The Political is Personal in Israel and Palestine (New Project)

Sarah Arnd Linder
Posted December 2, 2015 from Israel
Political is Personal / Israel + Palestine
From "Her Story #13 - Adele"
From "Her Story #13 - Adele": Picture taken from a demonstration that Adele took part in, when the army withdrew the soldiers from the border line kibbutzim; the protest was organized by the Movement for the Future of the Western Negev. (1/3)

Descriptions of current events, especially the rather dramatic ones, often refrain from highlighting how these events affect individual lives, and often how these events affect individual women’s lives in dramatic and less dramatic ways.

Some of this phenomenon makes sense. Many seek to be up-to-date with current events and therefore often seek the time-effective "cold" facts and numbers: "134 dead, 54 injured. December 21, 2012. 25 children, out of those 13 men, 12 girls. An explosion, terrorist act, plane crash, floods, us vs. them, them vs. us, the enlightened vs. the radical and/or "primitive."

News outlets of all sorts have found ways to sum up intricate events into a couple of sentences. News outlets as such allow us, the readers, to be “aware” of what goes on in many parts of the world within a relatively short time of reading or watching. Summaries of intricate events often portray what we deem to be the “macro.”

The conflict in Israel-Palestine is a protracted conflict, which has gained much media coverage, especially in recent years. The history of the conflict can be explained differently depending on which sources are read and used. Indeed the opinions of the conflict vary, and a lot is being said about this conflict in general.

As a response to the above, I decided to begin a project by the title of “Political is Personal / Israel + Palestine” on Facebook in the beginning of April 2015. The project, which at a later stage may extend into a website, is a project based on interviews that I conduct with individual Palestinian and Israeli women transformed into individual “stories” published on the page that convey how the conflict affects and has affected their lives – personally.

There are countless non-governmental organizations in this region, who focus on women’s voices and experiences in relations to the situation here. These NGO’s are crucial, as they contribute to empowering the voices of women in so many different ways.

What is unique about PiP is that it enables women to let their voices be heard throughout the world by exposing individual women’s backgrounds, experiences, fears, joys and opinions in a very direct way to the readers. For women, who chose to remain anonymous, this is crucial, as they may not have similar opportunities to let others know, what they have been through.

This represents the micro of what happens here to women from all backgrounds.

So why women? Well, with a slight twist of the slogan of second-wave feminism “the personal is political,” I seek to emphasize the impact of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict on women’s lives and to demonstrate, how this impact can differ from the impact on men.

I chose Women as the “protagonists” in this “storytelling,” because I sought to empower women’s voices, which still, to this date, are less heard around the world in comparison to those of men.

In addition to this, I intend to bring light to women’s experiences, status, their role as well as some women’s direct involvement with any mending of the conflict’s damages and women’s achievements here in spite of the conflict.

As mentioned in the “About” section of the page, the mission of Political is Personal is fourfold:

1. To channel, and as such to empower the voices of Israeli and Palestinian women;

2. To reveal some of the hidden (micro) sides of the conflict to those who seek to learn more about how the conflict is perceived and experienced by women from different backgrounds on both sides;

3. To demonstrate that the political here indeed is personal and

4. To ultimately contribute to exposing the hurt and damage caused by the conflict thus far as a way to promote peace, reconciliation and justice in the “spirit” of Security Council Resolution 1325.

As one of the main goals of Political is Personal are to have these stories exposed to the outside world,please visit Political is Personal / Israel + Palestine.

If you like the concept and the stories please like the page and share for the stories to get out to others. Also, if you would like to contribute to the development and the sustainability of the project, please donate!

Comments 1

Log in or register to post comments
Tamarack Verrall
Dec 15, 2015
Dec 15, 2015

Dear Sarah,

Your project to publish women's stories from Israel and Palestine is so critically important. Many of us are aware that peace work is being done by Palestinian and Israeli women coming together, but the news is not easy to come by. Your work changes this. By going to Community and entering a country, you will be able to find others in your area with the same goals, goals we also share globally. 

I look forward to reading the stories that you have been posting through your site, and to hearing your voice in this community.

In friendship and in sisterhood,