Saturday, October 30, 2010

about the boycotting of israeli products

hello friends.

below is a letter written by my sister-in-law's girlfriend, Tami Tal, to "Olympia Food co-op", a US based company who decided to ban Israeli products.
i agree with every word written here, i could have written the same myself. it is accurate and cutting straight to the heart of the matter.
please read.


I read in an Israeli newspaper that "Olympia Food Co-op" is planning to boycott food products from Israel.

I suggest you take further steps, then:

The little chips inside your computer, at least some of them, are probably an Israeli invention. So are some of the software programs you use.
Also – your local hospital probably contains some life-saving Israeli-invented apparatus, as well as some Israeli-invented chemical compounds used in your medications.

The water distribution system in your rural vegetable and fruit fields, which I presume are abundant in your area, are also, most likely, a product of the Israeli brain.

Though tiny, Israel has contributed to the medical, scientific and technological world a substantial percentage of its inventions, intended for your nutrition, health and home comfort, relative to other countries on this planet that are much, much, bigger.

My suggestion, then, is – why don't you boycott all of these as well?.. That would make a much more thorough job on your part.

Lastly, while boycotting Horrible Israel, please consider boycotting:

Saudi Arabia – for human rights violations (who's heard of women driving??)

Iran – for human rights violations (stone the woman to death!)

Syria – for harboring terrorists (keep up the good work firing missiles at Israel boys!)

China – for human rights violations ("Government knows what's best for you"!)

Turkey – for occupying parts of Cyprus , for imprisoning anyone who only mentions the Turkish-caused Armenian Holocaust, and for oppressing the Kurdish people who seek independence.

Russia – for oppressing Chechnya (and for invading parts of Georgia )

France – for prohibiting Muslim women to wear face-veils (though I can't blame them – but, hey, freedom of expression, right??)

Switzerland – for banning the construction of minarets on mosques

And the list is long.

I can think of many, many other countries that are violating human rights right now as we speak.

And more seriously now:

Just so you know – I'm an Israeli woman, and – though you may find it odd – I belong to the Left political spectrum in Israel. I actually CAN'T WAIT for the Palestinians to have their own country. But what I don't like is people, like yourselves, who sit in your comfortable homes, thousands of miles away, and think they know better. What is happening here, in my country, is not black and white like you make it to be. There are TWO sides to the coin.

So I would greatly appreciate if you – and about 99% of all other people on this planet – stop demonizing Israel. Because despite the wrongs that Israel is doing (and there are wrongs), there is also good, and there is also our side of the story. Add to that the fact that other countries around the world are not such great saints either (including, by the way, your very own country), I would be happy if you reconsider.

Sincerely yours,

Tami Tal, Jerusalem , Israel


Noa, Israel.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

a broken heart..and a hope that refuses to die

hello everybody.
it has been a while since I've written.
i am actually writing under the saddest of circumstances.
you all know Israel and Palestine are in the midst of peace talks. yes, peace talks. sounds like a joke, doesn't it? it's incredible. so many years of dreaming and waiting and here we are in the midst of direct talks: why does it all feel so dull?

well, obviously: we have been disappointed and disillusioned so many times, it seems none of us can muster even the slightest bit of enthusiasm. we have become hardened by our sad reality,our hope has reduced itself to a tiny seems hallucinatory to think that under the existing circumstances, any progress can be made...
and yet....??
who knows?? the tiny dream naggingly persists...

one thing is for sure: the extremists on both sides will do their very best to destroy what is being built. they thrive on fear, hatred and suspicion. they are vampires, lurking the dark nights of our lives, sucking the fresh blood of hope from the bodies of our children.yes, i know that's graphic and jolting, but no understatement is in order where these monsters are concerned.
we witnessed Lieberman's bleek speech at the UN (yes, words are as destructive as bombs),the shooting of the Jewish family in the territories, the burning and defiling of mosques by settlers, we see the devilish joy in the eyes of those eager to continue the "building" in the settlements, that "building" which is actually a guise for destruction and hopelessness...and all in the name og god, of course, as always.

