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In the Name of Women’s Rights, the UN and Europeans Support the Repression of Women

March 9 2018

A number of nongovernmental organizations, most of which receive funding from the UN or from various European countries, purport to be dedicated to improving the lives of Palestinian women. In fact, writes Hodaya Shahar, they are just additional wings of the Palestinian national movement:

Last year, the Palestinian organization Women’s Affairs Technical Committee dedicated a youth center for girls in the Palestinian town of Burka. This was made possible thanks to funding from the UN and countries such as Norway, Denmark, Switzerland, and Sweden.

The center was named after Dalal Mughrabi, a Palestinian terrorist who led one of the most lethal terrorist attacks in Israel, killing 37 people, including twelve children, on a bus in 1978. When the donor countries found out, they issued a strong condemnation, saying the money was misused and departed from the original purpose for which it was given. Denmark even went so far as to freeze the funds it had earmarked for the organization. But this was too little, too late. . . . [Such] women [as Mughrabi] and many others have become role models for Palestinian girls and women, who will walk down their violent path and target Israelis. . . .

Women in the Arab world tend to have little if any freedom. Oppressive cultural traditions such as honor killings, female circumcision, child marriage, and restrictions on their freedom of movement, speech, and occupation have resulted in women staying at the lower rungs of society.

With the help of foreign assistance, the situation has become absurd: Palestinian women and their lack of equality are all but forgotten in Palestinian society, reinforcing their underprivileged status and hardships. Women’s rights are essential if society is to advance and thrive. Unfortunately, when it comes to Palestinian society, “women’s empowerment” is just a ruse for promoting the violent struggle against Israel.

Read more at Israel Hayom

More about: Europe and Israel, NGO, Palestinians, Politics & Current Affairs, United Nations, Women

 

The Future of a Free Iran May Lie with a Restoration of the Shah

June 25 2018

Examining the recent waves of protest and political unrest in the Islamic Republic—from women shunning the hijab to truckers going out on strike—Sohrab Ahmari considers what would happen in the event of an actual collapse of the regime. Through an analysis of Iranian history, he concludes that the country would best be served by placing Reza Pahlavi, the son and heir of its last shah, at the head of a constitutional monarchy:

The end of Islamist rule in Iran would be a world-historical event and an unalloyed good for the country and its neighbors, marking a return to normalcy four decades after the Ayatollah Khomeini founded his regime. . . . But what exactly is that normalcy? . . .

First, Iranian political culture demands a living source of authority to embody the will of the nation and stand above a fractious and ethnically heterogenous society. Put another way, Iranians need a “shah” of some sort. They have never lived collectively without one, and their political imagination has always been directed toward a throne. The constitutionalist experiment of the early 20th century coexisted (badly) with monarchic authority, and the current Islamic Republic has a supreme leader—which is to say, a shah by another name. It is the height of utopianism to imagine that a 2,500-year-old tradition can be wiped away. The presence of a shah, [however], needn’t mean the absence of rule of law, deliberative politics, or any of the other elements of ordered liberty that the West cherishes in its own systems. . . .

Second, Iranian political culture demands a source of continuity with Persian history. The anxieties associated with modernity and centuries of historical discontinuity drove Iranians into the arms of Khomeini and his bearded minions, who promised a connection to Shiite tradition. Khomeinism turned out to be a bloody failure, but there is scant reason to imagine the thirst for continuity has been quenched. . . . Iranian nationalism . . . could be the answer, and, to judge by the nationalist tone of the current upheaval, it is the one the people have already hit upon.

When protestors chant “We Will Die to Get Iran Back,” “Not Gaza, Not Lebanon, My Life Only for Iran,” and “Let Syria Be, Do Something for Me,” they are expressing a positive vision of Iranian nationhood: no longer do they wish to pay the price for the regime’s Shiite hegemonic ambitions. Iranian blood should be spilled for Iran, not Gaza, which for most Iranians is little more than a geographical abstraction. It is precisely its nationalist dimension that makes the current revolt the most potent the mullahs have yet faced. Nationalism, after all, is a much stronger force and in Iran the longing for historical continuity runs much deeper than liberal-democratic aspiration. Westerners who wish to see a replay of Central and Eastern Europe in 1989 in today’s Iran will find the lessons of Iranian history hard and distasteful, but Iranians and their friends who wish to see past the Islamic Republic must pay heed.

Read more at Commentary

More about: Iran, Nationalism, Politics & Current Affairs, Shah