This summer I watched with envy as Israelis took back ownership over determining what society will look like. I had just moved to New York and spent countless hours watching streaming video from Israel, often tearful as I realized just how many people shared the ideas and values that I believe are so important. What impressed me most though was the change in the actual conversation being held. People where suddenly talking about how we live together rather than how I get ahead.
Two weeks ago a small group of people started a protest on wall street in New York City called Occupy Wall street (occupywallst.org). What started as a few individuals has changed into a few thousands camped out in a park in Manhattan. Once again there are people discussing how they want our society to look, what they think needs to be changed, why we cannot continue going on the way we have up to now. Once again, it’s the act of the conversation that impresses me most. What they want to achieve is clear, an end to the free market economic policies and the corporate dictatorship of our politics.
How to achieve this, on the other hand, is very unclear and the subject of countless, passionate discussions and arguments. This is the beauty of recent protest movements because they signal a change in the way we perceive our problems. We have tried working through the regular channels in order to affect change only to realize that everyone that makes it to power is enamored to the Chicago School of Economics, whether he is Netanyahu, Bush, Livni or Obama. It seems that the time has come to try something else.
No one really knows what this something else is exactly. News media here, just like in Israel this summer, keeps on insisting on getting a clear list of demands and some kind of idea when the protest will end. There cannot be a clear list of demands as what is being asked for is a change in the way we conduct ourselves and not just a change in this policy or the other.
It took conservatives 40 years to break down the welfare state, deregulate the financial industry and establish the consumer society. These protests aren’t going to change that within the space of a couple of months. What they are doing is reminding us that it is us that decide on the character of our society. It is us who allowed the corporate greed, the wholesale privatization of public services and goods, the monetization of everything we do to take place. It is us that will decide to put an end to this. This is our responsibility.
The Council of Europe invites young people from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Kosovo(1), for participants coming from both the Albanian and Serbian ethnic communities, Israel and the Palestinian Authority, who are engaged in youth or community projects and motivated to implement youth initiatives for peace building within their own communities to apply for youth Peace Camp 2011.
Youth Peace Camp builds on the long standing work of the Directorate of Youth and Sport on human rights education, intercultural learning and conflict transformation for young people. This project provides a safe space for the young people from different conflict struck regions to learn together about conflict, to share their experiences in approaching them with other young people and to build their capacity to engage and/or develop future conflict transformation projects and initiatives. The Youth Peace Camp project together with the Youth Peace Ambassadors project also enables the Council of Europe’s youth sector to identify and document challenges faced by young people in conflict regions and to improve its ability to support youth projects in those regions.
The project combines a residential seminar with distance learning.
You can find attached detailed information about the project background, aim and objectives, profile of the candidates and selection procedure.
Please note that the deadline for submitting applications is 26th April 2011. Only duly completed applications, made on the online application form, will be accepted for consideration. The link to the form is http://courses.opencontent.it and is also given in the attached presentation document.
Presentation document (add link to work file)
Racheli Tidhar-Caner was recently voted co-chair of the Israel Green Movement, alongside co-chair Alon Tal.
Co-Chairperson Racheli Tidhar-Caner
For those in the environmental movement, Racheli is a familiar face. Not only is she a founding member of the Israel Green Movement, she has participated (and led) many of Israel’s most prominent environmental campaigns. Chief among them are the campaigns to improve public transportation, protect Red Sea coral reefs from fish farms, preserve the Jerusalem Forests, improve air quality in Haifa Bay, protect the Nitzanim coast from development, and prevent construction of new coal-fired energy plants. Further, she has been active in promoting legislation in Knesset for recycling, clean air and coastline protection. Racheli volunteered, worked and was a member of the governing council of the student environmental organization, Green Course.
Racheli is trained as strategic advisor for social and environmental change, working with a broad variety of social and environmental organizations. She serves as chairwoman of Re’em Association, a volunteer organization advocating for anthroposophic (Waldorf) education in Rehovot, and is a project manager for the Shatil environmental justice program. She has consulted for women’s rights, educational, and accessibility organizations, and assists communities to increase public participation in local government. Her latest writing on strengthening the role of women in politics (in Hebrew) is available here.
Racheli holds a dual bachelor’s degree in geography and Hebrew literature from Ben Gurion University of the Negev and a Master’s degree in organizational behavior from the New York Polytechnic University (Israel branch). She is a graduate of the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies and was a member of the Moshav Movement’s Garin Oded. She is married to Niv, and mother to Ayelet, Neta and Omri.
If you weren’t among the 180 party members voting on the new leadership list last week… Or if you haven’t been following the drama around the appointment of Israel’s new Chief of Staff… Or if you are unaware that there is – for the first time – a party in Israel that guarantees equal representation of men and women… Then you are not following the most optimistic signs of life in an otherwise dismal political scene in Israel.
Green Movement Members Vote
First and foremost, party members meeting last week approved a policy that the Israel Green Movement will be led by one female and one male leader. The model, introduced by the German Green Party and approved overwhelmingly by the party membership, aims to facilitate the advancement of women into the political system. The Green Movement doesn’t just talk about equal representation, we act.
The new leadership will be led by long-time Green Movement activist and leader Racheli Tidhar-Caner, alongside Professor Alon Tal. The leadership team is rounded out with party founder Eran Ben Yemini, Professor and Tel Aviv city councilman Noah Efron, executive director of the Israel Energy Forum Yael Cohen-Paran, Avi Dabush (Coordinator of Shatil’s Environmental Justice program), Sagit Porat (Paths To Sustainability Coalition Coordinator), Ahmed Amrani (Director General of the Office of the Mayor of Rahat), and Dr. Sarit Oked (community and environmental activist in Arad).
The movement meeting followed closely behind the decision of the Israeli government to retract the appointment of Major General Yoav Galant to the post of Chief of Staff. Their decision was a direct result of the Green Movement petition to the Supreme Court questioning the ethical behavior of Galant and the faulty process by which he was vetted for the position.
Chairperson Alon Tal
Chairperson Racheli Tidhar-Kaner
Posted in Politics, Who is the IGM?
Tagged Ahmed Amrani, Alon Tal, Avi Dabush, Eran Ben Yemini, Israel Green Movement, Israeli politics, Noah Efron, Racheli Tidhar-Kaner, Sarit Oked, Yael Cohen-Paran, Yoav Galant