Policies

Policies

Peace Laurel

The complete IWPS Manual, revised as of November 2004, is now available here.

The policies under which IWPS-Palestine operates are under continual review. Latest review dates for each area of policy, and the person(s) responsible for the review, are given where relevant.


Financial Policy

(IWPS-Palestine Team Meeting August 2003- updated August 2004 by Angie)


Currencies

The IWPS-Palestine base currency is pounds sterling. All budgets will be worked out in this currency, and all exchange rates will be given against the pound sterling base rate. All other currencies will be referred back to pounds sterling using the monthly base rate.


Accounts

IWPS-Palestine will produce detailed monthly accounts that any member of IWPS-Palestine can have sent to them. The Annual Account Statement will be put up on the website for general public access and form part of the Annual Report.


Administration expenses policy

If any LTV devotes more than 15 hours per week to administrative work on behalf of IWPS-Palestine, that LTV is entitled to have office expenses such as phone, photocopier, fax, and mailing charges reimbursed by IWPS-Palestine. In order to keep costs down, there should be only one person in each IWPS-Palestine region who assumes this level of responsibility. IWPS-Palestine members who periodically incur minor expenses related to IWPS-Palestine work can be expected to cover these on their own. Any LTV who incurs expenses that she cannot cover on her own should keep receipts and request a reimbursement from her local IWPS-Palestine ‘office’. All expenses should relate directly to budgeted IWPS-Palestine administrative categories. Any questions regarding the feasibility of an expense should first be discussed regionally, and ultimately referred to the Treasurer.

As of November 2004 the Treasurer is Barbara.


Thanks to donors

Anyone may request that a formal IWPS-Palestine letter of thanks be sent out on headed notepaper. Requests for letters of thanks should be sent to the person responsible for the area in question.

As of November 2004 Barbara covers Canada; Hannah the US, Karin Europe (except Austria and the UK), and Angie the UK, Austria, and any others.


Flights, stipends, and insurances

All airfares paid for by IWPS-Palestine : this includes fares of LTVs, and Vols coming after a specific request for them to fill an LTV gap (Gap Vols), and all Outreach Scholarship Vols (OR-S Vols) will be reimbursed for the cheapest ticket available, unless a freely exchangeable-date return ticket can be found at a small increase in price. Any costs involved because of ‘personal’ changes in dates will not be covered. Costs from airport to the house in Haris are covered.

Our “living away from home” allowances were originally designed to cover health insurance and to provide LTVs with some extra money for their own use. Because of the vast disparities in health costs, there was inequality in the money left over for individual use. For this reason, personal medical and health care insurance is now budgeted and paid separately from the “living away from home” allowance. All IWPS-Palestine LTVs must take out basic medical and health care insurance and submit receipts to the Treasurer who will reimburse the amount up to the fixed monthly limit. It is recognized that the costs of personal health and emergency health care insurance may not be fully covered by this amount, but IWPS-Palestine cannot at this stage afford to reimburse more.


As of November 2004 the current allowances are:

  • Living away from home allowance: £200/month
  • Allowance for personal medical and health insurance: up to £100/month (paid on presentation of receipts only).

IWPS-Palestine strongly recommends that all volunteers coming out to join the project take out medical and health care insurance and give details of their policies on their registration forms. IWPS-Palestine will make it clear to all volunteers that IWPS-Palestine is not responsible for covering health and injury costs.


Fundraising among members

All IWPS-Palestine members should take responsibility for fundraising for the work of IWPS-Palestine. Fundraising options can include writing and sending donor letters, presenting in report backs or panels for which donations are suggested, screening videos, distributing IWPS-Palestine videos, tapes or PowerPoint presentations, grant writing and/or any other ways that a member can think of. Every member, not only the fundraising coordinator, should commit to raising at least the equivalent of their plane ticket during the course of each fiscal year. Regional offices should maintain the list of their donors and funders, and should make decisions about how to recognize donors and keep foundations appraised of the work of IWPS-Palestine.

Personal vs. Group Finances – IWPS-Palestine is comfortable with members raising funds to help them cover costs in their own lives that are affected by the project, such as covering rent while they are in Haris, etc but only where care is taken to ensure that the donors are fully aware that the funds will be supporting the individual and not IWPS-Palestine. Members should only raise money in the name of IWPS-Palestine if those funds go directly to IWPS-Palestine.


