Feminists are supposed to fight for gender equality. They’re supposed to fight for women’s rights (Landon Montgomery, “The true definition of feminism”, theodysseyonline, March 8, 2016). They’re supposed to fight to end “the sexual, physical and economic exploitation of women” (Emily Shire, “Does Feminism Have Room for Zionists?” newyorktimes, March 7, 2017).
They’re supposed to be for all women everywhere. But they’re not.
They ignore Palestinian women. They reject Jewish women in Israel.
Unfortunately, Feminism is no longer led by women who fight for women. It’s led by radicals who fight against Israel (Jon Levine, “Today in Stupid: Feminism is Intersectional Enough to Include Convicted Terrorists but Not Zionists?”, mediaite, March 14, 2015).
This Feminist fight against Israel creates a dilemma. To remain pure in their war against Israel, radical Feminists won’t accuse the Palestinian Authority of oppressing women. That would make Palestinians look bad. It could undercut the Palestinian Cause.
The dilemma is, Palestinian women need help. They lack basic protection (see below).
The radical Feminist solution to this dilemna is, fighting Israel is more important than Palestinian women (Dr Manfred Gerstenfeld, “Anti-racists and feminists demonize only Israel”, arutzsheva, May 14, 2016).
Feminist Phyllis Chesler found out about this solution in 2003. After giving a lecture to an African-American feminist audience, she was asked, completely off-topic, where she stood on the issue of the women of ‘Palestine’ (ibid). She responded: ‘I think you are asking me where I stand on the issue of apartheid and I oppose it. Islam is the largest practitioner of gender and religious apartheid in the world.’ To explain what she meant, she referenced forced veiling, arranged marriage, polygamy, honor-based violence and honor killing. A near-riot broke out (ibid). Apparently, that feminist audience didn’t care about protecting ‘Palestinian’ women. They cared about demonizing Israel.
That was 2003. 2017 is worse.
When Feminist Emily Shire asked if Feminism had room for Zionists (above, ibid), the answer she got was, no, there isn’t.
As Radical Feminist Linda Sarsour (who is Palestinian) put it:
“I would say that anyone who wants to call themselves an activist cannot be selective…You can’t be a feminist in the United States and stand up for the rights of the American woman and then say that you don’t want to stand up for the rights of Palestinian women in Palestine. It’s all connected” (Levine, ibid).
According to one observer, some of the most prominent US Feminists today are Palestinian (ibid). They’ve hijacked US Feminism to empower their personal war against Israel; but by doing that, they absolutely “do not stand up for the rights of Palestinian women”.
You don’t have look far to see this betrayal in action. Here’s just a glimpse of how that betrayal works:
-Lena Odgaard, “Upsurge in Palestinian 'honour killings'”, aljazeera, March 26, 2014. In 2014, Palestinian rights groups (and no one else) demanded new laws to protect women from family violence.
-Khaled Abu Toameh, “What the Palestinian Authority Did Not Tell the UN Security Council”, gatestoneinstitute, December 29, 2014…This essay begins with, “Palestinian women have become the latest victims of the Palestinian Authority's assault on freedom of expression in the West Bank. In the male-dominated Arab culture, an insult from a woman is considered far more offensive than one that comes from a man. That is the main reason why the Palestinian Authority [PA] has been quick to take action against women who dare to speak out or make critical remarks”.
-Robert Fulford, “Robert Fulford: The plight of Palestinian women”, nationalpost, April 10, 2015. This essay includes, “Their many admirers in the West like to depict Palestinians as innocent victims of imperialism, anxious to live free under their own state but tragically locked within boundaries imposed by Israel. The myth of the virtuous Palestinian flourishes especially on North American campuses…But that sentimental notion collapses under scrutiny…About half of Palestinian women have been exposed to domestic violence…In 2014, a senior official in the PA Ministry of Women’s Affairs reported a 100 percent recent increase in “family honour” killings… this is a product of the entire society’s culture”.
-Catherine Anderson, “Palestinian women's rights overlooked in favour of national liberation”, middleeasteye, November 3, 2015. Yes, fighting Israel is more important than protecting Palestinian women ('national liberation' is a code phrase for, 'fight Israel').
-Khaled Abu Toameh, “Palestinians: "Women are Witches"”, gatestoneinstitute, September 8, 2016: This essay includes, “offensive references to women, who are depicted as witches and demons in Palestinian school textbooks, should not come as a surprise…This [offensive stuff] is fed to Palestinian schoolchildren: lies about history, lies about geography, and now lies about Palestinian women…Palestinian schoolchildren who returned to their schools last week are being taught that women are witches and Tel Aviv is an Arab city”.
Israel does not label Arab women ‘witches’. Israelis don’t commit honor-killings. Palestinians do both. Yet it is Israel Feminists attack.
Gender equality is a fundamental human right (“Goal 5: achieve gender equality…”, United Nations: Gender equality and women's empowerment, no date). But radical Feminists ignore the human rights needs of Palestinian women. They also reject human rights for women who are Zionists.
Such radicals are vicious. They are vile. They have no right to say they represent women because, in fact, they don’t.