(Photos can be enlarged with two separate clicks.)
Meet two delightful new friends, Faheema and Maya.
Our banner says "Women Wage Peace. We vote for [or: choose] a negotiated diplomatic peace agreement."
We met yesterday at the women's peace march in Jerusalem organized by the new non-political NGO Women Wage Peace / Nashim Osot Shalom.
Thousands of women, both Jews and Arabs, came from all over Israel to make their voice heard.
We gathered at the memorial pillar in the square next to Israel's Supreme Court building.
The warm-up on a cold Jerusalem day: circle dancing, music!
We set out on the march, pausing for photos at the Japanese bonsho peace bell.
Down the hill and through the big Sacher Park.
Women Wage Peace SOUTH.
Two of the organization's guiding lights from Meitar and our neighbor from the Bedouin town Hura.
Facing the Knesset building, singing in the rain, and hoping our speeches, cheers, and applause would be heard and taken to heart by the country's lawmakers, policy makers, and voters.
Start talking peace so we can stop fighting wars, that is the message of many mothers, grandmothers, and wives of soldiers.
After hours of walking, circling the Knesset, and standing to hear speeches, we returned to the Supreme Court, where our buses waited to take us home, whether south to the Negev or north to the Golan.
The message one sees when driving out of Jerusalem was especially poignant and hopeful yesterday.
Written in stone, the Hebrew says "Tsetchem la-shalom," literally, May your going out be toward peace.
A news video about our demonstration: http://www.i24news.tv/en/news/israel/politics/63184-150304-israeli-women-protest-for-peace-ahead-of-election
http://www.jpost.com/Israel-News/Thousands-of-mothers-gather-at-Knesset-to-demand-Israeli-Palestinian-peace-accord-392948 The best expert quote here is " “Israel as a state is going through a kind of collective PTSD post traumatic stress disorder … and it’s time to help our people heal.”
And one in French: http://www.afp.com/fr/info/israel-un-mouvement-de-femmes-veut-reveiller-le-camp-de-la-paix
More photos of the march and more info at Women Wage Peace on Facebook.