and now, another bitter anecdote to add to the growing list of atrocities.

i have a good friend, an amazing man. i cannot disclose his name, so a snot to endanger him forther.
he is a Palestinian peace activist who has dedicated his life to working with young people in Gaza and offering an alternative to the hate-driven terrorist organizations who suck in the youth and recruit them for acts of violence and suicide.
this man is a man of principles. a man of peace. dedicated to building bridges, to deepening understanding. a man a valour.

when hamas took over Gaza, his life was in danger. he escaped , with the help of his Israeli friends and colleagues, to ramallah, just hours before they came for him. he and his immediate family now live in ramallah, where he continues his peace activity.

but.... his brother and mother were left behind.

a few weeks ago his brother was arrested by hamas and thrown into prison.
through great efforts, a red-cross representative was allowed to visit him, and reported that he was alive, but nothing more.

a few days ago, hamas made the news public:
40 people, whose names were listed, had been arrested and imprisoned, accused of collaborating with Israel.

they are to be given a "fair trial", and executed.

my friend's brother was on the list.

since then, his mother has stopped taking her medicine, eating or drinking. she has no reason to live.
my friend is on the verge of physical and mental collapse.

he, and all of us, are helpless in the face of such cruelty, such madness, such sinister atrocity.

and all for what?
for revenge? for a public display of power? to remind Abbas whose boss?? to tamper with the Peace talks? to make sure terror continues to reign supreme???

yes, all of the above.
yes, god above, all in your name.

i am disgusted, appalled and nauseous.
i do not want to think what my friend is going through (he is not answering the phone)

if there is a god up there, (which i highly doubt), this would be a good time to show some of that merciful etc etc he or she is attributed with.

as for you, "brave" leaders of Israel and it out already!!!! if he is do die, let it not be in vain!!!!!!

with my deepest wish for better days,
a heartbroken Noa

Friday, June 4, 2010

some clarifications about my infamous 'open letter' written during the Gaza War, 2009

Dear friends,

During the Gaza war in January 2009, I wrote an open letter. That letter was written with the best intentions on my part but ended up drawing immense criticism, entirely contrary to the spirit in which it was written.

The criticism seems to center around the following sentence:

“I can only wish for you that Israel will do the job we all know needs to be done, and finally RID YOU of this cancer, this virus, this monster called fanaticism, today, called Hamas”

This sentence was widely interpreted as support for the Gaza war as it was perceived by many people: a wanton attack on innocent civilians. This was, and is, by no means the case.

I was always against the use of violence and i continue to be against the use of violence, on all sides. Throughout my career I have been a supporter of the Palestinian quest for independence in a sovereign state alongside Israel, and I continue to be a staunch supporter of their cause. I have fought and sacrificed much for this, and i am sorry for every innocent life lost on both sides of the fence.

It is important for me that it be known that my letter was written as an emotional reaction to horrifying testimony I received from a close friend of mine who is a Palestinian peace activist (a real peace activist) that was living in Gaza, and told me of the torturing, killing and terrorizing of the Palestinian population there by Hamas, especially anyone working for peace with Israel. He himself fled from Gaza moments before Hamas henchmen raided his house with the intention of killing him. He was lucky, many others were not. His blood-curdling stories were the impetus for my letter.

Having said that, I understand now that I should not have written the specific sentence I mentioned before in the original letter, because it did not convey my intentions properly.

There is a great distinction between my stand against Hamas and my support for the Palestinian people and their rights. My sentence seems to have confused the two. Let me be clear. For the time being I am still totally against Hamas for two reasons:
1, Their official covenant calls for the total destruction of Israel and the murder of every man, woman and child!
2. They are a fundamentalist religious organization who dictates an Islamic rule that stands against any liberal human value that I and most of the readers of this document cherish. The entire free world has fought horrible wars against similar regimes paying a high price for the liberties that the fortunate among us enjoy today – including the liberty to express unpopular views and harshly criticize each other.

BUT, my mistake was to write that it is the Israelis who must eradicate Hamas. I take back these words and i regret them. They were inappropriate.

