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September 20, 2014 / 25 Elul, 5774
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Israel an Exception to the Suffering of Arab Women in the Middle East

Muslim women in the Jewish state enjoy more rights and opportunities than their colleagues in Arab and Islamic countries.

Women-in-Libya-Pray-for-the-Suffering-to-End

In Pakistan, a 14-year-old girl is shot by Muslim extremists for daring to call for education for women.

In Tunisia, a young woman who was raped by three policemen is about to on trial for committing an “indecent act.” Her crime: she was sitting with her fiancé in a car when the policemen surprised them and brutally raped her.

Syrian refugee girls who fled the fighting in their country are being forced into marriages by Muslim men, who are exploiting the plight of their families to fulfill sexual fantasies.

In the West Bank [Judea & Samaria - ed.] city of Hebron, a Muslim woman who decided to run in the local election is being ridiculed and threatened by fundamentalists who insist that she should be only staying at home cooking and looking after her husband and children.

In the Gaza Strip, women continue to suffer from severe restrictions imposed by Hamas and other fundamentalist groups.

In Saudi Arabia, women are still not allowed to drive.

In Israel, however, Muslim women are not only allowed to drive and run for elections, but can also reach high positions. Not all Arab Israelis are an “enemy from within”; Muslim women in the Jewish state enjoy more rights and opportunities than their colleagues in Arab and Islamic countries.

While female Muslims are being abducted, raped, shot, tortured and forced into unwanted marriages in a number of Arab and Islamic countries, 33-year-old Maria Gharra has just become Israel’s first Muslim woman to serve as a police officer.

Gharra, who is from a village in the Triangle area in Israel, is probably one of the most courageous Arab women in Israel.

“I’m part of the state and I even have no problem singing the ‘Hatikvah’ [Israel's national anthem],” she declared shortly after she assumed her new job.

Gharra represents those Arab Israelis who see Israel as their state and believe in its democratic system.

Her story also shows that Arab women often have more opportunities than in most Arab and Islamic countries.

Contrary to common belief, Gharra does not believe that her recruitment to the Israeli police is an unusual act. “I never felt different,” she explained. “My working assumption is that we are all equal citizens. This is my state and that is why I want to make a contribution.”

What is even more encouraging is that she has won the support of her parents, who say they are proud to see her serve in the Israeli police.

True, many Arab men already serve in the Israeli police, but this is the first time that a woman has been promoted to the rank of officer.

Amal Ayoub, 36, is one of the women making waves in biotechnology. The founder of Metallo Therapy, a startup developing gold nano-particles to enhance radiation therapy, she is the first female Arab Israeli high-tech entrepreneur.

Dr. Rania al-Khatib is the first Arab Israeli woman to become a plastic surgeon at Rambam Hospital.

These are only some of the success stories of Arab women in Israel.

The past two decades have also seen a number of Arab women elected to the Knesset a right that is denied to Muslim women in some Arab countries.

In recent years, hundreds of Arab Israeli women, ignoring calls from some leaders of the Arab community to boycott national service, have volunteered for the government’s initiative.

Although of course there is much Israel could do to improve the living standards of its Arab citizens, especially in employment and infrastructure, the success stories of Arab women in Israel stand in sharp contrast to the reports about discrimination against women in the Arab and Islamic countries.

Originally published by the Gatestone Institute.

About the Author: Khaled Abu Toameh, an Arab Muslim, is a veteran award-winning journalist who has been covering Palestinian affairs for nearly three decades.


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12 Responses to “Israel an Exception to the Suffering of Arab Women in the Middle East”

  1. Ethan Perks says:

    Where is the American womens rights movement? MIA! They don't care if it doesn't align with NOWs leftist agenda. They SHOULD be demonstrating in front of the Saudi embassy, among others. But the radical left, (and these womens lib types mostly are), has allied itself with radical Islam!

  2. Great Article…Read and Share…

  3. Rc Fowler says:

    Yes Israel is THE exception–but this does not matter to those Marxists wh*ores who are so caught up in their own self hatred and Israel hatred–they cannot think critically.

  4. Grace Acosta says:

    Seriously! I've been saying this for years now.

    *crickets*

  5. Myriam Obadia says:

    That's one of the reasons many Israeli-Arabs do NOT want to see a Palestinian state replace Israel.

  6. Arie Rosenrauch says:

    An article you will never see in the MSM because Israael providing significant rights to ALL women is found objectionable by the US administration, the MSM, the so-called US women's "rights" groups and obama's OWS. Let's recall the silence over a Pakistani girl shot in the head for the crime of demanding girls be educated and the exponential growth of "honor" murders since obama's vaunted Arab spring began. Couple that with the demonization of women who had the audacity to condemn rape at the OWS, despite obama, hillary, and the women's "rights" groups condemnation of them for "going against the cause.

  7. Fred Reeb says:

    WHAT DOES THE UN HAVE TO SAY ABOUT THIS? NOTHING IF IT’S NOT ABOUT ISREAL CONDEMEND ABOUT PROTECTING THEMSELVES. THEN TYHE REST OF THE MIDDLE EAST HAS A FREE RANGE TO DO WHAT EVER THEY WANT. HEY WHEN WE CALL EVIL GOOD AND GOOD EVIL AH WE MUST BE SICK OR ARE WE SINFUL

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