Coalition of Women for Peace (CWP)

Coalition of Women for Peace (CWP)


* Coalition of Israeli-based, feminist, antiwar organizations
* Promotes the boycott/divestment/sanction strategy against Israel
* Bankrolled by the New Israel Fund, the Samuel Rubin Foundation, and the Tides Foundation

The Coalition of Women for Peace (CWP) was established in November 2000 by Israeli activists Hannah Safran (co-founder of Women in Black) and Gila Svirsky (who worked six years for the New Israel Fund).[1]  CWP is a consortium of eleven feminist antiwar groups that operate within Israel, including Machsom Watch, New Profile, Women in Black, and the Israeli branch of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom.

Characterizing the creation of Israel in 1948 as _al Nakba (Arabic for “the Catastrophe”), CWP condemns “the violence” used by Israel in the “occupied territories,” the “wrath” of the Zionist movement, and the Jewish state’s allegedly widespread human-rights transgressions against the Palestinian people. To address these matters, the Coalition funds and coordinates education initiatives, public-outreach campaigns, and protest demonstrations.

CWP categorically opposes any Israeli presence in areas not located within the country’s borders as they were configured prior to 1967, when Gaza and the West Bank were, by the Coalition’s telling, unjustifiably “occupied by Israel” in a brutal “siege” that persists to this day. A tangible emblem of that siege, says CWP, is the anti-terrorist security barrier—dubbed “The Apartheid Wall” by the Coalition—that Israel erected in the West Bank in the early 2000s.

CWP demands that Israel immediately cease its “excessive militarization,” discontinue its maltreatment of Arab neighbors, and relinquish any remaining influence it may have in Palestinian population centers. To advance these objectives, the Coalition aggressively pursues four major, ongoing campaigns:

(1) The We Will Still Resist campaign defies the Israeli Knesset’s “attempts to silence protest against the occupation.”

(2) The Stop the Siege of Gaza campaign, launched in November 2006, demands that Israel, “without delay or conditions”: (a) allow the government of Gaza to conduct unfettered and unmonitored trade by land and sea alike; (b) “recognize Hamas as the elected government in Gaza”; (c) “negotiate the release of [Palestinian] prisoners” serving time in Israeli jails for terrorist activities; (d) discontinue the “collective punitive measures” that have led to “a significant decrease in the [Palestinian] civilian population[‘s] access to basic consumer goods”; and (e) end its policy of political, geographic, economic, and social “isolation,” which has “made Gaza into the largest prison on earth.”

In a 2009 initiative, CWP partnered with Code Pink in a “Ten Days Against the Siege” campaign wherein activists, defying trade restrictions, attempted to transport banned items through the Erez checkpoint between Israel and the Gaza Strip. In a related measure, CWP endorsed the Free Gaza Movement in 2010, vowing to “stan[d] in solidarity with the people of Palestine and with heroic members of the Gaza Freedom Flotilla.”

(3) The Who Profits from the Occupation campaign is a research project which CWP initiated in 2007, to smear and discredit Israeli companies and multinational corporations whose financial investments “contribute to the construction and operation of an ethnic separation system, including checkpoints, walls and roads, and design and supply equipment and tools used for the control and repression of the Palestinian civilian population.”

(4) FORA is a contingent of Russian-speaking feminist activists within CWP, committed to denouncing Israel’s “extreme nationalism” and “racism” against “disadvantaged communities” such as the Palestinians.

Additional CWP activities include:

  • Participation in Israel Apartheid Week rallies abroad: One such event openly gave credence to the anti-Semitic libel of Jews drinking Christian blood.
  • Anti-Israel propaganda at the United Nations and other international forums: In December 2010 CWP sent a petition to the UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression, falsely alleging “growing political persecution in Israel, and specific cases of violations of freedom of expression of human rights NGOs, peace activists, academics, and Arab Members of Knesset.”
  • Support for lawfare campaigns: CWP seeks out opportunities to take legal action against Israel “at the International Court in The Hague or in countries where the universal jurisdiction principle is applied.” In December 2009, for instance, the Coalition sent a letter to the British Prime Minister and Foreign Secretary, calling for arrest warrants against “Israeli officials responsible for war crimes against the Palestinian people.”
  • Commemorations, performances and lectures: On various occasions, CWP has: marked the anniversary of the Palestinian “Naqba” on Israel’s Independence Day; brought the anti-Semitic play Seven Jewish Children to Israel as part of its “Ten Days Against the Siege” campaign in 2009; hosted a lecture by the Palestinian “political prisoner” Tali Fahima, who in 2005 was convicted of having contact with a leading member of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades; and publicly supported Israelis who refused to serve in their nation’s army.
  • BDS campaigns: A leader in the global Boycott, Divestment, & Sanctions movement, CWP in 2009 co-hosted a meeting in Jaffa featuring the writer Naomi Klein, to discuss the merits of divesting from Israel.

Over the years, CWP has received financial support from such entities as the European Union, the New Israel Fund, regional chapters of Oxfam, the Samuel Rubin Foundation, and the Tides Foundation.

For additional information on CWP, click here.


[1] CWP was originally known as the Coalition of Women for a Just Peace.

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