For me, Hamas is not representative of the hopes and dreams of the Palestinian people. Hamas came into power at a certain tragic moment in time, and I personally regret that deeply, as I also regret the rise of the government presently in power in Israel.

My view is clear, as I wrote in the answers I gave to La Republica, starting with my peace plan, “recognize, apologize, share”.

Israel needs to stop the occupation immediately and make an agreement with any leadership of the Palestinian people who wishes to live in peace with its neighboring state of Israel.

Not long ago it seemed impossible to envision talks between the PLO and Israel, but both sides managed to change their paradigm. I firmly believe today that the same type of change is possible between Hamas and Israel and I urge BOTH parties to check their motives and intentions again. I will be the first to put the past behind me and reach out my hand in peace to any former enemy. I firmly believe that if Hamas adopts the same principles that the Palestinian authority has already adopted long ago, the movement towards peace will be swift, though far from easy. Both sides will have to control their extremists in much the same way that Israel managed to clear its settlers out of Gaza.

This whole process must be assisted by the international community, who must ensure the security of both sides, and contribute financially and otherwise to the success of the fledgling state of Palestine and the relationship between the two countries.

I call on all people to listen to all sides with an open heart free from prejudice. I call upon my brothers in Israel and Palestine to unite for the cause of peace. Let’s not point fingers anymore and bring more and more hatred to the world. Let’s show the beauty of all cultures, the wisdom of all religions, and the human, compassionate face of mankind.

It is as simple as that.

Sincerely yours,

Thursday, June 3, 2010

an interview about the situation

Hello all,
Here is an interview i did for the Italian paper La Republica, one of the largest in that country.
Thought you would find it interesting.
(i don't know what they will end up printing, but these are the answers i gave them)

1) Why in all these years all the pacts did not reach a real solution for the crisis?

There exist a sufficient number of Israeli Jews who are convinced that Arabs by and large want to kill them, destroy Israel and impose fanatic Moslem hegemony all over the world. At the same time there also exist a sufficient number of Moslems who are convinced that Israeli Jews wish to colonize them, expel them, kill them and enslave them forever. Unfortunately there exist enough evidence to substantiate both arguments! and the evidence continues to compile every day. Obviously each side is convinced that the evidence proves their own righteousness, while the evidence to the contrary play very little role in the minds of most people. This happens for a simple reason. Here's a metaphor which explains why: If, for example, while entering a 1000 seats auditorium, i'm being told that there is one crazy gunman with one bullet in his gun and he's bound to shoot someone, would i stay there? would i say its just one in a thousand ? of course not! i will leave the place immediately! The point is, one doesn't need too many threats to feel threatened and get defensive. From that point the road to violence is unfortunately a very short one. The Hamas Covenant on one side and the ultra-nationalist Jewish settlers' ideology on the other, combined with both parties actions to implement their ideologies by building settlements or by terrorism, provide all the necessary evidence for anyone who finds it difficult to believe in peace. For instance, i am certain that the assassinations of Egyptian President Anwar El Sadat by Muslim fundamentalists and of Israeli PM Itzhak Rabin by a Jewish fundamentalist sealed the lid on many people's hopes in our miserable war stricken region.

2) What the artists, and especially the Israeli artists, can do to testify the need of a democratic solution of the israeli-palestinian crisis?

In general I wish Israelis would both campaign and use their democratic vote to elect a government that would put a complete end to the 1967 occupation and would sign a peace treaty with the elected government of the Palestinian people. Both governments would ideally represent the wishes of both peoples to live side by side in peace and cooperation in their independent, sovereign and internationally recognized state. I will always raise my voice in such campaigns and urge all artists, Israeli and Palestinian to do the same.
I will also repeat my three stage peace plan: Recognize, Apologize, Share:
Each side must recognize the rights of the other to life, freedom, independence, identity, the right to flourish, the right to a peaceful existence. This is the first and critical stage of the plan. Without formal recognition, in writing, signed by the recognized leaders of each nation, no progress can be made.

