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women's rights

  • What Mizrahi activists really want: A ten-point program

    Mizrahi activists have tried explaining their positions for years. Now, in the run-up to the elections, they lay out their political vision for education, land reform, health care and representation in a 'ten-point program.' By Roi Grufi Throughout my years of being active in the Mizrahi struggle in Israel, I found that there are several dominant themes that affect the greater public views  us: past versus present, or in other words — it happened a long time ago and is no longer relevant; complaining instead of taking responsibility for our lives, rather than legitimate claims about the difficulties that stem from…

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  • Who will put an end to the murder of Arab women in Israel?

    Ten women from the same family have been murdered since 2000. In failing to protect them, we have failed in coming to terms with the fact that women are independent, free human beings who have exclusive ownership over their bodies. By Samah Salaime Egbariya (translated by Sol Salbe) The first documented murder of a woman in Palestine occurred in 1930. A young Christian woman returned to her village on horseback while being held by one of the Arab fighters. He claimed that he gave her a ride to the village when a deluge of rain caught her in the fields.…

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  • After marathon is cancelled, will Gaza's women speak out?

    On March 5, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), which works with Palestinian refugees, announced it was cancelling its third international marathon in Gaza in mid-April. The race was called off due to the decision of the Hamas leaders in Gaza not to allow women to participate. The woman in me was deeply relieved at UNRWA’s decision – as a statement to Hamas that such chauvinism cannot be supported by international bodies. The marathon runner in me was crushed, for all those who registered and trained. Roughly one month before, most runners would have been completing their 25-30km…

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  • Interior minister exploits rape by Eritrean for anti-immigrant campaign

    Prepare yourselves. Last May, when it was last announced that an Eritrean citizen raped an Israeli woman, Interior Minister Eli Yishai responded by placing thousands of asylum seekers, among them children, rape and torture victims and the elderly in administrative detention, all in accordance with Israel’s Prevention of Infiltration Law. In the wake of the horrifying rape that took place near Tel Aviv’s Central Bus Station, one can only guess what will happen next. Yishai began publishing libelous remarks on his personal Facebook page, while Shas’ shelved hate-filled campaign against foreigners [Hebrew] coincidentally appeared in Yedioth Ahronoth and on Ynet’s homepage,…

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  • WATCH: Palestinian women-only list makes bid for municipal council

    Palestinian voters in the West Bank are casting their ballots for the first time in six years, as part of the occupied territories elect municipal council officials in nearly one-hundred towns and villages. HEBRON, WEST BANK - On Saturday, Palestinians went to the polls in an election that is being closely watched by the Palestinian Authority and by the international community. The vote for municipal councils is seen as a precursor for parliamentary and presidential elections, even though Hamas, the Islamic militia-cum-political party that controls that Gaza Strip, is boycotting the vote. Hamas insists the elections, which have been delayed…

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  • The holy war against Arab-Jewish relations and the Jerusalem lynch

    Those who attacked Palestinians in central Jerusalem claimed they wanted to prevent them from speaking to Jewish girls. The fear of interracial relations once found only in the fringes of the right are now turning into a legitimate, mainstream political issue in national-religious circles. Jerusalem Police are still carrying out arrests of suspects – mostly teenagers – in Friday's shocking attack that took place in the city's center. A few dozen Israeli Jews beat up three Palestinians, leaving one gravely injured and still hospitalized.  According to several testimonies, the attackers also tried to interfere with medical treatment being provided to the wounded. At…

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  • Ultra-nationalist leader invokes Assad's victims to defend Israel

    Im Tirtzu, the ultra-nationalist organization whose main activity has involved witch-hunt campaigns against Israeli civil society and academia, has hit upon a new angle that it believes will save Israel, which one of its leaders unveiled in an op ed in Haaretz on Monday (Hebrew): expose human rights violations in the Arab and Muslim world! The first sign of the latest campaign was a surreal invitation to Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) to join Im Tirtzu in a demonstration against the horrific massacres in Syria. PHR was disgusted, and wrote back: It's very clear that you have  no intention of…

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  • Misogynist ad campaign exposes hypocrisy within the left

    By Anonymous I was sexually assaulted by a left-wing activist last summer. The perpetrator was – and still is – a guy with all the right credentials: post-colonialist, post-Zionist, anti-capitalist, and so on. Most significantly, he considers himself a feminist. Until he assaulted me, we were friends. I had met him through my involvement in radical leftist organizations. After the assault, it took me three full days to fully comprehend what had happened and give it a name. I couldn't make sense of what had happened to me, particularly because I couldn't fathom how someone who could speak to me…

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  • Why isn't Lieberman capitalising on the women's rights issue?

    Avigdor Lieberman's party, Yisrael Beitenu, owes much of its clout to flying the secularist banner and opposing the growing religious influence over Israeli public life. So why aren't they standing up against gender segregation? Put simply, they now have much bigger fish to fry.  The subject of segregation between men and women in Israeli public spaces continues to dominate the news. Tanya Rosenblit, the student already dubbed the Israeli Rosa Parks for refusing to move to the back of a "kosher" bus, has met yesterday with Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz and became the target of a smear campaign. Utra-Orthodox journalist and…

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  • Fine her, she's a witch!

    Rabbinical court penalizes a woman for witchcraft. And no, it’s not Monty Python The rabbinical court of Haifa ruled against a woman whose husband claimed she practiced witchcraft in their home. The court acquitted the woman of refusing to cook for her husband, as the latter committed adultery, which the court found constituted mitigating circumstances in the woman’s dereliction of culinary duties. (Hebrew) The woman denied being a witch, but she failed a polygraph test  - which is not accepted as evidence in regular Israeli courts. Presumably the duck test was unavailable. The court, composed of rabbis Yitzhak Shmuel Gamzo,…

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  • Top ten myths about Israeli policy

    In the next few weeks, I will write a separate post about each of the top ten myths about Israeli policy, tackling the obfuscation and confusion that often characterize discussions of official Israeli positions and actions, at home and abroad. My top ten list appears below Inspired by the fascinating series on constitutional myths in the United States (well, fascinating for American politics junkies like myself), by Garret Epps in the Atlantic, I have decided to create my own list of myths. This list refers to myths about current government policy in Israel. It therefore excludes the variety of cultural,…

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  • Givati verdict in line with IDF history

    IDF history of light punishment for war crimes, women officially to be relegated to second class status, and more IDF lies: three notes on recent events We have become as Gomorrah: Jewish legend attributes to the people of Sodom a series of barbarities. The act which supposedly sealed the fate of the city was this: a local girl gave aid to a beggar, contrary to law. Once this was discovered, the Sodomites tied her down near some beehives and smeared her with honey. According to legend, it was her screams which made Jehova say “I will go down, and see…

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