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Dec-11-2012 15:21printcomments

New Profile's Annual Activity Report for 2011

Update from some of the hardest working activists in Israel...

Israeli policemen beat and arrest women at a demonstration held by the feminist movement New Profile
Israeli policemen beat and arrest women at a demonstration held by the feminist movement New Profile in support of six activists from the group who were arrested from their homes by the police, 30 April 2009. (Shachaf Polakow/ActiveStills)

(TEL AVIV) - We are pleased to present you with the attached report on the activities of New Profile, the feminist movement working to demilitarize Israeli society, in 2011. The period of the report covers a year in which a wave of popular protests and revolutions swept the globe, and the Middle East in particular. Israel has also had its ripple in this wave – the relatively massive J14 protests, in which many New Profile activists also took part. But by now, those protests have gone almost without a trace. Israel is on its way to electing a new, even more extremely hawkish, racist and anti-democratic parliament and government than the one it has now, and to kick off the election campaign, the Israeli government and military had orchestrated another round of hostilities, with a brutal assault on the people of Gaza and its suburbs.

In the midst of that assault, the small anti-Occupation movement in Israel did its best. We participated in demonstrations and faced police brutality, ran an ad opposing the assault in a daily newspaper, spoke to the few who would listen. But in New Profile, we did one more thing: our Counseling Network quickly and effectively responded to a wave of calls from Israeli reservists, who were given an emergency call-up to join the planned (and eventually canceled) land invasion of Gaza, and decided they will not go. This was one effective thing we could do, one way out of the helplessness and hopelessness of the situation. This was also part of our daily routine work, and it is this routine work that the activity report we are sending you focuses on.

Indeed, 2011 was, relatively speaking, an ordinary year in New Profile’s work. We started a new bilingual youth group for young Palestinian and Jewish women in the city of Haifa and we created a new digital version of our exhibition, documenting military presence in Israeli public space, culture and education, for an international audience. But apart from that, New Profile’s educational work kept the pace from previous years. We continued to counsel and support people refusing to serve in the Israeli military as before. We also continued the hard work of trying to make ourselves, as a movement, as an organization, as a group of people, live up to the feminist values and ideals we hold dear. All this is documented in the report below, which also shows that even when the work is routine, the accomplishments it brings with it, when we stop to look back at them, are far from trivial.

Finally, we should emphasize that all this work, and all these accomplishments, are made possible and sustainable not only by our activists’ devoted work, but also by your support – in listening to what we have to tell and spreading the word, in giving us the occasional positive feedback, in bringing our message (and some of our activists too) to audiences in your home countries, in making financial donations – in short, by reminding us that we are working for a good and important cause, and that even in bleak times, our efforts are not in vain. Thank you! New Profile activists.

Read the report here: PDF with full report from NEW PROFILE, Movement for the Demilitarization of Israeli Society

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