Both sides have done horrible things to each other in the name of this and that ideal. Since the death of one life is parallel to the death of all of humanity, there should be a true and deep remorse for these actions, a heartfelt apology on both sides for the pain and anguish they have caused.

Each side should revoke their dreams of a complete ‘anything’. Only through compromise is peace achievable. In this way, on one small piece of land, we can create 2 countries, Israel and Palestine, living peacefully and respectfully alongside each-other.

3) After this violent and tragic event, what is the atmosphere and what are the feelings among your friends and people you daily meet?

The feeling is terrible, a lot of anger and frustration, a lot of remorse for the loss of human life. Nobody in Israel believes that the Israeli government intended to kill anyone on that boat. Many in Israel believe the Israeli government's decisions regarding how to handle the situation has not only brought the unnecessary loss of human life and injury to the passengers of the boat and to our soldiers, but also brought harsh criticism and demonization of the state of Israel and the Jewish people, while at the same time absolving all other participants in the incident from any responsibility for the unfortunate and utterly tragic event. If i were the Israeli PM or Defence Minister, I would resign immediately, taking responsibility for the consequences of my decisions, that have jeopardized the security of my country and harmed its image.

Personally my criticism of my own government is mostly that it continues to see the occupation as an asset rather than a liability. This position has made the moral and human implications of occupation "tolerable" for too long, and in my opinion, they are intolerable. Truly the alternative of losing strategic depth (a common fear prevalent in the post 1967 era, with arguably good reason) could only be compensated by relying on friendly nations for defence. However the inability of the allies to stop the holocaust during WWII burnt into the hearts of Jews and Israelis the notion of "never again"...never again will we rely on anyone's help but our own strength for survival! Can anyone contest this argument easily? i don't think so.
In conclusion, when i say that i Noa want to end the occupation and am willing to rely on friendly nations for my children's security and my own, it is because the west bank occupation is immoral and inhuman. I know i might be taking a huge risk, but my moral fabric refuses to succumb to any fear, however substantiated it may be. I'm far from being naive and only history will tell, but i am willing to take the risk, just as i hope people like me, on the other side, are willing to take the same risk, no matter how deeply fear and prejudice is rooted in their hearts. The anti-Israeli sentiment I feel everywhere in the world media today doesn't make that an easy thing for me and other Israelis to do, and it is for that reason that we are asking, emphatically, that the international community and its media stand firmly by those who refuse to surrender to fear and hatred, and refrain from the judgement and finger-pointing that does nothing but make matters worse.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

an important petition, a sane, humane voice from israel

dear friends,

i have been racking my brain trying to come up with what to write about the tragic events of the last days here in israel. i am so heartbroken, so angry, i can hardly find words to say.
then i stumbled upon this petition, written by israelis who obviously feel just as i do.
please read it, please spread it around, and if you can, please sign it!! it is so important that the world know that there are OTHER voices in Israel, not only those of our governmnet. these other voices need to be heard. i am proud to raise my voice alongside theirs.

i have printed the petition below.

this is the web site, in hebrew and english:

hoping for better days,


We are Israeli citizens, outraged at the continuously violent and impervious Israeli policy which has culminated in the tragic attack on the flotilla to Gaza.

We are consumed with sympathy and sorrow for the loss of those on the flotilla and for their families.

We demand that a public apology be made on our behalf to all innocent persons injured.

We demand to know: Who gave the order? Who will be held accountable? Who will investigate the incident?

We hold the government of Israel responsible: for the policies and actions which have resulted in this turn of events; for the misguided decisions; for the explicit and implied instructions; for the attempt to besmirch our children and our friends, our soldiers and their commanders.

In carrying out these actions, the government of Israel played directly into the hands of a minority group which sought to translate a global, humane, legitimate civil protest into a violent, provocative and ill fated event.

We call upon the government of Israel to recognize the profound political crisis which has been brought upon us and to make a change! We must transform this failure into a renewed sense of hope. We must return to the lines of peace. We must strive to see the end of the occupation, the end of the blockade and an end to the grave injustices they have unleashed. We must provide Israel, now more than ever before, with a renewed, promising political and moral horizon.

