Making Their Own Peace: Twelve Women of Jerusalem

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It means there is horror at the thought of dividing Jerusalem as part of a political settlement, although some form of sharing would be acceptable. Over the centuries Jerusalem has also taken on a redemptive significance, based on its root meaning — ir shalom - city of peace — with the hope that it becomes a place of harmony for all peoples and the capital of a world at one with itself.

Step into any Roman Catholic church and the images on the walls take you straight to Jerusalem. These are the Stations of the Cross, a series of 14 pictures that depict the journey of Jesus Christ to his death, and are usually meditated on during Lent by people walking round the church, pausing for prayer before each picture. Bethlehem was the birthplace of Jesus, Nazareth where he grew up, but Jerusalem is the city that really matters to Christians.

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This was where Christ preached, ate the Last Supper with his disciples before his death, where he was arrested, put on trial, condemned to death, crucified, and died, a man mocked and tortured by the occupying Romans. It is where, Christians believe, his tomb was found empty and he rose from the dead. Jerusalem, then, is a place of deep sorrow, utter desolation but also of hope and redemption.

It is the sacred heart of the Christian story.

Jerusalem has been a major focus of pilgrimage ever since the Roman emperor Constantine converted to the new religion of Christianity. But with the desire for pilgrimage has come issues of authority, power and ownership. Battles over Jerusalem not only pitched Christians against Muslims but the city has caused divisions between different strands of Christianity with control of the Holy Places swinging back and forth between the eastern and western branches of Christianity.

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Occasionally, brawls break out over territory. Jerusalem, though, is more than just an historic place for Christians: It is a perfect place, a golden city, a paradise they will one day attain after death. It also represents creation of a new earth. When the Prophet Muhammad began his mission in cCE, he followed Jews and Christians in facing towards Jerusalem during daily prayer, seeing Islam as a continuation and renewal of the Abrahamic family of faiths.

Before his ascension, he led all the previous prophets of God, including all the Biblical and Israelite prophets, in prayer. Islamic rule over Jerusalem lasted for 12 centuries , longer than any other rule, whether Israelite, Roman, Persian or Christian.

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Most of the tactics utilized by this organization, include advocacy and workshops for community involvement, in addition to voice therapy sessions. The Jerusalem Center for Women was founded in At the time, the First Intifada had come to a close. The fallout that resulted from the conflict, gave rise to a renewed fervor of hostility from both sides, but also a renewed desire for peace advocacy.

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Bat Shalom represented the Israeli side. This collaboration served as both a means to further advocacy goals, and a symbol of collaboration between Palestinian and Israeli people.

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Bush created obstacles that prevented the United States from delivering foreign support to the organization. The priorities of the United States government were altered, and the Israeli-Palestine conflict was not considered as high of a priority as it formerly was. While the First Intifada created some support for peace advocacy, the aftermath of the Second Intifada reduced the interest of peace in the conflict.

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The governments in both Israel and Palestine were opposed to the idea of communication across the borders, something that went on to cause somewhat strained relationships between both the Jerusalem Center for Women and Bat Shalom. The organization's membership remained strong initially after the Second Intifada, due in large part to the emphasis on equality placed on its structure. As the years went on however, tensions between the Jerusalem Center for Women and Bat Shalom increased with the hostilities of the Palestine-Israeli conflict.

The main goal of the Jerusalem Center for Women is to advocate for women's right in Israel and Palestine, and train them in ways with which they could influence the building and maintenance of the state through advocacy. The organization also advocates in favor of peace between the Israeli and Palestinian population. The organization's location, membership, and leadership try to reflect this value of equality, and has helped it survive past the Second Intifada. In line with its goal of training women to play a more active role in communities, a common method used by the Jerusalem Center for Women is the creation of training camps for women in Palestinian and Israeli communities.

Conflict Resolution Techniques and From Grassroots to Decision-Making for instance, were two training camps led by the Jerusalem Center for Women that sought to convince women to actively advocate for the better of their community. During the earlier years of the organization's history, the Jerusalem Center for Women ran various forums for people to debate and discuss the matters of the Palestine and Israeli conflict.

These forums were created as early as , in which said forum consisted of a week of activities. Similar to psychological counseling sessions, members of the Jerusalem Center for Women would hear the grievances of women who had fallen victim or knew of someone who had fallen victim to the Palestine-Israeli conflict.

Jerusalem Center for Women

These appeals would usually be expressed using active language, such as calling the Israeli occupation the catalyst for the violent response that occurred. The main goal of maintaining this relationship, was strengthening a sense of unity between Palestine and Israel. Near the beginning of their founding, the Jerusalem Center for Women encountered some disagreement with Bat Shalom regarding the definition of the Palestinian Right of Return.

This was early in the formation of the Jerusalem Link, when both groups were constructing their joint guidelines of conduct, known as the Jerusalem Link Declaration of Principles.

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Though both groups agreed with the position of the Right of Return, they disagreed on a few details. Both groups eventually agreed to implement their own definition of the Right of Return as equal dignity and rights for Palestinian and Israeli people.