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women's rights

  • Liberal Europe doesn't understand: The burkini is a feminist issue

    By banning the burkini, the French view themselves as the ones liberating veiled women from Muslim patriarchy. Instead they are only imposing a different form of oppression. By Eiad Shalabne The images of French policemen handing out tickets to Muslim women in religious garb on the beaches of Nice this past week reflect a depressing interpretation of the essence of democracy and freedom of religion in the West, and specifically France. Under the guise of "women's liberation" and secularism, France's elected officials are trying to limit the presence of Muslim women in the public space by establishing guidelines for how women must undress when they…

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  • Why are so many Israeli women subjected to sexual harassment?

    Reported incidents of sexual harassment, assault and rape by high-ranking Israeli officials are flooding their way into the media. Why is the violation of women's bodies and dignity so endemic in Israeli society? Several days ago a story broke in Israel that has been dominating the headlines ever since: a senior Israeli army officer has been suspended from his duties after coming under suspicion of having sexually assaulted a female soldier under his command. Ofek Buchris, whose name was originally under gag order, is suspected of five counts of assault, including rape. And as a high-ranking official in the most…

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  • Israel looks to alter gun policy, and women are most at risk

    In response to the recent wave of violence Israel's public security minister wants to put more guns in more (men's) hands and in more homes. The only guaranteed result, however, is that more women will be killed inside their own homes. By Rela Mazali Israel’s gun policy is changing as you read this. The country’s gun policy was already dubious at best, but now moving toward catastrophic. The catastrophe will play out over time in multiple “small” tragedies, wrecking multiple “small” lives. In hindsight, once they’ve occurred, all of them will have been predictable and preventable. But, preventable or not,…

  • I won't apologize for being a Palestinian feminist

    When a prominent Muslim leader starts blaming women's organizations for corrupting Arab society, it is time to say loudly and clearly: we cannot wait for the occupation to end to deal with women's issues. I am neither a criminal nor a terrorist. Yes sir, I'll admit it: I founded a women's organization, and I wish to be judged severely for my actions. I want, once and for all, to hang the dirty laundry for all to see and be tried in a court of law. I recently came across a speech given by Sheikh Kamal Khatib, the secretary-general of the northern…

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  • Haneen Zoabi's war on religious fanatics

    Palestinian MK Haneen Zoabi bravely came out against violence directed at women and the way firearms are being used to terrorize the residents of Arab towns. But the demand for 'social oversight' over the mosques takes the matter one step too far. (Translated from Hebrew by Sol Salbe) A painful and very important discussion is taking place in the Arab community in Israel, especially among those who are active on Facebook. And at the center of it is Palestinian MK Haneen Zoabi. The conversation harks back to the women’s marathon in the city of Tira and the violent threats against…

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  • 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. (Translated from Hebrew 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. Someone from…

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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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