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Hiroshima Survivors to Visit Israel

The Hibakusha Peace Boat Project

The Hibakusha Peace Boat Project is a unique, civil society initiative that enables Hibakusha (survivors of the atomic bombings in Hiroshima and Nagasaki) to participate in around-the-world voyages to give personal testimonies about the effects of the atomic bombs, foster exchanges with youth and citizens around the world, and call for peace, international cooperation and a sustainable future.

The Israeli Disarmament Movement

The Israeli Disarmament Movement is made up of two different sectors that work together; the official NGO Regional Peace and disarmament Movement (RPM), and the grassroots movement According to Foreign Sources. Both aim to up public discourse in Israel on the matter of nuclear disarmament and other nuclear-related issues, which include a strong and loud opposition to a war on Iran. While ambivalence regarding such discussion is still very strong in Israel, the movement is working to develop educational materials, create public awareness and lobby for a WMD-free zone in the Middle East as a step forward or a side-by-side program with other endeavours for a comprehensive Nuclear Weapons Convention for a Nuclear Weapons Free World. The Israeli Disarmament Movement also represents the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons – ICAN.

Hibakusha in Israel

The Hibakusha Peace Boat, According to Foreign Sources, and ICAN in Israel are organizing a week-long visit of four Hibakusha in Israel starting September 10th.

This is an historic visit as it is the first time Hibakusha will be visiting Israel, as well as the first time that Israelis will have opportunity to meet Hibakusha and hear their personal stories.

For most Israelis, any discussion about nuclear weapons is taboo. However we believe that the compelling message that the Hibakusha bring with them of “No More Hiroshimas, No More Nagasakis,” conveys a new angle and supports our demands for an open nuclear discourse in Israel. Additionally we hope that their visit will help us create discourse that might generate more focus on the need for Israel to participate in any regional or international talks promoting a Nuclear Weapons Convention or a Weapons of Mass Destruction Free Zone in the Middle East.

We believe that this visit will open new doors for the Israeli media, Israeli civil society, and hopefully members of parliament.

Agenda

Among other activities, the Hibakusha will meet with Holocaust survivors, visit Yad Va-Shem (Israel’s Holocaust Museum ), place wishes calling for a world free of nuclear weapons in the Wailing Wall in the Old City of Jerusalem, hold public events in East Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and Haifa, and meet with MPs and mayors.

For more info: http://www.u235.org.il/en/

Related posts:

  1. interview with Greta Berlin of Free Gaza Movement UPDATE: Israel takes over boat.
  2. Israel’s Nukes Are Off Limits, UPDATED with comment from Gideon Spiro
  3. Contact Obama to Cancel Tuesday’s Israeli PM Visit!

Written by

SYDNEY LEVY (San Francisco) is Jewish Voice for Peace's Campaign Director. Together with other JVPers, he has campaigned against the use of Caterpillar bulldozers to demolish Palestinian homes and in solidarity with Christian churches deliberating whether and how to divest from companies that profit from the injustices of the Israeli occupation. Sydney is the son of Egyptian Jews who immigrated to Venezuela, where he was born. Sydney lived in Jerusalem for seven years, where he received his Masters degree in Jewish History from the Hebrew University. Read his posts here.

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