Finances in the field

IWPS-Palestine is an organization devoted to witness, documentation, and intervention. The fundraising that we do in our home countries should support the items listed in our budget and those alone. Donations contributed to us by volunteers and delegations should go directly to provide support to those villages that acted as hosts. Monies should not be given to individual families but should go to village councils and/or mayors. One exception is the case of the sale of olive oil or other products where the funds should go directly to the producers or cooperative.

IWPS-Palestine does not give money to families or individuals because of financial hardship because this is not what IWPS-Palestine is set up to do. We are not a service or aid organization. When requests of this kind are directed at members or volunteers, we must be direct and firm in helping people understand that we cannot provide financial assistance or other services, such as supporting Palestinians to move abroad, set up lives in other countries, or attend university. Volunteers must understand this before they come to work with us so that those representing IWPS-Palestine have a unified policy on this issue. IWPS-Palestine members should refer people to other organizations or opportunities that may be available for people requesting these services.


IWPS-Palestine buying policies

IWPS-Palestine should at all times make an effort to buy locally from farmers and food producers within our own village and neighboring villages instead of purchasing products imported from Israel or any other countries. IWPS-Palestine is under no obligation, however, to contract with any one individual or family to provide certain services. IWPS-Palestine members should make every effort to purchase the necessary goods and services widely and from as many vendors as possible. We should avoid creating the impression that we are a rich international organization whose primary purpose is to jumpstart the Palestinian economy.


Financial guidelines

Financial discipline is a joint responsibility that has to be undertaken by all members of IWPS-Palestine. It is part of carrying out duties responsibly. IWPS-Palestine’s financial resources are limited, have been allocated to certain categories and everyone is expected to spend within the restraints of the set budget. If in doubt, check the latest variance report. Before incurring high expenses check with the Treasurer to see if the amount will be reimbursed.

The following financial guidelines should be followed at all times:

  • There is a budget that has been agreed by the Core Group and all members of IWPS-Palestine have to stick to it and be disciplined about spending. LTV’s and House Teams cannot make unilateral decisions, expecting IWPS-Palestine to simply reimburse them.
  • It is a responsibility of each LTV to keep up to date on what IWPS is spending in any category and over-spending in any category requires approval from the Treasurer first.
  • LTV’s need to check before spending large amounts in any budget category to see what funds are available. This could be done either by looking at the latest accounting or by checking with the Treasurer and the Finance Group.
  • For items that are not included in the budget anything over £75 will require approval from the Finance Group. LTV’s cannot expect to be able to claim money back if the expense is above this amount and had not been checked before expending the funds.
  • Receipts are required for all items. Payments cannot be reimbursed by the IWPS-Palestine Finance Group or Treasurer unless a receipt is provided.
  • LTV’s are expected to shop around for the best rates for flights. Claims for unnecessarily high airfares will be reimbursed only to the extent that is comparable to other fares from the same area.
  • While in Palestine on IWPS-Palestine work but when not in the house in Haris it is understood that food may have to be bought. If food is purchased then this can only be up to a maximum of 20 NIS per day. If LTVs have to stay in villages overnight then they should follow the village guidelines which have been set up (often with IWPS-Palestine advice) and this may mean that up to another 25 NIS may have to be paid out for these overnight expenses. This is allowed. Amounts above this should not be expected to be paid by IWPS-Palestine.
  • IWPS-Palestine does not pay for personal needs, including: special foods, parties or events, costs of days off, travel expenses to go somewhere on days off (if you can combine it with IWPS-Palestine business, ok, otherwise not covered), on-the-ground medical expenses.
  • IWPS-Palestine will pay, if agreed with the Finance Group and Personnel Group: to change air tickets or travel expenses to travel to Jordan in order to stay longer working for the project; to replace a passport if a passport is confiscated doing IWPS-Palestine work, but not for reasons of personal carelessness. Only cheap basic accommodation and cheap transport costs will be covered for this process.
  • IWPS-Palestine may pay for name change expenses, e.g. obtaining new passport. However, LTV’s are encouraged to try and raise funds themselves. If they cannot, they should ask the whole team if IWPS-Palestine is willing to pay and it should only be to enable the LTV to work at the house in Haris.
  • Due to our limited funding, none of us can assume that IWPS-Palestine will be able to pay for everything that it does. IWPS-Palestine is not a very well funded NGO and can only operate if people are willing to contribute where they can. IWPS-Palestine recognizes that many of the LTV’s and Vols incur a lot of expenses in the course of their work for IWPS-Palestine and do not claim them. This is very much appreciated.


