Created in 2010, the Istanbul Convention is an international treaty for “preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence,” which some 45, mostly European, countries have signed. Despite support for joining the convention from Israeli politicians—including Foreign Minister Yair Lapid—the Israeli government recently decided to defer doing so for the foreseeable future. Eugene Kontorovich explains the wisdom of this decision:
Violence against women should be dealt with by tougher penalties and better enforcement, not through international virtue signaling. Any useful ideas in the convention can and should be discussed and adopted on their own merits.
Joining the treaty would expose a wide variety of Israeli social policies to scrutiny by the treaty’s monitoring arm, known by its acronym GREVIO. Anti-Israel bias has turned many international monitoring mechanisms, like the UN Human Rights Council, into arenas for condemning Israel for “the occupation.”
Will GREVIO be different? For one, the serving commissioner, Rachel Eapen Paul, worked for many years for a BDS-promoting NGO. Just last month—while a GREVIO member—she addressed a convention of a radically anti-Israel organization that condemns Israel’s “ethnic cleansings” and “colonial policies” in Jerusalem.
Finally, groups lobbying for the convention fail to disclose how much they have to gain from its adoption. Article 9 [of the document] would require Israel to “support” financially NGOs dealing with such issues and make them “partners” in its implementation. That would be good news for . . . a variety of pro-BDS organizations, which would label themselves advocates of Palestinian women’s rights.