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January 5, 2015 8:41 am

The Guardian Blames Palestinian Misogyny, Rape, and Violence on Israel

avatar by Adam Levick

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A January 1 article published in the Guardian’s Global Development section by Liz Ford started off promisingly enough, with a rare look into the culture of misogyny, rape, spousal abuse, and honor killings in Palestinian society.

The article begins thusly:

A comedy series and a ‘Judge Judy‘-style show will be among the programmes aired across the Palestinian territories in 2015, as part of a multimedia project to raise awareness of, and seek to prevent, violence against women and girls.

The Ma’an Network, an independent, non-profit media organisation that broadcasts across the West Bank and Gaza….will air shows that tackle often taboo subjects, such as marital rape, over the next three years.

The programmes will be supported by a series of workshops in more remote, conservative areas to discuss violence prevention.

The Guardian then provides some background:

Violence against women in my country is still widespread,” said Raed Othman, founder and general director of the network. “Women are still killed because of ‘honour’… if families think they have a sexual relationship outside of marriage. Still in my country there is significant violence against women – economic violence against women, social violence, verbal violence against women.

According to a report published by the Palestinian Authority in 2011, culture and tradition were often the main justifications for violence against women in Palestine.

Then Israel enters the story.

First, there are these non-sequiturs.

The continuing Israeli occupation was also having a disproportionate effect on women.

“The occupation increases the burden on Palestinian women by destroying infrastructure and endangering their human security, further contributing to the denial of their basic rights,” said the report, which set out an eight-year national strategy to tackle the problem.

The reasoning is, at best, extremely unclear. If, as they’ve acknowledged previously in the article, “culture and tradition” are “often the main justifications for violence against women in Palestine [West Bank and Gaza]”, how would the occupation – in the West Bank – conceivably impact the Palestinian misogynistic culture?

Then, there’s the implicit suggestion that Palestinians lack moral agency:

A 2009 study conducted by UN Women, cited in the report, found that violence against women increased in the aftermath of military strikes on Gaza in December 2008.

Are we to believe that Palestinian men can’t control themselves when faced with the sudden urge – following “military strikes on Gaza” – to assault women and girls?

More broadly, it’s quite telling that, out of 560 words of total text, an article ostensibly about violence, rape, honor killings, and misogyny within Palestinian society devotes 117 words (more than 20% of the total) to criticizing Israel.

Additionally, it’s interesting to note that this isn’t a one-off for the Guardian.

A 2011 Guardian article entitled ‘Women in Gaza: how life has changed‘, by Angela Robson, attributed nearly everything negatively affecting women in Gaza – from domestic violence to unemployment – to one single source: the Israeli ‘blockade,’

Here’s the money quote from that piece:

“Before the blockade, my husband used to make good money working in Israel,” she [a Palestinian woman named Eman] says. “With the blockade, that all stopped. When he can’t find any work and we have nothing to eat, he blames me. He is a like a crazy animal. I stay quiet when he hits me. Afterwards, he cries and says, if he had a job, he wouldn’t beat me.”

Such articles beg the question: Is it even conceivable the Guardian would ever contextualize the problem of Israeli spousal abuse and rape by noting the stress (faced by Jewish men living in southern communities) caused by incessant Palestinian rocket fire, and the threat of other terror attacks?

Of course they wouldn’t!

A better illustration of the Guardian Left’s bigotry of low expectations in their coverage of the region would be difficult to find.

Adam Levick is the managing editor of CiF Watch, an affiliate of the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA).

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  • Gee

    Considering that Israel built the infrastructure – without Israel the Arabs wouldn’t have any at all

  • victoria brandeis





  • Julian Clovelley

    I look forward to your article, Adam, that heralds the Guardians coverage of the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz

    This publication you so often attack presented at least ten relevant articles, including one aimed at children that quoted the beautiful Ann Frank and encouraged children to read her diary with these words:

    “But we still think that the best way to experience Diary of a Young Girl is to read it yourself. This funny, heartbreaking, inspiring book will make it so easy for you to keep the memory of Anne Frank alive. To give you a little taste, we have collected 10 of the greatest quotes from Anne Frank’s Diary of a Young Girl that are bound to make you want sit down right away and (finally) read this wonderful diary from cover to cover, if you haven’t already.”

    One of the quotes they used was “We aren’t allowed to have any opinions. People can tell you to keep your mouth shut, but it doesn’t stop you having your own opinion. Even if people are still very young, they shouldn’t be prevented from saying what they think.” – I think it is a relevant quote to what i am trying to say to you. The Guardian is about the expression of opinion tempered by open debate – much as Algemeiner often is. We need to protect that right not attack it.

    In one article written from Auschwitz the Guardian’s writer said “The people who mattered were the survivors, gathered together for what may be the last time. Some wanted to talk, some didn’t. Some were full of uplifting messages for the future, others with gloom and pessimism.

    Some were solemn during religious prayers, others expressed impatience with rabbis. Some believed there was a reason they survived, others insisted it was random. In other words, they were all different. They were members of no monolithic group but of the infinitely varied human race – the stubborn fact that Auschwitz sought to deny.”

    The divisions between us are the ones we ourselves make. Sharing the sorrow in remembrance – Julian.

