Why Must Women Choose between Feminism and Zionism, but Not Other “Isms”? by Alan M. Dershowitz

If Israel is criticized by a feminist organization, perhaps justifiably, for oppressing Palestinian women, but no other nation is so criticized, is a double standard at work? From Alan M. Dershowitz at gatestoneinstitute.org:

There are many countries and movements throughout the world that treat women as second-class citizens: Israel is not among them…. There is a word for applying a double standard to Jews. That word is anti-Semitism.

If Sarsour was concerned with addressing structural causes of all female oppression, she would mention the status of women in the PA-controlled West Bank where just a few months ago the names and photos of female candidates for the municipal elections were omitted, referring to the women instead as “wife of” or “sister of.” Sarsour would also call out the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip, where the police are a law unto themselves who act as judge, jury and executioner of those who speak out against their oppression and misogyny. She would condemn the tolerance, if not acceptance, by so many Muslim countries of the “honor killings” and genital mutilation of women. Instead the IWS platform exploits the feminist cause in order to delegitimize and demonize only one nation: that of the Jewish people.

• The real choice to be made now by all those who care about the feminist cause is whether to allow Sarsour and her radical anti-Israel allies to hijack the movement in support of their own bigoted views. The alternative is to maintain feminism’s focus on key issues that pertain to women and to call out countries and movements according to how seriously they violate women’s rights, rather than singling out the one Jewish democracy – Israel.

On March 8, women abstained from work as part of the International Women’s Strike (IWS) – a grassroots feminist movement aimed at bringing attention “to the current social, legal, political, moral and verbal violence experienced by contemporary women at various latitudes.” But these positive goals were distorted by the inclusion of anti-Israel rhetoric in the platform of the IWS.

There are many countries and movements throughout the world that treat women as second-class citizens: Israel is not among them. Yet this platform singles out for condemnation only Israel, the nation state of the Jewish people. There is a word for applying a double standard to Jews. That word is anti-Semitism.

To continue reading: Why Must Women Choose between Feminism and Zionism, but Not Other “Isms”?

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