Do not shun responsibility, do not become entrenched in past mistakes, and do not shy away from positive transformation. It is never too late to repair misguided paths.

We deserve an Israeli policy which is committed to:

Restoring Israel’s national strategy to one of a civil society relentlessly seeking peace and founded upon values of justice, equality and morality;
Destroying the impervious political and ethical wall encompassing Israel;
Standing firm against the waves of internal hatred, political isolationism, belligerent and messianic nationalism, intolerance and xenophobia characterizing growing portions of Israeli society and large factions of its government.

We deserve a country we can be proud of

We deserve a policy of hope

Saturday, May 15, 2010

דברים שיאמרו הערב בהפגנה בירושלים

.שלום לכולם. הערב תתקיים הפגנה בירושלים.
גיל דור כתב בלשונו היפה דברים שאני אקריא הערב. הדברים הם על פי רעיונות שגילי ואני מפתחים יחדיו שנים.
מקוה לראותכם.

הנה הדברים:

עד לרגע זה היינו כולנו חרדים

חרדים לגורל המדינה, לגורל זהותה, אזרחיה, חזונה, דמותה ותדמיתה!

"באנו חושך לגרש בידינו אור ואש" - אש של אהבה למדינה, וגם נר זיכרון... "היו לילות, אני אותם זוכרת"... זוכרת איך לילה אחד
בנובמבר 1995 בא איש ובידו נר לבן להאיר את אוהל ליבי השחור. עוד רגע, חשבנו כולנו, ויזרח האור!
זה נראה כל כך אמיתי ואפשרי, הככר המלאה, התקווה...היתה תחושת הקלה והתרוממות רוח. ואז לפתע קדרו פני השמיים וכל השדים יצאו מן המגרה. המלאך לא בא, וגם לא השה הנאחז בסבך. הקורבן הוקרב - ויצחק לא שב.

היום, חמש עשרה שנה אחרי הלילה הנורא ההוא, סוף סוף הבנו שלא נחכה עוד לאף אחד מאבות האומה להושיע אותנו מפחדינו. היום אנחנו לוקחים את גורלנו בידנו - מסתכלים לאתגרים ישר בעיניים, לא מפחדים, לא חרדים. אזרחים ישראלים ותושבים מכל קצוות תבל ללא הבדל גזע מין ודת. בני האומה העברית החדשה בישראל הדמוקרטית, עומדים כאן בכיכר ציון, ותובעים את זכותנו לחיים של שלום ושגשוג במדינתנו.

אנחנו מאמינים שהדם היזע והדמעות שבהם נקנתה זכותנו זאת אינם בלעדיים רק לנו, ואנחנו תומכים בכל מי שתובע את זכותו לחיים של שגשוג ושלום מתוך הכרה הדדית, פשרה טריטוריאלית, ולא פחות חשוב, סליחה ומחילה הדדית על הצער והסבל שגרמנו אחד לרעהו. אנחנו תובעים זאת למעננו ולמען הדורות הבאים.

הציונות שלנו היא התנועה המסתכלת קדימה אל מקומו הראוי של העם היהודי במסגרת שליחותו האנושית, אל בנייתה של חברת מופת אזרחית רב תרבותית המעניקה שיווין הזדמנויות לכל. הציונות שלנו שואבת מן הנשגב שבמחשבת היהדות ומהישגיו הרוחניים של העולם כולו, ומצדיעה לרוח האנושית באשר היא. הציונות שלנו מנחילה ערכים. היא איננה ציונות כובשת ומתנחלת. הלאום העברי המתחדש גאה בשפתו, שפת "עבר", שהיא כור ההיתוך של החברה הישראלית. אליעזר בן יהודה וממשיכי דרכו סללו את דרכנו לזהות העברית ואפשרו לנו להבין ולהפנים את "אתה בחרתנו מכל העמים" במובן "רוממתנו מכל לשון" ואנחנו בוחרים בחיים ביד הלשון, בדו- שיח מיידי ללא הפסקה עד שיושג השלום.