    • Ayatollah Ghilmeini

      Kudos for the Guardian honoring the memory of Anne Frank, a pox on them for their repellant hatred of the State of Israel, which had it existed, might have saved her life. From denial of the genocidal intentions of her enemies to blame Israel first as their main editorial line, is it any wonder that Jews are being hounded off the streets of Europe?

      Soon, the UK will stand for United Kaliphate and PM Choudary will tell them exactly what they can and cannot publish. In 1939, Stalin and Hitler worked together to give birth to a war that all but destroyed Europe, today the left and the Islamists are finishing their work.

  • Julian Clovelley

    Do you actually read the articles you purport to analyse, Adam?

    Your attacks on the Guardian often seem to be based on you trying to find something that quite simply isn’t there – and this present article is yet another example. I’ve left it a few days to see what comments it might provoke

    You begin by mis-representing the topic of the article as being “a rare look into the culture of misogyny, rape, spousal abuse, and honour killings in Palestinian society” – utilising this misrepresentation as a vehicle for your own comments on Palestinian society, rather than “the Guardian’s”. Nice try, a first year journalism student would have spotted that one!

    The article by Liz Ford is in fact about the Ma’an Network, which the Guardian writer introduces in her article as follows, “an independent non profit media organisation that broadcasts across the West Bank and Gaza, will use a £730,000 grant from the UK government to air shows that tackle often taboo subjects, such as marital rape, over the next three years.” We are talking here, Adam, about a media network, not your opinions on the Palestinian society that surrounds the Israeli West Bank Settlement and borders Israel itself

    It is therefore relevant for the Guardian’s journalist to set that media network’s operations in the context of its Palestinian environment, and of Palestinian comment. This means that reference to material put out by the Palestinian Authority is particularly pertinent. The writer professionally draws attention to the question of evaluating accuracy in the source report by using the word’s “According to”. That is correct professional journalism. Did you miss those vital words, in your determination to be offended?

    This professionalism continues with the placing of a section you particularly object to within inverted commas – making it quite clear that a PA report is being quoted. Where that report itself draws on external sources, for example a 2009 UN Women study, the writer draws attention to that named source

    It is not all about you Adam. Nor is it about your particular political obsessions. You are entitled to your personal opinions, but in a journal that itself aims at, and generally achieves, high quality in reporting, I do not feel you have a right to almost covertly press that agenda, especially through the means of constantly slagging off one of the most important independent news and diverse opinion sources left in a world of largely monopolised commercial media

    I would ask you to aim at a much higher standard of journalism in your articles and a less deceptive pressing of a particular – in this case clearly Right Wing and Zionist, pro Settler agenda. There are many arguments that you might put to support your views – but it is not acceptable, in my opinion, to urge them by misrepresentative attacks on other media sources, in articles that – had I been your journalism tutor – would have resulted in you failing your assessment for the module and your having to repeat the course, and had I been your editor resulted in your words being very quickly trashed and a full rewrite demanded

    I believe the work that is done monitoring media is very important. But it is essential to keep that monitoring firewalled from personal political opinion, unless the interface between the analysis of the original article and additional opinion input is very carefully handled and openly displayed.

    Failing this the entire monitoring operation limps on with a crippled credibility rating in the eyes of all but the already converted

    • Abbushuki

      Julian: Are you implying that the Guardian’s perspective on Zionism is neutral? That can only be so if you accept what they say as truth. About using quotes: Who does the Guardian choose to quote? Somehow it’s only fellow anti-Zionists. Any neutral party would report the Israeli perspective. The only Israelis the Guardian chooses to quote are Israeli left-wing extremists who support its own views.

      A truly neutral view would provide headlines that don’t automatically blame Israel and quotes from the Israeli government’s perspective.

      Go visit Israel some day and discover what shocks most Guardian readers… that Israel is an island of peace and prosperity in an ocean of incompetent states and entities which in desperation try to defend their administrations by casting blame for their situation on you know who. And the Guardian supports their blame-throwers.

    • victoria brandeis


  • charlie johnson

    I think a lot of these problems can be made miniscule by sending a drug testing team to the offices of the news reporters and testing them for undesireable chemicals that affect the mental process. The effects of their fantasies made into news reports are detrimental to the public interest.

  • Jake321

    Now here’s a contradiction. International health organizations found that an important health problem for Palestinian women in the territories is that they are about the most obese on average in the world. Now let’s hear how this is the fault of Israel. Maybe allowing too much food while staving them?

  • victoria brandeis

    the fault is with the world….against Israel against Jews against all that influence and those who do not

    the guardian like the brits should be buried 6 feet under and it should be covered with a british flag and the queen and all of hers sit vigilance.

    what a site…like napoleons end……or the flames of hell.

    when i stop laughing i will go about and do my day…if nonsense like this sees its way here i can only imagine the nonsense that resides in the offices and scrapyards of many of these brains.

    obama use your men….ISIS……lol……now that s the joke.

    rape them all…..thats all they deserve…

  • Lynne T

    Of course it being the Guardian, the blockade (and the wall) came out of nowhere and not a response to Palestinian violence, orchestrated by Arafat, so of course employment problems are Israel’s fault, and BDS is going to fix that how?

  • mjazz

    Is it also Israel’s fault that a palestinian woman killed her daughter because her sons had raped the girl and she became pregnant?