Dear SAVE Sisters,
These last few days I have been thinking of what words I will be contributing to the debates within SAVE about the tragedy of humanity in the Gaza waters. As a normal common human being, regardless of the religious background, one must have been terrorized to see what has happened on the flotilla ships and on the increased sufferings of the Palestinians in Gaza. How sad to see human values have been tragically destroyed.
In Indonesia, a country with the largest Muslim population, the reaction to this bitterness is manifested in various ways. I have been taught that reactions to injustices can be expressed at different levels. We, as civil society members, have entrusted our governments who have political authorities (such as the Indonesian government) to undertake political lobbies and diplomacy. The Indonesian government has committed to a grand vision for the MiddleEast, where the State of Palestine exists as a sovereign state. We as citizens have entrusted our government in pursuing this grand vision. In addition to the above, we Indonesians have expressed our solidarity through moral movements on the street in big cities in Indonesia and deployed humanitarian aids and 12 peace volunteers in the aids flotilla.
Since joining SAVE three years ago, I have a big hope that women worldwide will have a more significant role as peace makers and peace movers. My dream is that humanitarian and peace values will spread globally especially in supporting our sisters in Palestine and Israel as peace mediators for the Gaza. It is my hope that SAVE Global can give bigger supports to Asma and Robi to enlist other Palestinian and Israeli women in our Mothers for Change movement so that they can voice out their concerns and make changes from within their countries.
SAVE Global can and needs to give more empowerment and support to our sisters here. This is a concrete action that we can do as SAVE for sisterhood and solidarity with Palestine and Israeli people. I realize it is a big challenge but it is not impossible. In Maria Worth we were exposed with the success story of sisters in Ireland, in a different context, to bring peace and reconciliation.
I realize that this will need a very “long and deep breath,” to borrow the words in the headline of Indonesia’s largest newspaper, Kompas on June 7, 2010 on the issue of Palestine and Israel. But I believe that women have been blessed with strengths, endurance and resilience to stand up against injustices. To Asma and Robi, my heart is with you and those who are struggling for freedom and dignity.
With love from sunny Jakarta,