader with experience, ask yourself who would you trust to answer the phone at the zero hour at three in the morning (July 2008)”

For years these scare tactics worked, when it came to the military many of us were too afraid to say a word. Moreover, even once they had retired from the army, male generals have been ruling the country landing the best and most lucrative jobs in Israel, since who else could we trust to answer the phone?

Great news, women have experience answering the phones: we have been doing it for years, as it was one of the few jobs open for women..In addition, our reality forces us to think outside the box and to come up with ingenious and innovative solutions.

To illustrate my point, this is an anecdote about the challenges of a young career woman– a mother, in the relentless business world. Her daughter celebrated her birthday at the preschool and had warned the  mother that if she failed to show up to the party on time, she would dismiss her as a mother.

On the appointed day the mother had to attend a meeting which was due to end fifteen minutes prior to the party. As it was rush hour, she knew that she would never get from the center of Tel Aviv  to the party on time. Desperate times called for desperate measures, thus she had planned ahead and hired a delivery motorcyclist who waited for her at the end of the meeting and raced  through heavy traffic to the school: She wasn’t late.

In order to be there for her daughter, that young woman had no choice but to find a solution, and she did it by using her creativity, resourcefulness, and intelligence.

Among the thousands of women who joined Women Wage Peace, there are many women, just like her, who could  be trusted to answer the phone  at the zero hour. They are perfectly capable to bring an innovative solution which will benefit us all. One thing for sure, unlike the generals, these women would not fight the last war.

A link to the Australians who buried their heads in the sand:

Friday Funny: Australians bury their heads in the sand to protest inaction on climate change


About the Author
I have a PhD in English literature from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and I usually write about issues concerning women, literature, culture and society. I lived in the US for 15 years (between 1979-1994). I am widow and in March 2016 started a support/growth Facebook group for widows: "Widows Move On." In October 2017 I started a Facebook group for Older and Experienced Feminists. I am also an active member of Women Wage Peace and believe that women can succeed where men have failed.
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