Take A Pen - to the new website

        Women Write for Israel!

 What is this project?


         
Mission statement 

Background

WIZO doesn't need to be introduced. Its primary mission is to help Jewish women all over the world and provide for the welfare of women, children and elderly worldwide and in the Israeli society. 

But in recent years Brenda Katten, Chairperson of WIZO's Public Affairs Department realized that in today's information age helping Jewish women around the world must also include the distribution of true information about Jews and about Israel, countering Anti-Semitism and countering misinformation and hatred of Israel. To this end for several years now Brenda writes and WIZO issues a bi-monthly Newsletter.

Take-A-Pen is also known of this website, as an international and multilingual popular letter-writing website for truth-loving volunteers, Jews, Christians, secular or of any faith, writing to the media and to politicians for the truth and countering bias regarding Israel and the Arabs-Israel conflict.   

Brenda Katten, Chairperson of WIZO's Public Affairs  Department

Endre Mozes, Chairman of Take a Pen

Mission statement

This Women Write for Israel!  project is being launched by WIZO and Take-A-Pen jointly with the ambitious mission to help women around the world to express themselves more efficiently, particularly on Israel and on the Arabs-Israel conflict, among others by writing letters to the media and to politicians; in order to spread the truth, to counter ignorance, errors and misinformation, to bring peace closer for all the women in the region and thus to make the whole world a better place. 

Ways of operation

The Women Write for Israel! Project's main tools are WIZO's Newsletters and TAP's multilingual (18) website which provides actual and factual information, addresses and all guidance to make public letter-writing easier.  But the most important contributors of the project are to be the women membership and readers of both WIZO and Take-A-Pen readers, who hopefully will express their views vigorously in personal letters to media and to politicians, more effectively through this project, than before.

 

  Our Recent Items  

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 Brenda Katten's Newsletter

Winds of Change – Post Arafat

Recently I had the privilege of being Israel’s only official representative at The International Conference for Women Defending Peace. Held in Geneva, under the personal initiative of Suzanne Mubarak, wife of Egypt’s President, whose International Peace Movement brought together some 500 women from all over the world including many from Arab countries.  Whilst not under the official umbrella of the UN, nevertheless the Conference opened with a message of support from the UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, had the participation of both former UN Secretary General Boutros Boutros-Ghali and  Louise Arbour, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.   

Having participated in five United Nations’ Conferences at the UN in New York and having led the WIZO delegation to the “so called” UN Conference against Racism – this conference proved to  be considerably different to the others.  It was the first time that the Palestinian issue did not dominate the proceedings and neither did the emanating Plan of Action refer specifically to the Palestinians. It was also the first time that I, representing Israel, received warm applause for my contribution to the deliberations. Many delegates approached me expressing interest in what Israel and WIZO were doing to promote bridge building between our ethnic and religious groups and the important work carried out by us to prepare women for leadership positions.

Back in Israel, the winds of change are being felt in the diplomatic relations between Egypt and Israel.  Phone calls between the President of Egypt and our Prime Minister are becoming more frequent and certainly warmer. Egypt has released Azzam Azzam, an Israeli Druze accused of spying for Israel. The two countries have signed an agreement for establishing industrial zones in Egypt.  The Egyptian charge d’affaires - interviewed on TV  - stated that once the peace process was back on track, there would be a dramatic improvement in diplomatic relations between Israel and the Arab States.

Azzam Azzam returns to Israel after eight years in prison in Egypt

Israel has agreed to the expansion of Egyptian forces in Sinai to block the smuggling of arms to Palestinians in the Gaza Strip after next year’s planned disengagement. Israel’s Foreign Ministry reported a “new atmosphere” after recent talks in Jerusalem between PM Sharon, Foreign Minister Shalom, Egypt’s Foreign Minister, Ahmed Aboul Gheit and intelligence chief General Suleiman.  

Concurrently the UN is endeavoring to remove itself from the brink of irrelevancy.  Kofi Annan (his own image somewhat tarnished with the “oil for food” scandal) appointed a panel whose findings were made public in December. Surprisingly its proposals are cause for hope.  At last it has defined terrorism as “an action that is intended to cause death or serious bodily harm to civilians or noncombatants when the purpose of such act, by its nature or context, is to intimidate a population or to compel a government or an international organization to do or abstain from doing any act” - it goes on to say “there is nothing in the fact of occupation that justifies the targeting and killing of civilians”. 

