A Sincere Offer of Peace to Israel

The following speech was delivered on Sunday, 6 July 2008, in the auditorium of the Faculty of Dental Medicine of the Universidad Complutense de Madrid, in Madrid, Spain. I was invited to give this speech by the organizers of the conference “Mundo de Mujeres / Womens World 08“, in the parallel conference “Mediterranean Voices II”, discussing gender and peace in the Mediterranean region.

The conference and the various parallel conferences dedicated to special issues was visited by around 5.000 women from the different countries around the Mediterranean; it was sponsored by various ministries of the Spanish Government, by the City of Madrid, indirectly by various EU institutions and many well-institutions of the economic and social life of Spain. Thank you again the organizers and to the sponsors for the invitation. It was a honor and a needed opportunity to speak about the Palestinian issue. I hope that my speech will contribute towards an improvement for my people. I have given it the title “A Sincere Offer of Peace to Israel”.

Good Evening Ladies and Gentlemen,
(1) Thank you very much to the University and to the other organizers of this event for your kind invitation, and thank you also to the participants for your interest in what I have to say. Congratulations for Spain and the Spanish people for winning the European Football Championship 2008. I want also to clarify that my presence in this conference is not in the name of Palestinians, but that I come as Kawther Salam. I come to raise the voice for women whose basic rights are violated under the Palestinian Authority and the Israeli occupation and its military laws, inherited from the British mandate, and under the observance of the international community, who make us sick with their parasitic songs of “human rights, human rights”.

Madrid (14)(2) I asked myself why the organizers of this conference did not invite women from Gaza or the West Bank, who know far better than me about the daily horrors of the occupation. Until today noon I thought that it would be better if I did not speak about the crimes against women and humanity in my land, because 20 minutes are not enough to speak about this, but after other participants took great liberties with the schedule, I asked myself if there are some participants more equal than others.

(3) I was asked to speak about gender, and the program says that the current block is about constructing peace. I find it difficult to speak about these issues taking in consideration the current situation in Palestine: How could I speak about gender while the most basic rights of women and men are equally violated by the jewish foreigners who illegally occupy my country? How can I talk about peace while the Jews of the world are conducting a systematic and obstinate campaign of genocide against my people, while Israel has converted Gaza into an extermination camp for all its inhabitants: men, women, children, even the old and sick ?

(4) And in addition to the horrors perpetrated upon us by the occupation, the women of Palestine must endure the repression by our own men. Honor killings, rape, incest, violence, exclusion from a wide range of activities and rights are life as usual for all women in Palestine. Under such conditions, it becomes clear that “human rights” and “women rights” are very personal concepts, not something “good to have” but a matter of survival, for both genders. Let me start with personal examples.

Madrid (50)(5) My youngest sister is one of the many women who have benefited from the respect shown for women rights by the PA. Three years ago she married an employee of the PA National forces. As we found out, she became his second wife, after his first wife ran away from him. During the wedding festivities, the dowry of my sister disappeared, it was later found out that her husband had stolen it, and he later claimed that he had stolen it for “security reasons”. But the truth was that he used this gold to open a brothel for PA employees, and he also married a young girl in secret. He sold the favors of this new wife to his colleagues from the PA, and he made and sold videos of these activities until the family of the young girl found out what was going on. The family killed the poor girl and cut and hung her head before the house for all neighbors to see, in order to save their honor.

(6) Neither the man nor the family of the murdered girl were punished, none of the men who participated in the abuse of this woman were punished, and my sister, who first heard about her husbands crimes from neighbors, could divorce this man only because I was able to intercede in her favor. Worst of all, these horrible deeds are not even considered crimes, because under the Jordanian penal code of 1960, which is applied in Palestine until now for unknown reasons, it is legal to kill women in order to protect the honor of the family. This and other Jordanian laws strongly discriminate between men and women, they are inhuman and a crime against all women.

(7) The honor killings have strongly increased in Gaza and Ramallah during the last years. At the beginning of 2008, a man from Gaza who had escaped from jail where he was for a rape, murdered his three sisters because he suspected them of “talking with men”.  In Ramallah, two sister were murdered in April 2008 by their brother, for “honor”. The newspapers do not report these crimes, and neither do human rights organizations: the censorship is absolute. But far from asking the PA to do something for the rights of women, the EU has recently gifted them with 150 million Euros for their corrupt forces and to build a jail by 2010, as if the hundreds of jails of the Israelis were not already enough.

