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Final Declaration: Conference 2005

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A drafting committee composed of several Israelis, several Palestinians, and several women from abroad composed a Final Declaration that drew heavily from the workshop discussions at the conference.


In light of criticism of some of the text, the Israeli Organizing Committee agreed to post the Declaration on the international website and to use it as a springboard for discussion of some of these controversial issues.


Final Declaration


We, Palestinian, Israeli, and international women, gathered this week in Jerusalem for the "Women in Black 13th International Conference":


1.      Affirm our commitment to work together as a worldwide network of women dedicated to freedom, equality, justice, peace, women's rights, and a world free of violence.  Agree to meet again to continue our struggle and reaffirm our commitment to the work and goals of our network, in the next Women in Black International Conference to be held in the Spanish state.


2.      Insist on the participation of women as full partners in the prevention and resolution of conflicts, and in the negotiation and implementation of peace agreements according to UN Resolution 1325. The active and equal participation of women of diverse backgrounds in decision making is crucial to ensure that issues related to women's economic, social, national, ethnic and cultural rights, freedom of choices and security are raised and effectively addressed.


3.      Demand social and economic justice and condemn the exploitative system and structure of multinational corporations' globalization that drive into poverty millions of people all over the world, and that thrive at the cost of social justice and human development.


4.      Work for a world where difference does not mean inequality, oppression or exclusion, as we struggle against all causes of oppression and discrimination based on gender, race, sexual preference, age, national and ethnic identity, and religion.


5.      Challenge the militaristic policies of our governments, call for disarmament, and condemn the interference of the US and its allies in the political affairs of other sovereign nations.


6.      Commit ourselves to promote education and a language of truth and hope that reflect our right to justice, to remedy and to reparation, which are the basis for the creation of a world based on the values of equality, justice, cooperation, and solidarity.


7.      Condemn feminicide and all forms of violence – sexual, physical or psychological – to which women are subject in areas of conflict, in militarized zones, and in their daily lives.


8.      Demand an immediate end to the war and United States occupation of Iraq, and stand in solidarity with Iraqi women in their struggle for their legal and human rights.


9.      Call for a just and sustainable peace between Israel and Palestine based on international law and human rights, to be achieved by


         An end to the Israeli occupation;

         Immediate cessation of all actions against civilians, assassinations, closures, house demolitions, land confiscation, settlement building, construction of the Apartheid Wall, water deprivation, denial of access to schools, hospitals and places of work and worship;

         The immediate release of all political prisoners;

         Dismantlement of all Israeli settlements in the Palestinian territories occupied in 1967;

         Immediate final status negotiations leading to a viable sovereign Palestinian state alongside Israel on the June 4th, 1967 borders. Peace and a resolution of the conflict will not be achieved by unilateral actions such as disengagement.

         The recognition of Jerusalem as two capitals for two states, and the immediate ending of all unilateral actions leading to the ethnic cleansing of Jerusalem.

         Israel's recognition of responsibility for the plight of Palestinian refugees as a pre-requisite to finding a just and lasting resolution of the refugee question in accordance with the relevant UN resolutions

         Recognition of the national and civil rights of the Palestinian minority in Israel.


Though not the same yardstick can be used for occupied and occupiers, we recognize the lack of security, fear, and emotional anxiety experienced by Palestinian and Israelis affected by the ongoing conflict and violence, and by being civilian victims to the conflict itself.  We believe that international community intervention is critically needed to make sure Israel is held accountable for its actions in the occupied territories and to build a just peace between Israel and Palestine. We support the call upon the international community to impose non-violent and effective measures such as divestment and sanctions on Israel, for as long as Israel continues to violate international law, and continues the occupation and the oppression of the Palestinian people.





Debby Lerman presenting the final declaration to the plenary. Photo: Charling Tao

International Women in Black Conference, Jerusalem, August 2005.
As elsewhere on this website, opinions expressed about this conference are solely my own.  Gila Svirsky