Leora Hadar and Hamutal Gouri
Open letter to US President, Donald Trump,
Welcome to our region and to Jerusalem, this holy city that holds within its walls and streets the history of people of all three religions: Judaism, Islam and Christianity.
We, Leora Hadar and Hamutal Gouri, members of the grassroots movement Women Wage Peace, urge you to take advantage of your visit to our region to call upon our elected leaders to resume negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians that will lead to a mutually and lasting peace agreement. We believe that this is the only way the end the tragic conflict.
I, Leora Hadar, a mother of four children, am a resident of Alei Zahav in Samaria. My Husband’s parents made Aliya to Israel from Iraq following the establishment of the State of Israel, and my parents were born and raised in the US and came to Israel out of Zionism and love for the land of Israel.
Every day, I choose to live in this country despite all the difficulties, because I believe that we can make a difference and create a better future and because I know that we must all accept that we are all living here together on this tiny piece of land and must find the ways to live together in peace.
I, Hamutal Gouri, daughter of Haim and Aliza, of the founding generation of the State of Israel, married to Doron, a native of Jerusalem, and mother to Daniel and Na’ama. I have been a feminist, a peace and human rights activist for more than 35 years. I was born, raised and have lived in Jerusalem my whole life. Jerusalem, the city that millions of Jews, Muslims and Christian hold in their hearts and prayers is also at the heart of a bitter political conflict. However, this city can also be the place of birth of a new era of security, prosperity and peace to all.
Today, we bring our voices together and address this letter to you, President Trump. You are in a position to lead to a breakthrough and resume a process that will lead to peace agreement that will finally put an end to the terrible and bloody conflict between Israel and the Palestinians. We also demand that women from diverse communities will be actively involved in this process. We, women, bring to the negotiation table and to civil society and grassroots peace building efforts our extensive knowledge as civilians and activists who know how real security feels and looks like for us, our families, our communities and our societies. We know that research shows that the active involvement of women in resolving violent conflicts around the world has contributed to achieving better and more sustainable agreements.
We believe in the power and capacity of women to promote creative and pragmatic solutions and effectively address differences and controversies by practicing deep listening, mutual respect and inclusion. We know this to be true because this is the way our movement, Women Wage Peace, operates. We know this to be true because we are committed to bringing together women from across the political spectrum and fro, diverse communities to work together for a peace agreement. We know this to be true because we chose to work together through dialogue, politics of acquaintance, care and responsibility. We work together to achieve our shared goal and a shared existence, despite all the differences.
We, Leora and Hamutal, demonstrate this, by co-authoring this letter; by bringing our voices together, despite all the differences and despite the fact that we may not agree on many things.
Thus, just as we found ways to overcome differences and unite our voices to one, powerful voice, we expect you and our elected leaders to do the same: to seek for that which brings us together; to work for a better future for our children and for our region.
And we expect you to consider our security and safety as women and to engage us as equal partners in the negotiations that will lead to a peace agreement.