WINDS OF CHANGE? – WE CAN BUT HOPE SO! 

Brenda Katten

Letter-writing calls and letter examples:

 Brenda's Newsletter "Winds of Change – Post Arafat" you just read above gives us several letter-writing topics and ideas, what we'll also illustrate later with a few example letters.

 Here are a few topics and ideas you can write Your letter about:          

Winds of change - Post Arafat opportunities and obligations

Now, post-Arafat, there is a great opportunity to move towards peace. There is an actual improvement in the Egypt-Israel relationship. Finally everyone with a bit of common-sense realizes that Arafat was the main obstacle on the way to peace. (Even to the Palestinian side it is clear now, though can not be said openly. But facts talk: Abu Ala – alias Ahmed Qurei - and Mahmoud Abbas – alias Abu Mazen - ousted of their government within days after Arafat was gone all the six ministers who were known as puppets of the past leader.)

But to actually reach peace is not easy. For it each side must do its obligations and beyond that.

Israel has to make actual steps for peace – and is resolute to do so. Such a step underway is the painful evacuation of forty-years-old Jewish settlements from Ghaza in order to leave the whole Ghaza strip to the Palestinians.

The long-due Palestinian obligation is to make all possible efforts to stop terror, like bombarding Israeli civilians from the territories where the Palestinians received autonomy. Mahmoud Abbas must act against terror organizations like Hamas and against Fattah's armed thugs like the Martyrs' Brigades. If he does not act, he must be pressed also by The West

There is a hope now to move towards peace. Israel is ready again for painful sacrifices, but this time the Palestinians too must do more than empty promises, made  solely in English, while in Arabic the incitement for hatred and murder goes on. 

 
Write Your Own Letter on the important subject:

Terror is finally Defined

Fight against global terror has been hampered by lack of a generally accepted definition of terror. "Political correctness" says sometimes that one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter - though it sounds non-sense that somebody can call freedom fighters those Palestinian gunmen who in a roadside ambush stopped and killed from point-blank range Tali Hatueli (32) and her 4 little children aged 2 to 9. The Arafat regime did call them "the best of our sons".

Now there is an official UN definition coming! The Kofi Annan-appointed panel says:
"Terrorism is an action that is intended to cause death or serious bodily harm to civilians or noncombatants when the purpose of such act, by its nature or context, is to intimidate a population or to compel a government or an international organization to do or abstain from doing any act” - and it goes on to say: “there is nothing in the fact of occupation that justifies the targeting and killing of civilians”
(See the original report at:
http://www.un.org/secureworld/report3.pdf  , pp. 51-52, paras 157-164.)

Write your letter and use this new definition of terror in every case –and there are too many – when terrorists according to this definition are called by different white-washing names in the media or by politicians, like: "activists", "militants" or else.

 

Another Writing Topic:  Life is beautiful in Israel

This is a right topic for letter-writing always.

Whenever your read an article or hear a public figure demonizing Israel or depicting life in Israel as a horror story, you can do an important service to the truth, writing, based on your personal experience or otherwise, that you found Israel creative and beautiful, people are radiating a special Israeli "joie de vivre", and in front of all the Arab hostility Israelis do not give in to a culture of hatred but sincerely want peace.

 
  Women Write for Israel Reader's Letter examples:

Letter 1 :           (originally in Danish)

To: Politiken

Dear Letter Editor                                           (Date) December 18, 2004

Sub: Hopes for Palestine   (or any article discussing new openings for peace)

I fully agree that after Arafat's death there is a long-awaited opportunity to seek peace between the Arabs and Israel. But strangely your writer wants to press Israel only to create a Palestinian state. Your analysis ignores facts and obvious lessons of the Oslo accord and the past 5 years.

Israel gave autonomy to Palestinian territories and Palestinians did not try to stop their terror, the other way round. To achieve peace between the Palestinians and Israel this time the West has to demand also from the Palestinians to deliver.