ירושלים היתה יעד כיסופי הנפש של העם היהודי לדורותיו. עיר שמהותה האמיתית כשמה: "עיר שלום". זוהי עיר שמאבקי ריבונות החריבוה לאורך ההיסטוריה ויוסיפו להחריבה עד שנבין את פרושה - עיר שלום, אור לגויים. ציון שהיא ציון דרך בהיסטוריה האנושית. עיר שיצחק וישמעאל בני אברהם יחלקו לנוכח עיניהם המשתאות של אומות העולם. ואז תהיה זו עיר שחוברה לה יחדיו בשלום. בירת שתי מדינות, עיברית וערבית! עיר שתמלא את העולם באהבה ולא בשנאה, עיר שתסמל יותר מכל את הגאולה. ואנחנו נתחיל את השינוי הערב.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

on symmetry, empathy and Noa and Gil Dor

a group of people sharing a common cultural identity, i.e. a combination of tradition, language, historical origins and a sense of common destiny, are commonly referred to as "a people".

in order to "belong" to a people an individual must pass three tests:
1) one must identify himself as a member of the people in question.
2) one must be recognized as such by fellow individuals from that people.
3) one must be recognized as such by members of other peoples.

Both Jews and Palestinians fall under these definitions of people. This is the basic assumption behind the call for mutual recognition.

who needs a state?

The individual right for the pursuit of happiness is best manifested in the principle of equal opportunity. But in order for the individual to asses, to understand, to seize and to exploit a given opportunity, he/she must be well prepared!
The responsibility for this preparation starts at home with our parents. it includes language, traditions etc... in short, culture! or more accurately - our parents’ culture. that culture is typically most effective among individuals of the same "people". moreover the "rules of the game" within each society are best expressed by its traditional practices. these in turn are solidified then transformed into laws and constitutions of nations. however, whereas traditional practices can withhold regardless of a people's independence, formal laws and constitutions are meaningless without a territorial jurisdiction. It is no wonder that societies evolve from "wandering peoples" to "national states". It is a manifestation of the individual's wish to secure the best future for his children...

Both Jews and Palestinians have lived as peoples without their own independent country. At this time in history, both need a sovereign government running an independent national homeland of their own.

But as much as peoples need a land, lands throughout history have always been inhabited by more than one people! That is why "nations" are not synonymous with "people". Nations are born from the societies that live on a land. Israel and Palestine are no exclusion. They are inhabited by dynamic and diverse groups of people. In fact they are mixed with each other! The Israeli nation cannot and will not be comprised of the Jewish people exclusively. In fact the Israeli society has been grappling with this challenge since its inception and despite the ongoing violent conflict, it is has made substantial steps in the right direction. Unfortunately without peace based on mutual recognition, the formation of the Israeli Nation cannot be accomplished. The same is true for the Palestinian Nation with regards to its society's ethnical and religious diversity.

The failure to recognize each other's rights, compounded by exclusive claims of both people to the land, seem to be at the root of our inability to resolve the conflict.

The Palestinians need to recognize both Israel's right to exist in peace and security, and the Jewish people's right for a National home land in Israel. These are two separate and critical points.

Similarly, Israel needs to recognize both the Palestinian’s right for a national home land in Palestine, and the sovereignty of the future independent Palestinian state.

The ensuing territorial compromise has already been spelled out and should be implemented as a part of a comprehensive settlement based on the aforementioned mutual recognitions.

The right of return

The issue of the "right of return" of refugees of war to their homes should be resolved from the point of view of symmetry. both people feel they have a "right of return". We suggest replacing the term “right of return” with “the right to live in peace within secured and recognized borders of each people’s national homeland”.


The issue of Jerusalem touches upon the sensitive subject of religion. On the eve of the holocaust Memorial day 2010, it may be appropriate to speculate that since the destruction of the Jewish temple by the Romans, God seems to have given us the following message:
"My existence is relative, not absolute! There are two forces that drive conscious interactions in the universe: empathy and apathy. When human interactions are governed by empathy I come to be and whenever they are governed by apathy i cease to exist."

