The basic, main activities are traditional demonstrations. Despite the doubts about their effectiveness and necessity, there is always a need to demonstrate and express a collective cry of protest. The demonstration is an old and traditional method, but it is irreplaceable and we are determined to preserve it. It is a challenge, and a well-organized demonstration is a big success, especially in the current conditions that prevent any connection between the two peoples on either side of the Green Line. Our activities aren't limited to demonstrations. We have done many demonstrations inside Israel against the wall, the war in Iraq and the incursion that took place in 2001. We think it is important for the Israelis to face the same risks while demonstrating as the Palestinians in the West Bank. The demonstrations shouldn't take place only in areas that are comfortable for Israelis. Therefore, most of our demonstrations are in the West Bank. We don't neglect the demonstrations inside Israel because it is important for our voices to be heard inside Israel too. Other important activities of Ta'ayush and the Coalition of Women for a Just Peace are organizing alternative trips about the issues of the occupation and the Apartheid wall in the West Bank. These activities are also performed inside Israel because the occupation and Israeli racism also affect the Palestinian minority inside Israel. Ta'ayush and the Women's Coalition organize tours that aim to attract Israelis from the mainstream who have never seen the other face of Israel. The tours are organized under the name "Another Perspective." We take university students from Hebrew University on weekly tours. The only thing these students know about the wall is that it is a means to stop terrorists and provide security. They don't know that it has other human consequences. We take these students and arrange meetings between them and their Arab neighbors in Al-Ram who are affected by the wall. For the first time, as civilians and not soldiers, they see and listen to Palestinians. This project is seven months old and we have been working intensively on it. So far 1500 Israelis have taken part in this project. Many of them don't belong to leftist political groups; they identify with the Center or with the Right. This is a very important project.There are Ta’ayush projects in mixed Israeli cities in which the Palestinians are a minority, like Acre, Haifa, Lod, Ramle and Jaffa, where the living conditions are very hard. Our goal in these projects is to convey the message that in addition to the walls that separate the Israelis from the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza, there are walls that separate the Israelis and the Palestinians inside Israel. These walls are the walls of poverty, discrimination and racism. We try to present the real situation of the Palestinians inside Israel, because there are many false perceptions about the Arabs inside Israel: for example, that they enjoy a high standard of living and that Israel treats them well. We invite people who aren’t involved in the situation to see things that are close to them, which they wouldn’t have seen on their own.
Ta’ayush has many activities in the area of southern Hebron. These activities are related to the Palestinians who live in caves, and to the abuses that the inhabitants of the south Hebron area suffer at the hands of the settlers. The settlers in that region have poisoned drinking water, wells and fields in the area as a means of driving the Palestinians from their homes. Ta’ayush is active in raising money to buy drinking water for the Palestinians in the area so that they aren’t forced to leave their homes. Another activity we do in association with other Israeli groups is helping the Palestinian farmers during the olive harvest season. The wall aims to separate the farmers from their land in order for it to be confiscated.
Another aim of the "Wall Project," in addition to consolidating the "Settlement Project," is to prevent farmers from reaching their land. Because we have the privilege of being on the western side of the wall and reaching areas that the Palestinians aren’t able to reach, we help in the process of olive collection to speed up the harvest. The olive harvesting effort is also connected to the permits that the Palestinians need to get from the Israeli authorities.
The Coalition of Women feels a need to connect with Palestinian women, so they specialize in joint meetings and activities between women from both sides. The Palestinian women have a significant roll in the intifada and in all social issues, a roll that is undermined by different male authorities and patriarchal leadership. The women’s movement tries to strengthen joint activities through direct work with the rural and local women and not through activities that are forced upon women by the male leadership. The motivation for these activities is mutual support between women from both sides and not only Israeli support for Palestinian women, because the Israeli women are also in need of a partner in the form of women and mothers for a joint future.The Coalition of Women regards the connection between women as very important. Only the women should determine the nature of this connection. There are many joint activities in the form of meetings, demonstrations, olive harvesting and political discussions. Despite the repetition of the activities, they have developed their own specialty and vision. The specialty of these movements is that they are joint Israeli Palestinian movements inside Israel. They aren’t Israeli Jewish founded movements; they have been joint movements since they were founded.
From the beginning, Ta’ayush was founded by Israelis and Palestinians. It wasn’t founded by an Israeli and then imposed upon Palestinians; it was jointly founded by people who aimed to create a joint movement, and it is still a joint movement because it was founded on a joint basis. Ta’ayush doesn’t mimic traditional Israeli leftist groups that were imposed upon Palestinians by Israelis, where Palestinians only filled in a gap. In our situation, there was recognition and fundamental work so that we would not replicate that model. We want to provide something alternative so that we won’t collapse if there are future events like those of October 2000.
The Women’s movement is founded according to the same principle. When an Israeli participates in the international activities of a Ta’ayush talk against the wall, and the world hears an Israeli voice against the current situation, we are breaking an Israeli taboo about the issue of security. It is very important to show the world that the security of Israel isn’t taboo, and that there are two voices that need to be heard. There should be an alternative to the Israeli government's voice. This alternative voice should be an Israeli Jewish voice that presents the situation in a different way and supports the Palestinian voice. This is why we need these organizations. The challenge is to convey the same message that is conveyed to the Israelis here, to Israel's supporters abroad. As an organization, we have succeeded in this challenge.