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

To Undermine Russian and Iranian Influence in Syria, the U.S. Must Go on the Offensive

March 22 2018

When Iranian-lead, pro-Assad forces attacked U.S. allies in Syria last month, they found themselves quickly overwhelmed by American firepower. The incident, writes Tony Badran, makes clear that the U.S. has the capability to push back against the Damascus-Tehran-Moscow axis. By taking a more aggressive approach while working closely with Israel, Badran argues, Washington can at once prevent Russia and Iran from cementing their control of Syria and avoid getting drawn into a wider conflict:

Israeli assets can augment U.S. capabilities considerably. A few days after the skirmish in Deir Ezzour in February, Iran flew a drone into Israeli air space. Israel responded by destroying the Iranian command center at the Tiyas military air base near Palmyra, and then proceeded to bomb a large number of Iranian and Assad-regime targets. The episode again underscored the vulnerability of Iran, to say nothing of the brittle Assad regime. Close coordination with Israel to expand this ongoing targeting campaign against Iranian and Hizballah infrastructure, senior cadres, and logistical routes, and amplifying it with U.S. assets in the region, would have a devastating effect on Iran’s position in Syria.

By going on the offensive, the U.S. will also strengthen Israel’s hand with Russia, reducing Jerusalem’s need to petition the Kremlin and thereby diminishing Moscow’s ability to position itself as an arbiter on Israeli security. For instance, instead of haggling with Russia to obtain its commitment to keep Iran five or seven kilometers away from the Israeli border, the U.S. could adopt the Israeli position on Iran’s entrenchment in Syria and assist Israel in enforcing it. Such a posture would have a direct effect on another critical ally, Jordan, whose role is of high importance in southern Syria and in the U.S. zone in the east.

Assad and Iran are the scaffolding on which the Russian position stands. Targeting them, therefore, undercuts Moscow and reduces its leverage. By merely forcing Russia to respect Israeli and Jordanian needs on the border, the U.S. would undermine Russia’s attempt, more generally, to leverage its position in Syria to make headway into the U.S. alliance system. In addition to adopting a more offensive military posture, the U.S. should also intensify the economic chokehold on Assadist Syria.

Read more at Caravan

More about: Hizballah, Iran, Israeli Security, Politics & Current Affairs, Russia, Syrian civil war, U.S. Foreign policy