Personnel and Decision-Making Policy

(Personnel Working Group May 27th 2004)


Recruitment and Conditions

Volunteers

  1. Any woman who has completed a valid application form, signed the House Agreement, is recommended as a volunteer by the interviewer, and meets the volunteer criteria will be accepted as a Volunteer (Vol). Full details of the volunteer application and interview procedure are given in Appendix “Volunteer Protocols”. There are no limits to the number of Vols. There are however, limits to the number of Vols that can be hosted in the house at any one time and this number is usually between 2 and 4 Vols except when particular events are in progress. The precise number is decided upon by the Personnel Group, who contact the people involved to try to make a good balanced team.
  2. The time of service and specific tasks are decided in conjunction with the Vol, Personnel Group, and the House Team.
  3. Vols should stay for a minimum of four weeks on their first visit, with the first two weeks as probationary time. (Stays below four weeks can be negotiated on a case-by-case basis particularly for very experienced volunteers.) After two weeks, the result of an evaluation will decide if a Vol stays longer than two weeks. If they are found to be unsuitable or do not themselves find their time was productive they will be removed from the Volunteers list after an in-depth evaluation and open discussion, preferably with the House Team in Haris but, if not, right after their departure.
  4. Vols will fill in a feedback form about their whole time in the house at the end of their stay in Haris, and the House Team members will write an evaluation of the Vol which will be kept in the personnel files.
  5. Vols are expected to pay their own fare, cover their own basic health insurance (strongly recommended), and pay a per diem that covers the costs of their food, living and travel expenses whilst with the project.

    As of November 2004 the current per diem per Volunteer is 45 shekels per day (approx.US$10).

  6. Once a Vol is accepted she is put onto the volunteers list (iwps-volunteers@yahoogroups.com), where she can discuss and share information with other Vols and LTVs. Volunteers are also encouraged to submit their personal reports (or link to personal blogs) to the website manager in the Communications Group.
  7. If a Vol is good but not suitable to serve for several months or to take on the overall responsibilities and work of an LTV or does not wish to become an LTV then she can remain on the Volunteer list and come back under the same terms and conditions as apply to all Vols.

Long-Term Volunteers

  1. Any new Vol who has successfully completed her work stay in Haris may apply to become a Long-Term Volunteer (LTV). She will be given an application form to fill out and send to the Personnel Group.
  2. It may happen that after a new Vol has served in Haris for a minimum of four weeks (open for exceptions in unusual situations) on the normal basis of paying her own fare and a per diem, she may want to negotiate a longer stay and can apply at that time to become an LTV.
  3. Members of the House Team who have worked with the new Vol will write an evaluation of her stay and work with the House Team. If the Vol asks to become an LTV then the LTVs in the current House Team, through consensus, can recommend her as an LTV. If recommended by the House Team, then that Vol’s name shall automatically be sent to all LTVs for approval. If there are no objections and application has been properly made to the Personnel Group then she will become an LTV, with the same conditions as any other LTV.
  4. LTVs will liaise with their House Team over the specific project/s they will be working on for the majority of their stay in Haris.
  5. LTVs will liaise with the Personnel Group over the timing of their stays in Haris, which should be for a minimum of three months at a time. If they wish to come for a shorter time or at a time of their own choosing (in other words if there is no need for them to be one of the five LTVs in the House Team) then they will come under the same terms and conditions as Vols : that is, they will pay all their own expenses. Their time and work will still have to be agreed with the Personnel Team and the House Team as usual.
  6. Those Vols who become LTVs after their first four weeks at the house are expected to pay their own fares into Haris (in other words they cannot claim back their original fare), but they will receive a stipend like other LTV for time served after this first month.
  7. All LTVs are automatically put onto the team list serve (iwps-team@yahoogroups.com), where they can discuss and share information with other LTVs.
  8. All LTVs must:
    • be willing and able to commit to taking on a specific working responsibility
      (i.e. as a member of a working group)
    • come to the yearly meeting/retreat/training
    • commit to working in the field for a minimum of three months per year
    • commit to at least three years (or as long as the project lasts if shorter than three years)
    • fundraise for their expenses as best as they can depending on the situation in their home country. Fundraising tips and advice from other LTVs is available.
  9. At the present time there is no limit to the number of LTVs accepted by IWPS-Palestine. This policy will however be reviewed at each yearly meeting or before if necessary.
  10. The Personnel Group will work out the rota to try to ensure that a House Team consisting of 5 LTVs and 2 Vols is present at any one time. The Personnel Group will give preference to under-represented women to try to fulfill our aim of getting two-thirds representation, as well as ensuring the proper mix of skills (especially Arabic, activist, and techie skills) and also trying to ensure a good mix of nationalities in each House Team. We have to be aware though that this is only possible if there are enough women in the pool and there is some flexibility amongst them.
  11. LTVs will fill out a ‘critical feed-back form’ at the end of each of their service periods which will cover themselves and the LTVs and Vols they have served with, which will help everyone to be aware of their strengths and weaknesses and to enable them to fulfill their potential.
  12. LTVs, when scheduled in as LTVs to a House Team, will have their expenses paid as laid out in the Financial Policy. LTVs are expected to fundraise for at least the cost of their flight ticket and stipend every year.