(8) I, for my part, am one of many examples of how the occupation respects human rights, of how they respect women. During my work as a journalist, I was subject to beatings, insults, sexual harassment, I filed over 300 complaints against the Israeli military occupation at the Israeli police station, but never I got answers; I  was even the victim of theft and betrayal: two Israeli Jewish women who presented themselves as friends, one from Haaretz newspaper and the other one from the Israeli TV Channel 8, not only stole my journalistic work in order to make money, they used it against me and other Palestinian women; finally the occupation threatened to have me murdered if I did not leave my home Hebron. And since I am in the exile and have started posting articles on the Internet, I have received many insults and several death threats from Israel.

(9) Neither I nor my sister are unique cases of the respect which Israelis and the PA show for women rights. Women are continuously subjected to harassment, intimidation and ill-treatment at Israeli checkpoints. In Hebron alone many cases exist where women must part their legs on the street and before the public to give birth under inhuman conditions, because the occupiers at the checkpoints do not let these women go to the hospital to give birth. In many of these cases, the children died after birth.

(10) But while the West Bank has been converted into a walled ghetto where murder and other crimes are committed against us every day, the occupiers have converted Gaza into an extermination camp: 70% of pregnant women are anemic because of the lack of food; hundreds of sick persons, many women and children among them, have died because the Israeli occupation did not allow these persons to access necessary medical care. And many women and children have died in Gaza because the Jewish occupation simply murdered them, for example, Aya Hamdan Al-Najjar of Gaza was aged 8 when a rocket fired from an Israeli helicopter disintegrated her in her house on past June 11. Her mother, who was gravely injured in the incident, said that what was left of Aya was mixed with the chicken food. Since 2002, about 288 women have been killed in Palestine, including 105 girls. Many of these killings amount to grave breaches of the Fourth Geneva Convention, mandating individual criminal responsibility for the perpetrators, the commanders, and the political responsible.

Madrid (42)(11) How could I talk about gender when it is not only women who are abused by the Israeli occupation? Wisam Al-Ali, who was recently freed from the Israeli jail, said that there is a Jewish prostitute of Iraqi origin called “Nora”, who sits on the lap of the Palestinians prisoners and plays with their genitals while they are being interrogated and tortured; they do this especially with young and religious prisoners. This is grave sexual abuse against men. And I have documented many cases where Israeli soldiers raped men and women in Hebron.

(12) I have asked myself, what could the EU do to alleviate the situation in Palestine, but when I see the situation of women here, I see that the situation is not good at all for women. In Germany and Austria the deteriorating economic conditions have caused a massive  increase in the numbers of university students prostituting themselves; here in Spain there is apparently a custom similar to the honor killings in many Arab countries; the incomes of women are stagnating across the EU, the education opportunities for women constantly decrease, and it is clear that in almost all aspects of life, women are being brutally pushed to the margins of society in all European countries. If the EU has no interest in their own women, what could we Palestinians expect ?

(13) And, if I look at how the official EU responds to the horrific crimes of Israel, the only thing I see is that all these governments are complicit in genocide and crimes against humanity, and that they are doing everything possible to make sure that crime pays well, studiously disregarding the laws of their countries, and the international treaties they are supposed to enforce. Why did they send Tony Blair, that indecent organizer of genocide against Iraq and Afghanistan, to be a representative for “peace” in my country ? How is it possible that this war criminal becomes a representative for the construction of peace? The armies of Iraqi women forced into prostitution, who have become widows and who have lost their children are a clear testimony to the criminality of Tony Blair.

Madrid (7)(14) What could Angela Merkel, the woman who recently stated the existence of Israel was “in the interest of her government” care about us? Does she not read the laws of her own country, the treaties which Germany has signed? And what could one say about the EU, which gives Israel preferential treatment, despite the fact that Article 2 of the association agreement (.PDF file) between the EU and Israel states that respect for human rights is the condition for its implementation ?

(15) Yet somehow we Palestinians are supposed to “peacefully coexist” or “make peace” with people who have no intentions but to dispossess and murder us, each one of us? Often in history, but not always, peace has been initiated by women. We women are the physically weakest integrants of society, but just as true and despite outward appearances, we women are the carriers of the values, the character and culture which define our respective societies, in every single social group, with one exception. Societies which deny women participation in matters concerning the group impoverish sooner or later. So let us look at the women and try to find if there is a way towards peace in Palestine.

