The Emergence of a Joint Israeli—Palestinian Women’s Peace Movement during the Intifada

Part of the Women’s Studies at York Series book series (WSYS)


Media images of the intifada, the Palestinian uprising in the Israeli-occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip which erupted in December 1987, focused primarily on violent confrontations between stone-throwing Palestinian youths and gun-toting Israeli soldiers. There was, however, another less visible dimension to the uprising involving different forms of Arab—Jewish encounter. This chapter concerns the joint peace activities undertaken by Jewish and Arab women during the first two years of the intifada. Based on in-depth interviews with Israeli and Palestinian women, and participant observation of the Israeli peace movement from 1987 to 1989, this study describes three forms of political contact that developed locally and internationally: between Arab and Jewish women resident within Israel’s pre-1967 borders; between Israeli women and Palestinian women from West Bank and Gaza; and between Jewish and Palestinian women worldwide.


Jewish Woman Gaza Strip School Closure Arab Woman Occupied Territory 
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  1. 1.
    Quoted in Adam Keller, Terrible Days: Social Divisions and Political Paradoxes in Israel (Cyprus: Amstelveen, 1987), p. 168.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    The development of Peace Now during this period is documented in David Hall-Cathala, The Israeli Peace Movement, 1967–1987 (London: Macmillan, 1989).Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    These and other protest groups are analysed in Edy Kaufman, ‘The Intifada and the Peace Camp in Israel: A Critical Introspective’, Journal of Palestine Studies, vol. 17, no. 4 (1988), pp. 66–80.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    The impact of these debates among British feminists has been documented elsewhere: see Juliet J. Pope, ‘Anti-Racism, Anti-Zionism and Antisemitism: Debates in the British Women’s Movement’, Patterns of Prejudice, vol. 20, no. 3 (1986), pp. 13–27.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Haleh Afshar 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.St Antony’s CollegeOxfordUK

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