The National Women’s Studies Association has voted by a huge majority to join the worldwide Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel.
Their annual conference passed the measure by a 653-86 vote, and their full membership of 12,000 will vote on it in the next two months.
That means the NWSA is on the verge of becoming the fifth American academic association to boycott Israel since April 2013. It began then with the Association for Asian American Studies, and since that time the American Studies Association, the Native American and Indigenous Studies Association, the American Anthropological Association, and now the NWSA have joined in.
The BDS movement is linked to the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas, and other radical and terror-supporting groups. Its aim is to “solve” the Israeli-Palestinian conflict by putting an end to Israel. Its leader are quite explicit about that.
For example, As’ad Abu Khalil: “Justice and freedom for the Palestinians are incompatible with the existence of the State of Israel.” Or Ahmed Moor: “OK, fine. So BDS does mean the end of the Jewish state…. In other words, BDS is not another step on the way to the final showdown; BDS is The Final Showdown.”
None of this, of course, deterred the women’s-studies scholars from signing-on to the movement. Considering that the vote was initiated by a group called Feminists for Justice in/for Palestine, the nature of BDS was undoubtedly an added attraction for many.
“As feminist scholars, activists, teachers, and public intellectuals,” the NWSA pontificates, “we recognize the interconnectedness of systemic forms of oppression. In the spirit of this intersectional perspective, we cannot overlook the injustice and violence, including sexual and gender-based violence, perpetrated against Palestinians and other Arabs in the West Bank, Gaza Strip, within Israel and in the Golan Heights, as well as the colonial displacement of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians during the 1948 Nakba.”
The talk about “colonial displacement” puts the NWSA squarely in the camp of Fatah, Hamas, and the dissolve-Israel effort in general. The 1948 war resulted from the Arab side’s rejection of the UN partition resolution. Most of the Palestinians who left did so voluntarily. In that period 800,000 Jews were forcibly expelled from Arab countries.
Even more striking, though, is the reference to “sexual and gender-based violence.” Yes, there is such a problem in the Palestinian world. It doesn’t stem from Israel.
In February 2014 the Associated Press reported that:
Twenty-six women were slain by relatives in the West Bank and Gaza in 2013, twice as many as the year before, according to official figures. The rise stems from…ongoing leniency for those killing in the name of “family honor” and social acceptance of violence against women, women’s rights activists said….
They urged Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to repeal sections of a penal code that allows for short sentences of at most a few years for the perpetrators….
In Gaza, the longest sentence has been three years….
Honor killings are not the only problem for Palestinian women. Last July the Palestinians’ own Ma’an News Agency reported that:
The number of Palestinian women in the labor force remains among the lowest in the world….
The female labor participation rate in the occupied Palestinian territories in 2014 was only 19.4 percent, compared to 25 percent in the rest of the Arab world, a policy brief…said, adding that the global average stands at 51 percent….
The low rates of participation in the labor force by Palestinian women are also accompanied by increased gender segregation….
Meanwhile, at about the same time it turned out the NWSA ladies were voting to join BDS, it was reported that one “Lt. Y” was graduating from the Israeli Air Force’s flight school class. What’s noteworthy about that is the fact he was following in his sister’s footsteps.
Lt. Y’s older sister, a young Orthodox Jewish woman named Tamar Ariel who earned the rank of captain, had passed the test before him, and Y was inspired by her example. Tamar died in an avalanche in Nepal in 2014.
She was one of 38 Israeli female air force pilots over the past 20 years, and
the first religious female combat navigator to finish the grueling course. She stood out during her graduation ceremony as the only graduate wearing a skirt.
She also fought during Operation Protective Edge [in Gaza in 2014].
Whatever one thinks of the issue of women in combat roles, seemingly modern, gender-equal Israel with its female cabinet ministers, parliamentarians, Supreme Court justices, doctors, lawyers, air force pilots—you name it—would present a more positive picture to the NWSA feminists than the Palestinian Authority and Gaza. But don’t count on it.
With the world under an intensifying terror assault, taxpayer-funded eggheads are zeroing in on the real menace—Israel.