(16) The culture and society of us Palestinians is traditionally based around agriculture and commerce, we have a delicious and varied kitchen when the occupiers are not starving us, and we have a long history in common with the other peoples who live around the Mediterranean sea; olive trees are seen by most families as their patrimony, and before the occupiers made life almost impossible for everybody, even women were respected and treated well in Palestine. While most of us became Muslims over time, sizeable Christian and Jewish communities also lived well there, and terms like racism or genocide were not known.

Madrid (46)(17) When I look over the fence at the German, Russian, American, Spanish, South-American women who pretend to be Jews, who live on the stolen land and in the stolen houses of the Palestinians which they or their parents massacred or dumped in some refugee camp not so long ago, the contrast could not be greater. What society have these women brought and created ? Who are the exponents of this light upon humanity ? What makes these women so special and different ? The behavior of the enlightened society created by these women, as I have seen it, can be summarized in cutting down millions of olive trees, razing entire villages, plowing farms which were the only source of food for whole townships, stealing everything that is not nailed down and then coming back with a crowbar for the rest, murdering and brutalizing people with impunity, breaking every law and accord, hatred, hatred, hatred. This is the behavior of psychopaths, of individuals with a defective mind who know no empathy, no remorse, no decency.

(18) I must ask: what kind of women create such a society ? And I think that this is not a society or a culture created by women, because the values, the character and the culture of the Israeli society is dictated by an evil cult whose priests call themselves “master”. Looking at Israel, it is clear that this evil cult of psychopaths has taken over the role which women have in all other societies, and that in Israeli society women have been reduced to the role of breeding serfs for the cult and its twisted ideals. One needs to look only at the influence of the extremist religious settlers to see that Israeli society and values are completely determined by the thoughts and ideals of a minority of sick minds grouped around the cult.

(19) To the point: how does one make peace with individuals who know neither remorse nor conscience? With people who see any attempt at making peace on just terms as a weakness to be exploited, people who understand only bad faith deals as we have seen since the occupation started ? With whom does one speak about peace when there are no women to speak to ?

(20) My only answer is the following sincere offer of peace to all Israeli women able to understand me:

(21) Take back your place at the center of your society from the servants of evil who have kept you wandering the desert for so long, the evil men who brought you to my homeland on false promises. Taking in consideration the story of the Prophet Lot, stop all acts of aggression against us immediately; obey every single UN resolution which has been passed; respect the same laws for all peoples living in Palestine; give us back East Jerusalem as the capital of our State; call and invite all Palestinians who wish so to return to their homes; give back what you have stolen and pay just reparations and indemnification to all those who you have harmed, and respect us and live in peace with us forever if you wish to stay. If you do not wish to accept this offer, then take your families and belongings and leave in peace while you can. And never look back. Ever.

Madrid (62)(22) We Palestinians want to live in Peace; our children deserve to live in Peace just like all children everywhere else in the world. We want to live in peace with neighbors who understands the language of peace, not the language of Apache helicopters, war tanks and military occupation. Enough is enough, we have lived sixty years of Al-Nakba, and now I want to go back to my family and to live in peace with peaceful neighbours.  Like all Palestinians, I want to see the occupation ended.

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9 comments to A Sincere Offer of Peace to Israel

  • Adam Zettler

    An excellent read. Thank you. The whole world must stand together and convince Israel to change its ways, and to end the ideology of supremacism which permeates their society and government.
    This also means that we, as people who seek justice for all of mankind, must support Jews who speak out against this ideology and the concept of Zionism.
    God Bless You.

  • John Taylor

    Jews control mainstream media with an iron fist. Americans believe mainstream media as much as they believe their bibles, korans or other religious texts. Until America wakes up and sees the mainstream media as a gigantic propaganda machine nothing will change. Quite simply, mainstream media is an instrument of Israeli propaganda.
    For the American public it is a case of see no evil hear no evil, speak no evil.
    Israel refused a UN Human Rights committee entry to Palestine in the last month. Where did you read about this and why do you think entry was refused.
    Until the US public wakes up and takes an unbiased position in middle east politics, including disarming Israel of nukes, America will soon be embroiled in WW3 while Israel stands on the sidelines.
    People love to criticize Geo. W. who states that he never reads the newspaper. Even he has it figured out.
    I encourage people who saw the movie “Network” some years ago with Fae Dunnaway and Peter Finch to watch it again. It is a classic comedy/drama with a powerful message about media manipulation.