That means that God, in the deepest sense, is a metaphor for empathy without which no human society could have ever evolved. This notion connects perfectly with the idea of "love thy neighbour" and the concept of God as love on a universal scale, a concept common to many philosophies and religions in the world.

This piece of philosophy is entirely relevant to the political issue at hand since God, as an expression of human empathy, could not have promised anything to anyone based on apathy to the needs of other people! Human Empathy is all we need to enable us to recognize apologize and share, and that includes Jerusalem. When we do, we will finally arrive at the two state solution:

Israel - a "Hebrew" state:
1) The "national homeland" for the Jewish diaspora
2) A pluralistic democracy for all of its citizens

Palestine - an "Arabic" state:
1) The "national homeland" for the Palestinian diaspora
2) A pluralistic democracy for all of its citizens

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Hello all.
One voice is a great group of Arabs and Jews doing the only thing there is to be done in the depressing, grotesque reality we live in here: urging our leaders to stop making excuses, sit and talk, and find a solution.
In light of the horribly embarrassing, not to say destructive, conduct Netanyahu's government displayed during vice president Joe Biden's recent visit, it's good to know there was someone out there raising the voice of reason and unity.
I am proud to add my voice to 'OneVoice'.
Look below..

Biden Responds to OneVoice Israel

With the country watching, OneVoice Israel gives voice to the moderate majority
New York, March 11, 2010—OneVoice Israel staff and youth leaders urged hundreds of people attending United States Vice President Joe Biden’s speech at Tel Aviv University on Thursday not to let the extremists on either side seize the peace process.

Eight youth leaders joined OneVoice Israel Interim Director Tal Harris and Coordinator Guy Lupo in distributing nearly 1,000 flyers to attendees in support of the renewal of talks between the Israeli government and the Palestinian Authority.
“The agenda in Israel is being hijacked by extremists who work to undermine our government's strategy for peace,” said Harris. “Today, we witnessed 700 students at Tel Aviv University eager for change, who disagree with the appeasement of extreme settlers.”

OneVoice Israel’s staff and youth leaders wearing the movement’s t-shirts stood out from the audience during Biden’s talk. Noticing their presence, the vice president gave the first question to our youth leader Danny Shaket.

Shaket asked Biden for his opinion on what the U.S. administration, the Israeli government, and the Palestinian Authority would need from the moderate majority in order to reach an agreement.

“The United States cannot want peace more than the Palestinians want it or more than the Israelis want it,” Biden said. “You have got to get to the point where the leaders are actually able to sit and hopefully what we can do in these proximity talks, being available to both parties, we can be a bridging mechanism.”
Throughout his speech, Biden voiced his commitment to end the conflict through a two-state solution.

“For Israel, then, this is about both preserving your identity and achieving the security you deserve, lasting security,” Biden said. “For Palestinians, statehood will not just fulfill a legitimate and long-sought aspiration common to all peoples; it will restore the fundamental dignity and self-respect that their current predicament denies them.”

Israel’s announcement of plans to build 1,600 Jewish homes in the Ramat Shlomo settlement in Arab East Jerusalem marred Biden’s visit and was condemned by the United States.

“[T]hat decision, in my view, undermined the trust required for productive negotiations,” Biden said on Thursday. “I -- and at the request of President Obama condemned it immediately and unequivocally.”

The vice president’s comments were met with applause from the mainly Israeli audience, many of whom were students at Tel Aviv University.

“It's unfortunate and dangerous that the Israeli government’s actions are not in sync with their two-state strategy,” said Tal Harris of OneVoice Israel.

The OneVoice is an international grassroots movement amplifying the voice of Israeli and Palestinian moderates. OneVoice works with Israelis and Palestinians in parallel, empowering them to seize back the agenda for conflict resolution and demand that their leaders achieve a two-state solution, guaranteeing the end of occupation and the establishment of Palestinian state, while ensuring the safety and security of the State of Israel.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Dearest family and friends,
Friday feb 12th at 2 am our daughter Yum was born.
Funny. I had to go to the hospital on the 11th, when my water broke. But when 11 became 12, when 1 became 2, so did i….

