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July 15, 2016 8:20 am

Where Is the Outcry From Western Feminists?

avatar by Ruthie Blum

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Palestinian women. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

Palestinian women. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

The recently appointed head of Israel’s Shin Bet internal security agency gave his first presentation on Tuesday to the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee of the Knesset. As part of his overview of the country’s current situation, Nadav Argaman addressed the role of Arab women in the terror wave against Israelis that began last September.

More specifically, he talked about the way in which Palestinian girls and women are being forced by the norms of their society to become cannon fodder in the “lone-wolf intifada,” characterized by stabbings, car-rammings, Molotov cocktail-hurling, pipe-bombing and rock-throwing.

According to Argaman, so far, more than 40 females have been wounded, killed or arrested for committing — or attempting to commit – terrorist attacks against Israeli soldiers and civilians. These acts are both homicidal and suicidal in nature: geared towards murder, on the one hand, but usually involve or result in self-sacrifice. Indeed, a teenage girl who runs up to a group of IDF soldiers while flailing a knife and shouting “Allahu akbar” knows she is not long for this world. Even those who go after unarmed passersby are aware that they are likely to be shot in the process.

The Shin Bet chief explained that in the vast majority of such cases, the girls or women had a more pressing things on their minds than the politics of resistance that their leaders declare will bring about the elimination of the Jewish state, and that their imams say is a Muslim duty.

In fact, Argaman pointed out, most of these women had “shamed” their families in some way – through what is considered to constitute sexual misconduct. This could include anything from flirting with the wrong boy — a Christian, perhaps – to engaging in actual or perceived adultery.

These women know that what awaits them is a painful, humiliating, often slow, death at the hands of one or more male relatives – fathers, brothers, uncles, cousins – with no intervention on the part of their mothers or the Palestinian police.

Yes, honor killing is alive and well in the Palestinian Authority, whose leaders traipse around the United Nations in Armani suits to bemoan Israeli injustices.

To “launder” their inevitable end, many Palestinian girls opt to go out with a literal bang and become “martyrs.” some, Argaman said, are encouraged to do so – even driven to the site of the terrorist attacks they are told to commit – by their parents. If the girls are put to death for dishonoring their families, the stain remains. If, on the other hand, they are killed in the process of maiming Jews, their parents are guaranteed adulation and a hefty monthly stipend from the coffers of the PA, filled regularly by the United States and Europe. You know, continents where women are still yammering about glass ceilings at corporations and harassment by drunken boys on campus trying to cop a feel.

On the very day that Argaman gave his talk, and at the same location, female IDF soldiers were being saluted for their dedicated service through a series of events held in their honor. The main ceremony, called “Women of Valor,” included speeches by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein and Supreme Court President Miriam Naor.

“The history of the Jewish people is full of female role models like yourselves,” Netanyahu said, lauding the women soldiers and police officers who have risked, and sometimes lost, their lives confronting Palestinian terrorists. “I am thrilled to see the professionalism, determination and ability of female soldiers in the air, land and sea and in every part of the IDF.”

As talk of renewing the “peace process” between Israel and the PA is back in the headlines, it is imperative to remember that there is a war going on. And, as George Orwell wrote in 1943, “There is hardly such a thing as a war in which it makes no difference who wins. Nearly always one side stands more of less for progress, the other side more or less for reaction.”

There is no greater tool by which to measure which side in this case stands for progress: the one that honors its women, not slaughters them for dishonoring their men. Yet where is the outcry from Western feminists? Directed at Israel, of course.

Ruthie Blum is the managing editor of The Algemeiner.

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  • BS”D
    in an attempt to stand up for what is right and human, i think that this article is very important and needs to go viral and also go further. Where in the world are all the voices for decency and human rights? Where are the voices from all walks of life that protest any killing or maiming or driving trucks into a group of innocent civilians and then when a group of people actually celebrate this evil alllows it. Permits it. even stands by and watches it and condones it. And what about the hundreds of women and girls who have been kidnapped and forced into sex slavery by Boko Haram? Where are all the voices, Hilary Clinton and Michelle Obama amoung them to cry out for the state of this horrific abuse to these innocents who are heavily guraded and raped day and night forced into marriages they don’t want and situations from which they cannot become freed! Where is the commission on human rights when all of this is happening? And why just look to western feminists? Why not look to the entire world for a huge outcry of injustice as again and again we see people slaughtered in the streets becasue why? And held as sex slaves becasue why? When will this disgusting over abuse of power be stopped? When all people stand up to protest it and not cower in the face of certain war. IT is already here. We are all under seige.

  • Dear Ruthie
    I appreciate your blog. I understand the complexity and I fully agree that western feminists – whom I don’t know if I belong to – should participate and stress suppressing norms of both this world and the Muslim/Arab world.
    However in terms of feminism and women’s liberation I believe, at least in my own part of the world, that we fight to be a part of any corner of the male dominated spheres. Although discussions and reflections on the value of being a part of all spheres is still to be discussed and analysed.

    My work is closely related to culture – film, stage art, music, performance, visual arts etc. on these areas I work with equal opportunities and narratives of all genders. What I miss in this discussion is rather the narratives of both Israeli and Palestinian women – whether they decide to become a martyr or become a female officer is a part of these narratives. the narratives whether they arrive from free will or from suppression – we should do an effort to invite these narratives in order to be a part of a free world. Did you watch the first season of FAUDA by Lior Raz? the female terrorist is dedicated to action because her husband is killed during their wedding night – I wonder how this story was created? FAUDA is well known for it’s deliberate action to define and describe both sides as equally as possible –

  • stevenl

    Where is the feminist movement anyway. Only in the US!!!

  • Ephraim

    Where is the outrage? That is simple. Most feminists invented, and have forced, politically-coerced censorship on the rest of us. In that twisted and sick belief system, nothing is more important than those perceived to be a repressed minority, and, to them, the rights of women are trumped by the rights of savages. These Stalinists would ruin a man’s career in the US if he is overheard saying something the politically-coerced censorship gestapo does not like, but will choose the Palestinians over any other group on earth. As with their savage behavior to those who are not Islamists, their response is the same as to women victims of ‘honor’ killings, FGM, etc., ‘unfortunate but necessary.’

  • David in Seattle

    Excellent article. “intersectionality” is the reason for this phenomenon. The doctrine of intersectionality states various oppressed groups should identify with each other and work together. It’s the reason feminism, lgbt, anti-war, and racial minority groups are linked. It’s why black lives matter is aligned with BDS. It’s unfortunately why most leftist groups align with the Pals, because Pals are viewed as “oppressed people” intersectionality pollutes and confuses movements that are otherwise good. Antisemitism is not a progressive value. Fighting Jews and Israel should not align with leftist causes