  • Tomás

    Your words struck such a strong chord with me as i remember the Women of Northern Ireland during the “Troubles” – they were the ones who held the family together while the men were out trying to work, in what little jobs they could get – they were the ones, who stood face to face with the British Army who Dared to come into their community and tried to impose there rule, or, stood up to the people of their own community who were making life a misery. Women are seen as the peace – makers but rue the day that you mess with their families and homestead. It was the Women of Northern Ireland that stood together through their community groups and brought about peace. Your words are true and heartfelt and I wish you all the best in your search.

  • Jean

    Your speech is well written and persuasive, but it is not an offer. An offer is something you propose YOU will do in exchange, or freely. You have only made demands. Why should Israel give in to your demands simply because you demand it? You have offerred nothing in exchange–no reason why they should. If the Palestinian women would unite and demand that their men stop violence, period, against both Israelis and Palestinians, then you would have something to offer–peace. As long as the Palestinians have violence ingrained in their culture, they cannot actually offer peace. You cannot offer what you do not possess.

  • Rabbit

    Awesome as always Kawther.
    These Mongol Frauds have had warning enough.
    Either they pull their heads in soon or they are going to get the chop.

  • Pro US

    You people have been at war with each-other for thousands of years. I don’t care what type of agreement you come up with, it will never be enough. It seems that you, “and the entire middle east”, will always find some bone of contention or injustice to justify war. You people could have the f..ing garden of eden and you would still find something to fight over. I hope you all die and go away because I am tired of hearing you all complain and my country being involved. You extremists will attack each other and drag us all into a world war and I hate you for it. Damn you all and damn your oil. We should be pumping and using our own and let you all kill yourselves off.

  • Beautiful speech. It calls into question the received wisdom that women are always peacemakers, while at the same time outlining the fact that the fiber of women running through society makes a strong thread that can be used to build up the fabric of resistance to evil. Women who are not placed in the position of those in Palestine owe their deepest solidarity to the women there. But at bottom, it is both men and women living in the empire that must resist. I am wondering how your speech was received at this conference.

  • I think that Israel will never give in to reason, of any sort. Following a religion of hate, and allowing people who have no relationship with the area whatsoever, and are Jews only because some of their European ancestors converted to Judaism, to come and murder innocent Palestinians and other Semites, as well as steal their land, I see little hope for peace without Israel being on the losing end of an armed conflict.

  • Daniel Weissmann

    This sounds more like a threat and an attempt to intimidate, than a “sincere offer for peace”.

    Comment: No, and only a complete imbecile could read it that way.

    What Daniel Weissmann (and don’t attribue your stupid words to others) is saying is that either we Israelis give the Palestinians a “Judenrein” Palesinian state, accept a bi-national Israel (where the Palestinians will eventually become the majority through the “demographical weapon”), give up our rights to the most sacred places to Judaism, compensate the Palestinian refugees while ignoring the rights of the Jewish refugees from the Arab world, stop all actions against the Palestinian terror groups regardless of their actions, “IF WE WISH TO STAY”, OR ELSE: “take your families and belongings and leave in peace WHILE YOU CAN”.

    With partners for peace like that – who needs enemies?

    Edit and Comment:
    And if you had paid more attention, you would have noticed that the speech was about and for WOMEN WHO UNDERSTAND. Since you are neither, what are you doing here, boy ? Go whine somewhere else, because here nobody will help you.

    Given your imbecilic comment and since you post from, I think it is not wrong to say that that you are one of the many thieving, murdering and terrorist foreigners who come to my land because in their own societies they are complete failures unable to understand what is right and what is wrong, one of the many Europeans and American who want to lead a life of crime or enjoy the fruits of their and others crimes and be admired for this. It should be possible to find out who had to be murdered or ethnically cleansed from where you live, and if we could ask those who know you, with some probability we would find out about children shot, women (and men) raped, families beaten up, destroyed and stolen property, incidents of vandalism, terrorism, and who knows what else.

    Theodor Herzl was right when commented that Jews were like phantoms who could be blown away by the wind, but as the antisocial idiot which he ultimately was, he never understood that one asks before taking what belongs to others, that one does not grow roots or gain rights anywhere by way of wholesale crime and terrorism. And it is obvious that most of his followers, Daniel Weissmann included, have failed to understand these elemental facts of human life over 100 years after Herzls death. True, with “partners” like that, who needs enemies.

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