World Pulse

PHOTOS: War Is Not My Language

khulud khamis
Posted October 2, 2014 from Palestine

Across the divisions that define the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, a unified message is gaining strength: Enough

We stand up and loudly, clearly say

together, Jews and Palestinians –

we refuse your wars

we refuse to be enemies

From War Is Not My Language - الحرب ليست لُغتي

In July 2014, Israel launched its military attack on Gaza, called Operation Protective Edge. The whole atmosphere inside Israel preceding and during this military attack was explosive in terms of Jewish-Arab relations. Anyone who dared raise a voice against the war or against the killing of civilians, or anyone who called for immediate cease-fire, was seen as a traitor and was attacked (sometimes verbally, sometimes physically).

We, a community of feminist activists from Haifa, Jewish and Palestinian women citizens of Israel, felt helpless. The public sphere was occupied by those advocating for the military action, and our voices against the war and against killing were silenced, often with violent means. We were physically attacked during demonstrations, Palestinian women feared speaking in Arabic in public spaces, and our spheres of action were rapidly shrinking. Thus, we convened an emergency meeting at the Haifa Women's Coalition House, and discussed our options. We took these photos in a safe space and shared them on social media—one of the only ways we had left to express our objection to the war and the killing, and to make our voices heard.

Khulud Khamisis a feminist writer and activist, and Palestinian citizen of Israel. She blogs atHaifa Fieldnotes, where the personal intermingles with the political. Her first novel,Haifa Fragments, is scheduled to come out in March 2015, and she is working on her second novel.Connect with Khulud.

Comments 6

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Tamarack Verrall
Oct 24, 2014
Oct 24, 2014

Dear Khulud,

I am writing to let you know that many of us are watching, and describing to others that you exist, that you hold onto the belief that war is not the answer, that Palestinian and Jewish women are working together to promote peace. It is a surprise to many when they hear it. It causes a shift in imagination when they hear it. What you are doing is affecting change in many places. I hope that through this note you feel even more that you are not alone. I hope that through being more vocal here about what you are doing there, we can help create a protective atmosphere of safety through global pressure.

In Sisterhood,


khulud khamis
Nov 01, 2014
Nov 01, 2014

Thank you Tamarack for the support. Indeed, people are often surprised when they hear that Palestinian and Jewish women work together in such solidarity and sisterhood and that we have the same goals and political ideology. Your support means a lot to us. in solidarity, khulud

Bharti Singh Chauhan
Dec 16, 2014
Dec 16, 2014

great write up

Jan 06, 2015
Jan 06, 2015

Thank you so much Khulud for being strong enough to stand up and shout for the side of peace.

The media and our history portrays conflict as two sides battling against each other across a political, geographical or religious divide. Armies facing each other, and the peoples either on one side or the other.

You have risen above this and proven that it is not the true picture. The hidden but real sides in a conflict are those who strive for greater conflict and those who strive for peace. If those who strive for peace can connect across the battle lines, can show your faces, all your faces, then you will find that you far outnumber those who want conflict, and victory in the long term must be yours.


Maria de Chirikof
Jun 25, 2015
Jun 25, 2015

together we will change things!