Decision-making

  1. IWPS-Palestine aims to ensure that its organizing and decision-making process is as open and accountable as possible.
  2. Policy decisions and day-to-day decisions about the work of the IWPS-Palestine House Team or by LTVs or Vols working for IWPS-Palestine in their respective countries are made on the basis of consensus.
  3. Every activist in IWPS-Palestine must be respected and valued for what they do regardless of role. All women who do work for IWPS-Palestine, regardless of whether they are LTVs or Vols, must be able to be equally involved in consensus decision-making for those decisions that affect their day-to-day work or their work with specific initiatives, projects, or working groups. Therefore every working group is expected to communicate with all members of their group and make their decisions by consensus, and all decisions should be communicated to the Core Organising Group.
  4. While IWPS-Palestine consciously works toward a non-hierarchical structure, it recognizes the fact that disparities exist between activists and that power and authority issues will arise. If a problem with decision-making or practice occurs at the House Team level, it must be resolved there if at all possible. If there is no resolution to the problem, it must be raised with the Core Organising Group, who can consult the wider group of LTVs if necessary. If a problem of democratic process originates with members carrying on IWPS-Palestine work in their respective countries (rather than in Palestine in the House Team), it must be raised and resolved with the Core Organising Group who can extend the process out to all the LTVs if necessary.
  5. If a particular woman (regardless of status) is found by the team she is working with to be unable to function responsibly in the decision-making process or is unable to keep to consensus decisions or is a danger to herself or others, then she may be asked to leave the project altogether after appropriate conflict-resolution and problem solving processes have taken place.
  6. If a disagreement with policy arises, either at the House Team level, or from members carrying on the work in their respective countries, a proposal for policy change must be made to the entire team and the Core Organising Group should facilitate the process. Until such time that a new consensus is reached, the policy as it exists, will stand.


Outreach

  1. IWPS-Palestine wishes to become a truly diverse international group of women and yet women from poor and working class backgrounds and from the two-thirds world are under-represented. LTVs are recruited from the pool of Volunteers and there is thus a recognized need to first encourage Volunteers to apply who are under-represented. An Outreach Sub-Group will advertise and recruit under-represented women and provide any support needed.
  2. IWPS-Palestine will aim to increase the participation of under-represented women by recruiting growing numbers of such women during the lifetime of the project.

    As of November 2004 the current aim is to have two-thirds of the LTVs from under-represented areas and backgrounds by August 2005.

  3. IWPS-Palestine recognizes the need for scholarships to enable under-represented women to travel to Palestine. Outreach Scholarship Vols will therefore have their fares covered and a waiver of their per diem fees. The aim to have five women awarded such scholarships by August 2004 has been fulfilled, although they have not all served their time in Palestine yet. Preference will be given to women who have worked on indigenous land based struggles and/or have experience with anti-oppression work and to those who would be available to become LTVs. A special programme to make the most use of these women’s skills will be planned with the Outreach Sub-Group and the House Team.

    As of November 2004 the current aim is to have 10 more Outreach Scholarships awarded by August 2005

.

Personnel support

  1. Two members of the House Team will be co-responsible for supporting volunteers and delegations ensuring they are welcomed, supported, oriented and evaluated.
  2. Every member of the House Team (whether LTV or Vol) should be contacted by one of the Personnel Group by phone on their return home after service to make sure they are well and to allow for a de-brief. New Vols are to be supported in their activities in their home country after their return, to make sure they have enough resources and ideas to make good use of their experiences.


