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by Carol Jankow-Peace Resource Center, Jim Carte
Monday, May. 20, 2002 at 3:26 PM
MAY 19, 2002--Led by "Power," a giant puppet of an old woman, 10 members of the Old Women's Project demonstrated today in San Diego's Balboa Park in support of "brave Israeli voices for peace."
RealVideo: stream with RealPlayer or download RM file (15.4 mebibytes)
(see the Video below)
Saying that they choose to stand publicly and proudly with those Israelis and Palestinians who follow a path of peace, the women silently followed "Power" wearing signs and passing out flyers to call attention to the fact that there has been little U.S. media coverage of:
--the 450-plus "refuseniks," Israeli soldiers and officers who have refused to serve in the Occupied Territories because they find the level of violence taking place against the Palestinians unacceptable. (For more information about the Courage to Refuse, please see http://www.nimn.org/refuse/about.html)
--the stand of Yaffa Yarkoni, the 77-year-old national heroine who has sung for generations of Israeli soldiers and is now speaking out fiercely against Israel's occupation of Palestinian and the recent invasions. As a result, her performances-including a lifetime tribute to her--have been canceled and Israeli government ministers have vilified her. She continues to speak out, saying, "We are a people who have been through the Holocaust. How are we capable of doing these things?" (L.A. Times, May 2, 2002)
--the 60,000-plus Israelis who marched in Tel Aviv's Rabin Square last Saturday calling calling for an end to the occupation of the Palestinians territories.
In their flyer passed out to park visitors, the women also stated that:
"The difference between war and terrorism is that, in a war, after you come in with weapons of massive destruction, level homes, kill and main old women, mothers, children, old men who were cooking dinner, playing or sleeping-you say, 'Oops!'
You cannot end terrorism with more terrorism. You create new terrorists who have nothing to lose, and others who will support them. The cycle of violence kills, maims, and devastates Israeli and Palestinian women and men and children who are only trying to live.
The Old Women's Project does not support terrorism/war on either the Israeli or Palestinian sides. We stand for a just solution. We abhor anti-Semitism and anti-Arab hate."
The Old Women's Project who's first action was a Mobilization for Low Cost Housing on International Women's Day, March 8, 2001, works to raise awareness of old women's issues--making visible their stake in issues of social justice and to combat the ageist attitudes that ignore, trivialize and demean older women in our society. They have been active in other local social justice issues, including Justice for Janitors, the California Coalition for Women Prisoners and support for health workers.
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