For the past two weeks women and men throughout Israel have been demonstrating peacefully for hope and peace in various locations as part of the Women Wage Peace March of Hope. The Eilat and Arava Region march in Eilat, as well as the final national march and rally in Jerusalem, took place this week, and many Arava Institute students and staff members participated.
For a long time Israelis have had no hope. People say the situation is deteriorating, and the future does not look bright. This week it felt as though the situation was changing a little. Women and men from across the political and social spectrum gathered to restore hope, to remind people that the future does not have to be like the present. That it could be better here if only we want it to.
This week, we marched with signs saying “We will not stop until there is a peace agreement” because this is the only solution. In order for things to get better here, there has to be an agreement between both sides that is not achieved through coercion or violence, but rather emerges out of mutual agreement.
It was exciting to see women my mother’s age or older who don’t give up. A generation of women who could be saying they’ve done their part, and it’s the younger people’s turn now; and, yet, they do not give up. They show their children and grandchildren that if they are willing to not give up and to continue to believe that it could be better here, so, too, can the new generation!
We came to add our strength to the rallies but left feeling strengthened.
It turns out that there is a better future, if we want.
Submitted by Keren Kestenband