Delegations

  1. Delegations of between 5-8 women or mixed delegations can apply to any LTV to visit the house. The delegation will be accepted/rejected as suitable through joint consultation with the LTV, House Team and the Personnel Group who will also ensure adequate planning of the visit.
  2. Some women applying to become Volunteers may not be accepted for various reasons but may be suitable for inclusion in a delegation. This may give them the experience necessary to re-apply as a Volunteer.

Delegates are expected to pay their own fare, cover their own basic health insurance (strongly recommended), and pay a per diem. This per diem covers the costs of their food and living whilst with the project but does not cover their travel expenses.


As of November 2004 the current per diem for each Delegate: 70 shekels per day (approx. US$15)


Legal Policy


(Patricia 23rd September 2003)

  1. IWPS-Palestine will provide legal support for those LTVs and Vols who, because of their involvement with IWPS-Palestine or the activities or duties they perform for IWPS-Palestine in accordance with IWPS-Palestine policies and practices, are arrested or charged with an offence and/or brought to trial for a civil or criminal offence or an offence under military law, and/or suffer harm, injury or death for which the activist and/or their representatives and IWPS-Palestine wish to seek legal recourse.

    In the case of arrest, initial legal support is provided according to IWPS-Palestine arrest protocol (lawyer contact information, support from IWPS-Palestine) and continuing support will be provided up to and including trial to the extent the IWPS-Palestine activist needs or wants it, and to the extent IWPS-Palestine considers possible (please see factors involved with decision-making below).

    Individual activists may have different preferences in relation to the legal support they wish IWPS-Palestine to provide : i.e. whether IWPS-Palestine should pursue looking for donated legal services throughout a legal proceeding or whether IWPS-Palestine should pay for legal counsel from the outset. Individual needs must be clearly communicated to the team and recorded with a member’s personal contact information. Individual LTVs or Vols, additionally, if given the option, may not wish to have a particular matter go to court or trial and IWPS-Palestine will act according to the wishes of the person involved.

    In the event that a Vol is deported upon arrival in Israel/Palestine or denied entry, IWPS-Palestine will provide initial legal counsel to enable the activist to receive the necessary legal information they will need in order to help them determine their options and course of action. However, IWPS-Palestine will not pay for ongoing legal assistance to fight the deportation or the denied entry status.

In the event of the injury or death of an IWPS-Palestine volunteer, the IWPS-Palestine volunteer and/or those individuals or family members who are involved in decision-making for the IWPS-Palestine volunteer, together with IWPS-Palestine, if the volunteer and their representative want to work with IWPS-Palestine on the legal issues which arise, will work together to determine the best course of legal action which will further and protect the interests of the person/s involved.

  • Where an offence allegedly committed by an IWPS-Palestine volunteer (either LTV or Vol) under civil or military law has a possibility of going to trial, or in any situation where a volunteer finds herself needing legal help, IWPS-Palestine will decide on a case by case basis whether to pursue the case to trial or to take legal action, if it has a choice in the matter.

    The wishes of the volunteer will always guide the decision : i.e., do they want to pursue the matter themselves? Further, the decision will be made by the LTVs as a whole where possible. In some cases, i.e. a deportation fight, there is not always the time for the whole team to make a decision regarding the appropriate legal course to pursue, and in these cases, the woman directly involved, and at least two LTVs, preferably one in the active House Team and one on the Legal Group, should be allowed to make the initial decisions. It is important, however, to note that long-term legal planning and decision-making will revert to the entire team at the earliest possible date.

    Key factors involved in decision-making:

