Women Wage Peace

Elinor Eshel

"We don't trade pain. They will fight until morning about who hurts more, and whose blood is worth more, and as we know they will consult with us, and we will reveal to them more of the security components. Sides they won't see now, just maybe in a year when the damn war is over. We have already paid the price and can enter the future laboratory, which shows them how the plot ends.'

  1. is almost 5 decades old, married to the state of Israel. She is accustomed to walking the corridors of government offices, she works night and day behind the scenes. For years she has been instructing and training whole generations how to pull the right strings not by force, not by righteousness but through a magnifying glass that sees the consequences alongside the minute details. She speaks many languages, she is called a human capital engineer, she always aims to see a broad picture, as much as possible, so that everyone feels that they have a place, and are a part. This is the only way to create a table around which everyone is committed. 

At the beginning of her journey, she was among the only women who dared to enter the statesmen's strongholds, which are normally catalogued as male-only areas, and look like a fine whiskey club, rather than a process toward resolving the longest conflict in history. She would have described it exactly like a stage of foreplay, where she had to get into the costume of a butcher and keep her heart open to all possible ranges of compassion, so that when the butcher's robe would be stained with blood, she would not panic and continue to influence the decision-makers even a little.

When sitting around the table under negotiation conditions, she says that it felt like taking a walk between endless meat stalls at a market, with each monger sharing the heavy price they pay for the piece of meat. The animals are already dead but the smell of blood still lingers in the air. The smell of suffering. The mongers, each in their own turn, takes out of a stiff and fancy leather bag a list of pain and slaps their partners with how heavy a price their flesh has paid. 

In other words: my pain is greater! Thus I deserve more. 

Vivian Silver, Of Blessed Memory. Murdered in Kibbutz Be’eri on 7/10. One of the founders of Women Wage Peace

Outstanding Leadership

Last week, Dr. Yael Admi, one of the founders and leaders of Women Wage Peace, was chosen as one of TIME’s 12 Women of the Year, alongside Reem Hajajreh, of the Deheishah Refugee Camp, who is one of the founders of Women of the Sun. They are leaders working toward a more egalitarian future. Dr. Admi’s partner was the late Vivian Silver, who was murdered in Kibbutz Be’eri on October 7, that cursed Shabbat. Vivian (z”l), Dr. Admi, and many other women have spent years and years building the milestones that would lead us to the negotiating table; a table where you no longer make choices from pain, and there is no talk of trading humans or hostages for prisoners. 

They try to lead us to the table of the future, where all the partners accept the narrative of the plot, even before they get to meet the characters in the story. Everyone takes it upon themselves to enter a futuristic laboratory, where time travel takes place and think about what will happen a decade from now.

These women, of this breed, are not in a hurry to make exits, they think like startup companies in growth, creating a stable infrastructure to become a public company that serves the public and everyone comes out profitable with full shares. All this, through strategic thinking and far-sightedness, so that when you come to the negotiation table, and when you already have achievements and a growing company with shares, it will be difficult for you to destroy it. These women’s thought process is in favour of action.  When you are busy with construction you are less free to engage in disagreements, terrorism, destruction, and more. Eli, don’t you think this is an imprecise generalization? This is a mindset that does not provide instant gratification. The achievements of the negotiation participants through marching together, while learning and enjoying the journey. It’s like a female orgasm, in which there is enjoyment of the journey rather than conquest of another target. 

Dr. Yael Admi at the ceremony in Los Angeles 

The Strength of Women

Leadership of this type brings holistic qualities to the negotiation table, which allow sheep to live with wolves without being harmed. The ability of these women to see the connection between security and community, which are built from mental and emotional resilience, alongside physical security, can open the negotiation table to dismantle the concept of security. The perception of women's security is built into them by the fact that they are women {in most cases}. They translate the concept of security from infancy to environmental security. Environmental security is first and foremost to give their child, and every man and woman, a safe place where they can remove the defence systems and challenge themselves. Every child who learns to crawl and walk learns to challenge themselves in a safe environment given to them by their mother. The feeling of environmental security provides basic conditions for building inner resilience, and it gradually expands from the inside of the child to the family, friends, the workplace, the city, society, and the country. 

Women do not trade pain on the negotiating table. They already know they paid the price just like everyone else. They remember that when their four-year-old boy received a small blow on his thumb, it seemed like the most terrible pain in the world, but they did not repel the pain, but contained it as if it was the most painful minute in the world, which gave the pained child in that moment confidence that allowed him to cope and develop a sense of competence. And when they come to the negotiation table, they remember that they came to write the future. To design a reality in which there is a stage after the pain, which is the stage of coping, analysing and solving the problems in order to reach security. 

They do not trade in pain. They come with the price of pain and agree to enter the laboratory of hope with partners who are not afraid of change. And most of all, they dare to dream and are not afraid to fail or be disappointed. The choice of Dr. Admi, as one of TIME’s Women of the Year, after the murder of the late Vivian Silver on the seventh of October, leaves us with a window of opportunity of death that did not bury the idea of leadership with it, but only raised it again to the top of our priorities as a society. And now it seems that we no longer have the privilege to despair in spite of it all. 

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