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The voice of a Feminist and mother against retaliation and war

Building Bridges Israel

With a feminist perspective you see more options

Our talk on zoom took place in the first week after the cruel attack on Israeli civilians close to Gaza and the start of the war between Israel and the terror organisation Hamas. Rotem Aloni, mother of three boys, lawyer and activist was sitting at home in Ramat Gan, in the center of Israel. All family members stayed at home, ready to seek out the shelter in case the sirenes go off warning them of missile attacks from the Hamas.

Podcast Rotem Aloni: Feminist Peace Activist Israel

The first aspect Rotem mentions is her family and her three sons. They are her biggest concern and she feels very strongly for all the parents who lost their kids or who are fearing for the kidnapped kids. Rotem speaks about the trauma caused by the attack close to Gaza. The fear for the kids and not knowing what will happen next in this war. Rotem engages in activities to bring back the civilians who have been kidnapped.

Everybody knows somebody who was kidnapped, everybody knows somebody who was murdered. We are all trying to do something to help each other because sitting and doing nothing makes you crazy.

Rotem Aloni

Rotem is a member of The Women Lawyers for Social Justice, an Israeli Palestinian and Israeli Jewish organisation. They were taught how to negotiate from a feminist perspective. One of their first actions after the attack was to write letters to foreign embassies to help mediating in the hostage negotiations. They are also trying to create pressure from the inside of Israel to convince the government not going into Gaza but first of all trying to free the hostages. They are engaged mostly in communication work via different media channels.

Rotem talks about the male dominance perspective on the media and that there are only men around the decision making table. Women from civil society are not visible but in their group, they keep doing whatever they can to make the women’s voices heard. As a feminist, Rotem looks at this situation in a bigger context, widening the perspective to see more options and more solutions.

It’s all about men figthing who is stronger and not what we as civilians on both sides need to be safe …. I am sure if there were more women in the government, they could see more options. And going into Gaza now and getting more soldiers killed won’t make us feel safer.

Rotem Aloni

Rotem also talks about the longer term aspects of the war. The need to find a solution for two peoples living together in such a small territory.

If you want to come to some kind of a solution you need to understand the needs of both sides
and vengeance is not a need.
There are voices in the Palestinians that you can talk to . We need to make them stronger and help them find their voice and {we need to} help ourselves to find our voice. And maybe these two voices can connect and we can live here in peace.

Rotem Aloni

*on the picture you see Rotem Aloni with her son Omer