    1. Assessment of case and likely outcome : i.e. is it an important case with the likelihood of a positive outcome that will benefit the Palestinians, further the goals of IWPS-Palestine, and provide the best legal support for the person involved
    2. Time : how long is the court process expected to take and what is the likelihood that the case will be heard in a timely manner
    3. Resources available to IWPS-Palestine and its needs at the time : i.e. would a lengthy trial be a drain on resources needed for other things, does it have adequate resources to help guarantee a successful conclusion
    4. Financial costs : an estimate of costs must be made as far as it is possible to do so; all avenues for free legal assistance or legal aid must be pursued where possible, and with the agreement of the volunteer/s involved
    5. Legal defence : presence of committed lawyers with experience in the aspects of law involved in the case and willing to work with IWPS-Palestine on it
  • IWPS-Palestine LTVs and Vols in the course of their work will witness many violations of civil, military or international law. IWPS-Palestine may be required to testify in such cases as witnesses or may itself, as an organization, bring charges against individuals or groups. IWPS-Palestine will provide legal assistance to anyone involved in such cases to the extent that IWPS-Palestine LTVs and Volunteers require it, or, if it has a choice, to the extent that it considers possible. If IWPS-Palestine brings charges as an organization, the decision will be made by all members of the House Team and the factors noted above used to determine our involvement in any court case would also apply.
  • IWPS-Palestine will provide legal assistance for those members and volunteers who may have officially finished a term of work for IWPS-Palestine in a host country, but who remain there and continue in their role as an IWPS-Palestine volunteer and continue to carry out the duties and responsibilities IWPS-Palestine has mandated for a particular project or projects.
  • IWPS-Palestine will not provide legal assistance for those LTVs or Vols, who engage in any activity that contravenes IWPS-Palestine policies and practices. This will also include any activity the volunteer engages in that is considered outside the duties and responsibilities they would normally carry out as a House Team member while they are working in Palestine.

  • Nonviolence Policy


    (Angie September 2004)

    IWPS-Palestine supports nonviolent resistance to the Israeli occupation and uses nonviolent policy, practice, and methods.

    We understand nonviolence to be a whole philosophy of life that comes from the heart and imbues all our relationships and our work, both inner and outer, and on all levels. We see nonviolence as an active, creative resistance to injustice requiring courage, integrity, humanity and a love of life. Our nonviolence is based on an absolute refusal to resort to violence and a determination to act in order to transform the conflict. As members of IWPS-Palestine we aim to work peacefully in all our relationships, at work in Palestine and at home.

    We recognize that resistance takes many forms and we will work with any person or group who agrees to work with us nonviolently. Even when faced with violence, IWPS-Palestine is committed to exclusively nonviolent methods.

    Specifically this includes:

    • Care for everyone involved: -†we are working for justice and against violence; we wish no harm and seek a resolution that includes everyone.
    • Refusing to harm or degrade people: – since we believe that attitudes and practices of harming and degrading others are fuelling the conflict, we endeavour to practise an alternative approach that recognises and respects the humanity and dignity of everyone we come into contact with. We will make every effort to demonstrate respect for every individual we encounter, to encourage the humanity in ourselves and others. This means always seeing the other as human, seeing ourselves in others, understanding though not condoning behaviours with which we may disagree, and ultimately, expressing compassion for all.
    • Maintaining an awareness of when to intervene and when not to intervene:- since we know that passivity can support violence and that our actions are intended to transform conflict and also wish to do no harm, we seek to develop a sensitive awareness of the situation and of the consequences of our actions.
    • Carrying no weapons: – we do not carry†weapons for protection, since we do not believe this is consistent with a nonviolent approach. Nor do we threaten anyone. Our understanding of nonviolence is that the methods used dictate the nature of the outcome. And we do not believe that justice and peace, or real security, can be achieved through violent means. We will not allow ourselves to be used as a shield for violence from others.
    • Not engaging in physical or verbal abuse: – we recognise that violence can find expression in†verbal and psychological ways, as well as physical, and undertake to practise methods to eliminate these.
    • Working with everyone:- we are non-aligned and non-partisan and will not ‘take sides’ but will support any individual, group or organisation that resists nonviolently and asks for our support.
    • Undergoing nonviolence training: – all who work on IWPS projects are required to undergo nonviolence training and to practise nonviolent techniques. They are expected to refuse absolutely any approval of violent acts, whoever does them.


    Environmental Policy


    (Angie 5th July 2003)

    All IWPS-Palestine LTVs and Vols are to be encouraged to live environmentally sustainable lives at all times – not just whilst working for IWPS-Palestine. There are some environmentally unsound practices that IWPS-Palestine engages in because there appears to be no other practicable alternative. For instance, we use aeroplanes for transport to and from Israel/Palestine. However, in these instances, we each try to offset the damage caused by making less use of aeroplanes at other times.

