Women Wage Peace members Pnina Dobo, Hadassah Naveh and Vivian Silver met with the Swedish Ambassador to Israel on Thursday, September 24 to introduce him to the movement.
The ambassador welcomed the women, saying he was very happy to host them as he had heard much about the movement. He expressed regret at not having been able to visit the Operation Protective Fast Tent that Women Wage Peace had erected in Jerusalem for 50 days this summer adjacent to the Prime Minister’s Residence.
Pnina Dobo, who initiated the meeting with the ambassador, introduced the delegation. Vivian Silver and Hadassah Naveh then described the strategy, goals, vision and activities of Women Wage Peace. They stressed that what was unique about the movement is that it is not a protest movement advocating a particular political position, rather it seeks to convince as wide and diverse a population as possible that reaching a political agreement is in the interest of us all – right, left and center, in both Israel and Palestine. They also highlighted the importance the movement attaches to the role of women in negotiations for peace. The women told the ambassador of the meetings held with Prime Minister Netanyahu, his wife Sarah as well as the meeting in Ramallah with Palestinian women, hosted by the PA’s Team Promoting Relations with Israeli Society.
The ambassador explained that the policy of the Swedish government is to advocate for a two-state solution. He explained that the government believed that in officially recognizing Palestine as a state, Sweden was not delegitimizing Israel but was helping to facilitate peace negotiations between Palestine and Israel. He described their government as feminist with a high number of women in senior positions and said that they were committed to growing their numbers. He was struck by the similar agendas of Women Wage Peace and the Swedish government, both in terms of their position on women at the negotiating table and the pressing need for a political solution. He added that the government in general and their Foreign Minister Margot Wallström, in particular, are strong proponents of UNSCR 1325.
The ambassador also said how important it was to him to publicize this visit in the embassy’s newsletter, on their Facebook page and Twitter. He suggested Women Wage Peace ask the Israel Embassy in Sweden to publicize information about our movement in Sweden. He promised to invite WWP to events sponsored by the Swedish Embassy in Israel, in order to promote a dialogue with the movement