Yum, in Hebrew… sea.
A sea of love.
She was delivered naturally. I was in the water a lot and asher and I were together, holding on to each other for dear life…
It was very painful but went well and the feeling of achievement, doing it this way like some amazon, is indescribable.
Debby our midwife was wonderful. thank you debby.
I'm exhausted but happy and honored to have been host to this miracle for the third time.
We were home 12 hours after the delivery.
Ayehli and Enea are super excited. As are grand and great-grandparents alike.
New life begins…
I wish Yum a life of depth and discovery, befitting of her name.
(she's 4 days old in the photos attached..)


Monday, February 8, 2010

food for thought...a personal note on the verge of new life

Hello all.

Tick tock, tick tock...

I am waiting to give birth, for the third time. due formally feb 24th but feel it could be any day.

What a strange, suspended state of being... my thoughts are like the waves of the sea (the one near our house, i attached a photo...)

New life soon to emerge, a new chance for....for what?

For clearer vision, for purer heart, for hope, for change, for sanity. A new chance for humanity in the form of a tiny fractal of its colossal whole..

A tiny fractal that could maybe be the one cell to multiply differently. To change the warped genetics of this generation, that emotional DNA which has brought so much pain and suffering to this world. Will it be this new little bud, a leader of the future, a discoverer, a fighter, a mover....

will this little bud be the one to finally experience the highest form of bliss, a life untainted by war??

These questions and so many more fill my sleepless nights.

I saw an amazing movie last night, called AJAMI, Israel's contender for this year's Oscar Award.

This movie is a must see in my opinion, i applaud its creators with all my heart. Its perspective, message and insight into the complexity of our painful situation here in Israel is so moving, so brilliant, it left me awed and heartbroken.

for all of you who feel you are in the dark about what's going on here, and that includes my fellow Israelis, this is your chance for a rare and magnificent peek into a reality far from the black and white propaganda presented by almost everyone, almost always, here in our own back-yard. Here, 15 minutes away from this house where i now sit and write..not in Gaza, not in Syria, not in iran. Here. This is our face, this is all of us.

Spectacular, Highly recommended.

While we're on the subject of perspective, find below, a link to a speech given by a journalist and woman i admire greatly, Pilar Rahola from Spain. (both English and Spanish version links).

Another brave soul, willing to fight against singular, propaganda-driven thinking. A real free thinker, the sort of which i admire greatly.

The sort of which i hope our new daughter will be.

Sending all of you much love,

Noa (Achinoam)

in Spanish:

Thursday, January 21, 2010

pace of peace, POP, the seeds of hope.

hello all.

i's like to bring to your attention an animated film called "pace of peace", made by Israel high school students, arab and jewish, in collaboration with some very fine Italina animators.

the story was conceived by the kids, and i had the pleasure of writing and performing the theme song. gil dor did the prodcution. i asked Rim Banna, palestinian/israeli singer songwriter, to join...and the result is before you.

the film was made a few years ago, and won several prizes. much has happened since, but nothing has really changed, so it remains highly relevant in my eyes...

in troubled times lke these, all i can do to keep sane is spread seeds of hope and pray the winds of good will carry them as far as they can go.

to see the film please go to YOUTUBE and search for "Pace of Peace" . it's the anumated film right on top. i tried to put in alink but something went wrong.

thanks and enjoy.



Sunday, January 17, 2010

hello all,

here is my ' fim debut', the trailer from a film called "the Golden Pomegranate"!

the film is visually beautiful and historically very interesting. the story of one strong Jewish Yemenite woman's struggle for survival and independence against all odds.

i play a tiny part and i'm basically playing myslef so no need to hold your breath for an oscar any time this century, Penelope can relax, but it's a start! LOL :-) (Almodovar here i come!!)

check it out.