 Israel has to make actual steps for peace – and seems to be resolute to do so again, for example by the painful evacuation of forty-years-old Jewish settlements from Gaza in order to leave the whole Gaza strip to the Palestinians.

The Palestinians have to fulfill now their long-due obligation, they never sincerely tried, to make all possible efforts to stop terror, like bombarding Israeli civilians in the poor development town Sderot, from the territories where the Palestinians received autonomy. Mahmoud Abbas must act bravely against terror organizations like Hamas and Fattah's armed thugs like the Martyrs' Brigades. If he does not act, he must be pressed also by The West. When the Palestinians will sincerely fight against their own terrorist wings, then there will be real hope for peace.

Respectfully yours,

Astrid Nielsen

Copenhagen

 (In a reader's letter you should give your name and city; and separately your address and your daytime contact data, like cellular phone number)

 

Letter 2 :           (originally in French)

To: Le Monde

Dear Letter Editor                                           (Date) January 16, 2005

Sub: Hopes and fears in Israel       (or to any article calling Palestinian terrorists by whitewashing names like "activists" or "militants")

I fully agree with your analysis that after Arafat's death there is a long-awaited opportunity to seek peace between the Arabs and Israel. But peace can not come until terror stops and your writer solves this problem too simply; by not calling the terrorists who bombard Israeli civilians in Sderot city what they are; "terrorists". You call them militants" and even "Hamas activists" and that is like white-washing murderers.

A recent UN panel appointed  by General Secretary Kofi Annan gave a clear definition to terror: "Terrorism is an action that is intended to cause death or serious bodily harm to civilians or noncombatants when the purpose of such act, by its nature or context, is to intimidate a population or to compel a government or an international organization to do or abstain from doing any act”  - and it goes on to say: “there is nothing in the fact of occupation that justifies the targeting and killing of civilians”.

See the original report at: http://www.un.org/secureworld/report3.pdf  , pp. 51-52, paras. 157-164.)

According to this definition there is no doubt that the Palestinian attackers of civilian targets in Sderot are terrorists. It is time that Le Monde contribute to advancement towards peace between Palestinians and Israel by denying legitimacy to Palestinian terrorists.

Respectfully yours,

Ann-Marie Hellmann

Strasbourg

 (You should give your name and city; and separately your address and your daytime contact data, like cellular phone number)

Letter 3

To: Newsweek

Dear Letter Editor                                           (Date) 8 January, 2005

Sub: What country is Israel?  (or any article discussing Israel)

The strange impression is as if your writer in "Palestinian elections revisited" wrote about an imaginary dark Israel she might have never seen.  I have been in that country several times and several weeks in recent years, and found a country totally different from your picture. Israel is not only creative in many fields what is more known but also a beautiful country. People are radiating a special Israeli "joie de vivre", and though they are not too polite formally but are genuinely considerate and helpful in major problems and towards the weaker minorities. The most different thing from your article is that I heard from many people from all walks of life that in front of all the endless Arab hatred and hostility Israelis do not give in to a culture of hatred but sincerely want peace.

Respectfully yours,

Helga Zimmermann

Dortmund, Germany

 (You should give your name and city; and separately your address and your daytime contact data, like cellular phone number)

For further inspiration for letter-writing you can read again Brenda's Newsletter, or look for further ides on the whole take-A-Pen site, in any of its 18 languages too. Many practical addresses of media, government heads, ministers and officials and international organizations around the world you can find on the Take-A-pen site. 

Whatever topic you choose, whatever way you write – it is good. The main thing is that You write one short letter NOW. If many of us will do this, we can change the world around Israel for the better.

So write Your letter now with Women Write for Israel!

With any idea or question contact womenwrite@take-a-pen.org
 

NEWS ITEMS:

PM SHARON:
WE ARE GREATLY INTERESTED IN INCREASING THE INVOLVEMENT OF WOMEN IN ALL AREAS OF SOCIETY.” 
6.3.05
   
Some background articles on the Middle East:

LEBANESE WOMAN TELLS HOW HER EXPERIENCE IN ISRAEL CHANGED ARABIC HATE PROPAGANDA TAUGHT TO HER AGAINST ISRAEL Read the article

Honour Killings of Muslim Women
   

 

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