Israel’s beleaguered peace camp has its work cut out for it in the wake of Benjamin Netanyahu’s re-election and new gains for the extreme right. The ultra-nationalists will push Netanyahu to make good on his campaign promise to annex the West Bank.
But, says Shaqued Morag, leader of Peace Now, Israel’s premier peace movement, the annexation danger may also serve as a wake up call. Morag will be in Canada May 13-19 to speak of how her movement is mobilizing Israelis to fight back against what many citizens – including hard-boiled security experts – consider a disastrous trend. Peace Now argues that annexation, whether it happens outright or incrementally, will terminate Israel’s right to call itself a democracy. Continued military rule over the disenfranchised Palestinians will spell endless strife for generations of Israelis and Palestinians. Only a negotiated two-state solution can preserve Israel as both a Jewish homeland and a democracy, as well as prospects for peace.
Morag, 34, has been the executive director of Peace Now since July 2018, chosen for her leadership skills and activist credentials. Prior to that she was a parliamentary advisor and then the Chief of Staff with Meretz, Israel’s social democratic party. She has also made her mark in women’s rights and anti-poverty organizations. Since taking the helm of Peace Now, Morag has used her parliamentary knowledge to better communicate with Knesset members of all parties and to improve outreach to the Israeli public, especially youth.
Her Canada tour, hosted by Canadian Friends of Peace Now, will bring Morag to Montreal, Ottawa and Toronto. She will speak about the effects of the election, her movement’s plans to change hearts and minds, and what might be in store with Donald Trump’s peace plan. She will also address the question, often posed by naysayers on both the left and the right: Is it too late for a two-state solution?
Peace Now/Shalom Achshav was established in 1978 when 348 Israeli senior reserve officers and combat soldiers came together to urge their government to sign a peace treaty with Egypt. In the years since, Shalom Achshav has come to be recognized, both at home and abroad, as Israel’s leading grassroots Zionist peace movement. One of its signature programs is Settlement Watch, which monitors, exposes and protests Israeli settlement activity in the West Bank. Shalom Achshav is widely cited in the Israeli and international media as the foremost authority on settlements.
Canadian Friends of Peace Now is a sister organization to Peace Now in Israel. CFPN supports educational projects in Israel and raises awareness in Canada of the need for a viable solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Public speaking events / contacts:
Montreal: Tuesday, May 14, 7:30 pm
Location Temple Emanu-El-Beth Sholom, Community Hall, 4100 Sherbrooke Westmount
Contact: David Cohen (514) 712-1540
Ottawa: Wednesday, May 15, 7:30 pm
Soloway Jewish Community Centre
Contact: Gabriella Goliger (613) 222-3838
Toronto: Thursday, May 16, 7:30 pm
Multi-Faith Centre, University of Toronto
Contact: Jacqueline Swartz (416) 833-8360