Friday, March 07, 2014

Using International Women's Day as an excuse to bash Israel

International Women's Day, taking place every year on March 8, is a celebration of women and the gains they have made in the past hundred years. In some countries it is celebrated as a sort of Valentines Day, in others the struggle for women's equality is highlighted.

But in the Palestinian Arab territories, the entire purpose of IWD is not to celebrate and not to look for improvements in society to help women. No, the entire purpose is to bash Israel.

The earliest mention I could find of International Women's Day in the territories is from 2005, from the Palestinian Center for Human Rights. That year, and every year after, about 95% of their press is about Israel, with only a passing mention of problems women have in the patriarchal Palestinian Arab society. Honor killings are hardly mentioned, although the 2013 statement is only about 80% about Israel and it does briefly mention Hamas restrictions on women and honor killings.

PCHR also tries to use rhetorical tricks to blame Israel. Obviously, Israel jails and kills far more men than women, since it is mostly men who are attacking Israeli targets. This proves that Israel does not discriminate against women, But PCHR says that because Israel kills men, then women become widows, since Israel jails men, women lose their husband's income. No matter what, this "human rights" NGO will try to twist a day that is meant to help women gain rights into an excuse to attack Israel.

CodePink wanted to go to Gaza this year, as it has in the past, but Egypt blocked them. Looking through their website from previous visits, I can see nothing about problems with women under Hamas, nothing about honor killings in Gaza, nothing about blatant discrimination against women.

We have seen this type of thinking before. The Goldstone Report bent over backwards to find international treaties that Israel violated in the Gaza war, specifying the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women no less than eight times yet only applying it to Israel, not to Hamas that actually controls the lives of, and specifically discriminates against, Gaza's women.

All of this attention by pseudo-feminists to use feminism as a weapon against Israel has a side effect - it ensures that the Arab women in the territories do not gain equal rights, because no one is advocating for them! All the money and time and effort that should be used to help women are instead used to attack Israel - at the expense of the very women they are pretending to help!

One would think that women who truly work for equal rights would be at least slightly irritated at having their goals subverted by blowhards and hypocrites.