A coalition made up of mostly Israeli and Palestinian women convened in an emergency meeting July 13 to urge world leaders in Russia, the United States, the United Nations and the European Union to stop the violence erupting in the Middle East, the International Women’s Commission for a Just and Sustainable Palestinian-Israeli Peace, announced in a press release.

“The present crisis is escalating out of control in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (especially in Gaza), Israel and Lebanon, threatening the region as a whole,” the statement read. “This is the last chance for sanity. This is the last chance for a two-state solution.”

This week, Israel military forces retaliated against Hezbollah, the Lebanese-based Shiite military group. The Hezbollah kidnapped two Israeli soldiers, sparking Israeli air strikes in Lebanon. The attacks destroyed airport runways and major highways and killed more than 53 people, press reports said.

The International Women’s Commission began in Istanbul, Turkey, in the summer of 2005, after a conference in Brussels realized the need for women to intervene and solve the disputes over territory. Roughly 60 women make up this organization that meets with political officials in an effort to negotiate peace agreements.

More News to Cheer This Week:

  • The Women’s National Basketball Association celebrated its 10th anniversary July 12 during its history-making all-star game at New York’s Madison Square Garden. The team representing the East conference players defeated the West team for the first time. Defeated but not down, the West team’s 6-foot-5-inch center Michelle Snow made history in the last seconds of the game when she pummeled the basketball into the basket in a rare one-handed dunk.

    This year has been one of many new developments for the WNBA. Last month, Lisa Leslie of the Los Angeles Sparks became the first woman to score more than 5,000 points during her career. Sheryl Swoopes of the Houston Comets also made international headlines in April when she came out to the public about dating a woman, a basketball coach. She is now a spokesperson for a gay cruise line.

  • The Church of England began the process to ordain female bishops July 10, after the Church’s General Synod meeting at England’s York University, the BBC reported. A new legislative group of the church has given the go-ahead to remove the theological laws that prevent women from holding the office of bishop. This canonical change requires an approval from the British Parliament. The Church of England ordained its first female priest just 12 years ago.
  • Twenty-six West and Central African countries–including Nigeria, Senegal, Gambia and Congo–have signed a multicultural agreement against human trafficking, the Angola Press reported July 11. It is the first time that all countries from the region agreed to combat this problem. The United Nations’ International Labour Organization estimates that 200,000 to 800,000 African women and girls are trafficked every year to Europe and the Middle East and are forced into prostitution and forced labor. Human trafficking from Africa is exacerbated by poverty, traditional nomadic movement and environmental destruction.

For more information:

“Palestinian, Israeli Women Push Bilateral Talks”:

WNBA Official Web Site:


Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott has been asked to clarify whether the state can impose the death penalty against doctors who perform certain types of abortions, the Dallas Morning News reported July 12.