The Political is Indeed Personal in Israel and Palestine

by | November 30, 2015
filed under Feminism, Politics

Lilach, 33 is one of the women who has shared her story

Lilach, 33, is one of the women who has shared her story

The conflict in Israel-Palestine is a protracted conflict, which has gained much media coverage, especially in recent years. The history of the conflict can be explained differently depending on which sources are read and used.

Unfortunately, the usual description of the conflict we get from the news, often fails to show how the events affect individual lives, and particularly how these events affect individual women’s lives, in both dramatic and everyday ways.

In response, I decided to begin a project called: “Political is Personal / Israel + Palestine” on Facebook in the beginning of April 2015. The project, which at a later stage may extend into a website, is based on interviews that I conduct with individual Palestinian and Israeli women, transformed into individual stories published on the page that convey how the conflict affects and has affected them.

There are countless non-governmental organizations in this region, who focus on women’s voices and experiences in relations to the situation here. These NGO’s are crucial, as they contribute to empowering the voices of women in so many different ways.

What is unique about PiP is that it enables women to let their voices be heard throughout the world in a very direct way to readers, sharing women’s backgrounds, experiences, fears, joys and opinions. For women who chose to remain anonymous this is crucial, as they may not have similar opportunities to let others know what they have been through.

News outlets allow us, the readers, to be “aware” of what goes on in many parts of the world within a relatively short time of reading or watching. Summaries of intricate events often portray the “macro” situation.

PiP represents the “micro” of what happens on the ground to women from all backgrounds.

So why women? Well, with a slight twist of the 1970s feminist slogan “the personal is political,” I seek to emphasize the impact of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict on women’s lives and to demonstrate how it can differ from the impact on men.

In her story, Manal says her daughter, Karma (pictured), gives her hope.

In her story, Manal says her daughter, Karma (pictured), gives her hope.

I chose women as the protagonists in this storytelling because I sought to empower women’s voices, which still, to this date, are less heard around the world compared to those of men.

In addition to this, I intend to bring light to women’s experiences, status, roles, as well as some women’s direct involvement with mending the conflict’s damages and achievements in spite of the conflict.

As mentioned in the “About” section of the page, the mission of Political is Personal is fourfold:

  1. To channel, and as such to empower the voices of Israeli and Palestinian women;
  2. To reveal some of the hidden (micro) sides of the conflict to those who seek to learn more about how the conflict is perceived and experienced by women from different backgrounds on both sides;
  3. To demonstrate that the political here indeed is personal and
  4. To ultimately contribute to exposing the hurt and damage caused by the conflict thus far as a way to promote peace, reconciliation and justice in the spirit of Security Council Resolution 1325.

To find out more, please visit Political is Personal / Israel + Palestine (Have a Read & Listen).

If you like the concept and the stories please like the page and share for the stories to get out to others. Also, if you would like to contribute to the development and the sustainability of the project, please donate!


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