    Timber, Paper, and Plastic

    • We will use recycled timber and paper whenever possible
    • We will re-use paper by printing on both sides and using waste paper as note-paper
    • We will shop using long-lasting bags rather than using new plastic and paper bags provided in the shops
      Transport
    • We will use public forms of transport wherever possible
    • We will try to use non-oil based forms of transport like walking, bicycles, donkeys
    • We will try not to use environmentally damaging forms of transport like air-travel and when we have to will be aware of the air-miles we use and try to reduce overall mileage in our lives as a whole

    Community Resources

    • We recognise that air, water and soil are both local and global resources that must be shared with future generations as well as present ones
    • We will reduce water wastage by using the minimum needed to maintain health and cleanliness and being aware of our use at all times (e.g. shower usage and reducing flushing of toilets)
    • We will endeavour not to pollute the water, air, or soil (e.g. being careful of our use of cleaning materials)
    • We will recycle our organic wastes into animal feed or compost
    • We will re-use plastic and glass and attempt to re-cycle where possible
    • We will endeavour to keep our own living space and local environment clean and safe

    Energy

    • We will try and reduce the amount of fossil-fuel energy we use
    • We will encourage the use of solar energy and try and raise funds to enable us to use solar-powered equipment wherever possible

    Food and Agriculture

    • We will encourage local, organic, sustainable farming practices by buying and eating locally produced organic produce, discouraging the consumption of imported foods wherever possible, and growing a few basic herbs for our own kitchen use to keep ourselves reminded of our environmental policies
    • We will continue to support local farming communities struggling to maintain their low-impact sustainable olive and sheep economy in the face of Israeli controlled, intensive, industrialized agriculture
    • We will help physically defend the natural environment by aiding and supporting nonviolent resistance to the destruction of olive groves and pollution of lands and water resources by settlers and the Israeli Defence Forces


    Policy towards Palestinian Individuals and Groups


    (Angie 22nd March 2004)

    IWPS-Palestine supports the grass roots nonviolent resistance against the Israeli military occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip and against the building of the Apartheid Wall.

    IWPS-Palestine is non-aligned and non-partisan and will not ‘take sides’ but will support any individual, group or organisation that resists nonviolently and asks for their support.

    IWPS-Palestine policy on nonviolence is:

    ‘IWPS-Palestine supports nonviolent resistance to the Israeli occupation and uses nonviolent policy, practice and methods. Within the context of our work, members of IWPS-Palestine will make every effort to demonstrate respect for all individuals we encounter. We recognize that resistance takes many forms and we will work with any person or group who will work with us nonviolently. Even when faced with violence, we utilize exclusively nonviolent methods.’

    IWPS-Palestine does not have any right nor would it wish to interfere in the right, under international law, of Palestinian people to conduct an armed resistance against the colonisation and occupation of their land. However, we will not take any part in such violence and IWPS-Palestine will only be involved in nonviolent resistance. This means that IWPS-Palestine will move away from any situation that involves them being seen as a protective shield for violence. Therefore even if only young boys are engaged in throwing stones IWPS-Palestine would leave the area as their presence might escalate the violence and retaliation.

    IWPS-Palestine – being a women’s organisation – will especially support any women asking for help in organising and resisting the Wall.

    IWPS-Palestine recognises that Palestinian society is deeply traumatised by the effects of the Occupation and the building of the Wall, and especially by the killing and injuring of their people, the lack of freedom of movement and the continued stealing of their land and water. This trauma undoubtedly is exacerbating the differences between various political factions and divisions that are being exploited. We will therefore try to be evenhanded in our support for all groups, however marginalised or small.

    IWPS-Palestine also recognises that internationals are few and far between and are perceived as having access to resources, power and protection that can be co-opted by others. We can therefore easily be used in power struggles that are going on. IWPS-Palestine therefore tries to make sure that everyone knows who IWPS-Palestine works with and in what way we work with them and to show that we are not aligned with any one particular grouping. IWPS-Palestine does not wish to cause more conflict and divisions with this policy. It is inevitable in our work that some people in each grouping will feel that we should not be working with another individual or grouping but we have to remain independent. If the time comes when we are told that we are creating more problems than we are helping to solve or support, then that will be the time to remove ourselves.

    We also encourage openness and accountability and communication between everyone and will try to address disagreements and problems in an open and direct manner with the people involved rather than behind their backs. We also encourage groups to work with each other and to respect each other’s work even if it not work they would do.

    Resistance comes in many forms and everyone needs to be empowered to take action in their own way rather than being constrained by others who prefer to resist in another way.

    IWPS-Palestine offers support where it is required, which support may be organisational support or the provision of a physical presence or financial support. This in no way implies that these persons or organisations are acting on behalf or for IWPS-Palestine, nor can these people act as spokespersons for IWPS-Palestine.

    IWPS-Palestine will give out this policy document to all those with whom they work.

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