Women Challenge U.S. Policy:
Building Peace on Justice in the Middle East


A well received program on the U.S. role in the Israel-Palestine conflict in July led our San Jose CA Branch's Middle East Campaign committee to invite two guests to the August meeting.
We were eager to follow up on Betsy Wolf-Graves’ research showing U.S. military aid to Israel at $3 billion annually and the failure of Congress to support the United Nations’ condemnation of the 450-mile system of walls and barriers in the Occupied Territories.
Samir Lahoun at the August meeting suggested ways to exercise our rights to promote peace in the Middle East:

  1. Get educated on the topic. There are many excellent sources of information, among them the Washington Report on the Middle East Affairs, KPFA (94.1 FM), Haaretz (Israeli daily) and the Independent (United Kingdom) as well as,, electonic and
  2. Meet with and educate your Congressional representative (locate your rep) and Senators Dianne Feinsten and Barbara Boxer.
  3. Write letters to the editor and to reporters (correct misinformation, praise well-done articles.
  4. Make use of PSAs (public service announcements) on radio stations. Request that local cable channels run informative documentaries: Wall of Hate, Palestine Is Still the Issue, Peace Propaganda and the Promised Land are available.

Samia Shoman, a social studies teacher of Palestinian descent, described conditions for people living in the Occupied Territories. The number of checkpoints one must pass to get from one part of the territories to another or from the territories into Israel have multiplied. Farmers are cut off from their fields, noted Betsy Wolf-Graves. To contact speakers, send a note to the WILPF San Jose Middle East Committee.

WILPF's national campaign asks:
What economic interests underlie the power struggles in the region? What U.S. policy changes will end violence and promote justice?

Samia Shoman took this photo of a section of the separation wall in the Occupied Territories this summer. She is available to give presentations in the Bay Area.