Feminism in Palestine and Israel
By Steph, Robert, and Jessica A.

Arab Feminist Organizations Map


(Ran Cohen, pmc, 5/24/03)
Israeli fence surrounding the populated areas of Palestine.

Women's Status
Birth Control
Feminist Movements

A rap video by the group DAM (Da Arab MC's) who are Palestinians living in Israel. The subtitles are done by the user with help from the group's lyrics on their website. This powerful song is very explicit in commenting about life during the struggle for peace.

In searching for a historical timeline of past events related to Israel and Palestine I came across two differing views of the history.
The site
American Friends Service Community is in italics
Information quoted from Mid East Web is in plain font
Other sources cited properly...

1937 British commissions propose that Palestine be divided
into Jewish and Arab areas, angering the majority Palestinian Arab population/
into a small Jewish state and a large Arab one.

1947 The U.N. is given the task by Britain to resolve the issue of land in Palestine. Resolution 181 is created to allocate land.
Resolution 181 calls for Palestine to be divided into a Jewish state (57% of Palestine), an Arab state (43% of Palestine)… At the time, Jewish land ownership was less than 7%.
Palestine was to be divided into a Jewish State and an Arab State; Jerusalem was to be internationalized. The resolution is supported by both the US and USSR. Arab countries and Arab league refuse to recognize the resolution.

1948 Civil war in Palestine/ Israel War of Independence (1948 War)
Israel becomes a Jewish State within Palestine. Other Arab states declare war on Israel.
Israel gains control of 77% of British Mandatory Palestine, including some areas designated for Palestinian Arab state; Jordan and Egypt hold the West Bank and the Gaza Strip respectively, Jerusalem divided;
April 4th massacre of the Palestinian village Deir Yassin spurred fear and threat; 85% of the Palestinians were displaced before, during, and after the fighting are not allowed to return, and over 500 Palestinian villages were destroyed;
Resolution 194 supports right of Palestinian refugees to regain their homes if they so desire or to receive compensation if they choose not to return.

Egyptian, Syrian and Jordanian invasion began.

1950 Law of Return passed in Israel. Permits any Jew to become a citizen of Israel once inside of the country.
Does not apply to Palestinian refugees seeking to return to the homes they left in 1948 and 1967.

1951 The Equal Rights for Women Law
The law established quality between men and women, as well as giving women specific rights to property and guardianship of children. (Daphne Barak-Erez, 2003)

1964 Establishment of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO)
to preserve the Palestinian entity/ founded with the aim of destroying Israel.

1967 Six Day War
Begins when Israel attacks Egypt, claiming it is acting preemptively; Israel occupies West Bank, Gaza Strip, Egyptian Sinai, and Syrian Golan Heights, expands Jerusalem boundaries and extends Israeli law over East Jerusalem.
Israel destroys the Egyptian air force on the ground, conquers and occupies Sinai and Gaza, then conquers the West Bank from Jordan, and Golan Heights from Syria.
U.N. Security Council Resolution 242: calls for withdrawal of Israeli troops from territories newly occupied; 500,000 more Palestinians are displaced.
Resolution 242 called for Israeli withdrawal, establishment of peace.

1979 Peace Treaty between Egypt and Israel signed in Washington D.C.

1982 Israel enters Lebanon in an effort to remove the PLO.
Israeli invasion of Lebanon; over 18,000 Lebanese and Palestinian civilian casualties; PLO evacuated from Beirut to Tunisia; three-day massacre at Sabra and Shatilla refugee camps near Beirut; 400,000 Israelis demonstrate, call for investigation of Israel's role in massacre.
Massive Israeli invasion of Lebanon to fight PLO.

1987-1993 Predominantly nonviolent (demonstrations, strikes) First Palestinian intifada.

1993 Oslo Accords: secret negotiations between Israel and Palestine. Negotiations towards peace meant to be done in stages.
Israel drastically restricts Palestinian movement between Occupied Palestinian Territories (except East Jerusalem) and Israel, marking the beginning of the Israeli policy of closure and restriction of Palestinian movement; Israel and the PLO sign Declaration of Principles (the "Oslo Accords) on interim self-government arrangements.
Israel and PLO agree to mutual recognition

1995 Oslo II Accords establish three types of control in the West Bank (Area A: direct Palestinian control, Area B: Palestinian civilian control and Israeli security control, Area C: Israeli control).
Palestinian Authority to be established.

1995 Miller legal victory
Alice Miller wins in Supreme Court after IAF turned down her application to their prestigious pilots school, despite her outstanding qualifications, because she was a woman (Daphne Barak-Erez, 2003).

2000 Second Intifada- Palestinian uprising with emphasis on violence and civil disobedience.

2002 Israeli Security Wall
Israel begins construction of "security fence" within the West Bank, confiscating additional Palestinian lands.
Israel conducts operation Defensive Wall in the West Bank, following a large number of Palestinian suicide attacks on civilian targets.

2004 Israeli Security wall must be torn down because it violates international law

2005 Disengagement - Israeli evacuation of Gaza settlements and four West Bank settlements began on August 15 and was completed August 24.

2006 Hamas [The Islamic Resistance Movement, tied to the Muslim Brotherhood, calling for the creation of an Islamic state in all of historic Palestine] wins a majority in Palestinian Parliamentary Elections in January; Ehud Olmert elected Israeli Prime Minister as a member of the Kadima Party; after militants captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit in June demanding the release of Palestinian women and children from Israeli prisons.

A link to an article from Arab Studies Quarterly which is an introduction to some women's issues in Palestine.
A link to an article about Israeli women's rights in the courts.
A brief summary article of the establishment of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO).
A link to an article about Israel agreeing to a peace treaty.

Womens/ Feminist Organizations: Israel
external image nablus_jeru_children.jpg?display=large
Palestinian and Israeli Children Together, Courtesy of: http://coalitionofwomen.org/home/english/organizations/the_fifth_mother/nablus_jeru_children.jpg/view_photo

Women In Black (WIB):
This group began in Israel in 1988. Women dressed in black protested the Israeli Occupation of the Palestinian West Bank and Gaza. Their protest mainly consisted of silent vigils held in public places at regularly set times. They are for justice and peace, and utilize non-violent means in order to protest violence, militarism and war (Cockburn, 2000).

Machsom Watch:
This Israeli Womens group supervises the 600 checkpoints in the West Bank in response to harassment of Palestinians by Israeli soldiers. These women work in groups of three at checkpoints to supervise Israeli soldiers and to help communicate with travelers who do not have the proper papers. Their goals are human rights oriented and their organization consists of around 400 Israeli women.
external image Picture_030.jpg
Picture courtesy of: <http://www.machsomwatch.org/images/Tulkarm/Picture_030.jpg> April 18, 2007.

Sources Cited

Ha'aretz - Israeli newspaper, online English edition