Israeli Women, Part 2: Island of Progress in a Dark Sea
Observers like Caroline Glick, Michael Curtis, and popular blogger Elder of Zion have all noted the strange fact that feminists tend to beat up on Israel while giving the Arab (and larger Muslim) world a free pass.
As Glick points out:
if being a feminist means attacking the only country in the Middle East where women enjoy freedom and equal rights, then feminism…has become at best, a meaningless term…. The deception at the heart of the feminist movement is nowhere more apparent than in the silence with which self-professed feminists and feminist movements ignore the inhumane treatment of women who live under Islamic law…. Leading feminist voices in the US and Europe remain unforgivably silent on the unspeakable oppression of women and girls in Islamic societies….
On December 30, 2010, Moshe Katsav, who had served as president of Israel (a ceremonial but significant post) from 2000 to 2007, was convicted of rape and sexual harassment by a three-judge panel. The judges were two Jewish women, Miriam Sokolow and Judith Shevah, and an Arab man, George Kara.
It was an illuminative moment in several ways:
● Whereas in Israel rape, including marital rape, is a felony, most Arab countries explicitly or tacitly allow marital rape; rape is currently endemic particularly in Egypt, Syria, and Yemen; and in many Arab countries the victim of rape is the one who is charged with an offense.
● There could be no parallel phenomenon of a Jewish judge sentencing an Arab defendant, let alone a former high official, in an Arab country, not least because almost all the Jews who lived in those countries had to flee because of persecution.
● Whereas there are very small percentages of female judges in a minority of Arab countries (and none in the rest), in Israel half of all magistrate and district-court judges are women, and for years the Supreme Court has included at least one woman.
Even if it doesn’t fit the warped view of today’s feminists, the difference between Israel and the Arab world on women’s rights (and human rights generally) is night and day.