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[YOUR NAME HERE] thought you might be interested in this story from the University of Rochester.
MEDIA CONTACT: Jan Fitzpatrick, (585) 275-4128
October 21, 1996
New Book Documents How Women's Activism Helped Mideast Peace
A new book about how women peace activists in Israel have
anticipated the government's official peace process will appear
in November, 1996. The book brings timely analysis to the
ongoing struggle for peace in the Middle East, which unfolds even
as Israeli and Palestinian leaders continue meeting after the
most recent outbreak of violence this fall.
Our Sisters' Promised Land, by Ayala Emmett, associate
professor of anthropology at the University of Rochester, focuses
upon the long campaign waged by women activists to have the
Israeli government recognize Palestinian aspirations for self-
government, and to change its official policy from one of
conflict to one of peaceful co-existence.
The book, published by the University of Michigan Press
[pub. date Nov. 4, $32.50], is the first to examine Israeli
politics by focusing on the women's claim that they represent the
silent majority which supports peace in Israel. Their claim
materialized in the change that led up to the 1993 and 1994
historic signings of peace agreements between Israel and the
Palestinians, and between Israel and Jordan. It illuminates the
power of politically marginal groups like the women activists to
affect the agendas of ruling parties and government.
While the book acknowledges the role played by global events
such as the collapse of the Soviet Union and emergence of the
United States in creating a climate for peace, it argues that
these were "grassroots" peace accords, which developed out of
local movements in Israel and in the Occupied Territories.
There were both Israeli and Palestinian women activists in the
peace movement, the book points out. When they began their
public demonstrations, neither nation sanctioned peace as its
official policy. Yet the women engaged in a remarkably tenacious
struggle, bridging their own cultural and historical differences
to accomplish their purpose.
Our Sisters' Promised Land explores issues beyond that of
the peace process. It invites readers to see striking parallels
between the U.S. and Israel. Both nations are multicultural,
immigrant societies with social tensions that occasionally erupt
in homegrown violence, as seen in the assassination of Yitzhak
Rabin, or in the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995. The book provides
a comprehensive context for understanding such tensions and for
alternatives to violence, which the women activists offered.
About the University of Rochester
The University of Rochester (www.rochester.edu) is one of the nation's leading private universities. Located in Rochester, N.Y., the University gives students exceptional opportunities for interdisciplinary study and close collaboration with faculty through its unique cluster-based curriculum. Its College of Arts, Sciences, and Engineering is complemented by the Eastman School of Music, Simon School of Business, Warner School of Education, Laboratory for Laser Energetics, Schools of Medicine and Nursing, and the Memorial Art Gallery.