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October 23, 2014 / 29 Tishri, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Golda Meir’

Addressing the Rape Crisis In India: Will Golda Meir Inspire Modi ?

Sunday, June 22nd, 2014

It is only natural that the growing incidence of sexual violence in India has come in for severe criticism by the enlightened humanity at home and abroad.

Joining the voices of condemnation on the issue, American Democratic senators Barbara Boxer, Richard Durbin, Ed Markey, Jeanne Shaheen, Debbie Stabenow, Patty Murray, Tammy Baldwin, Kirsten Gillibrand, Mary Landrieu, and Chris Coons have recently written a letter to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressing their “shock and horror.” Their letter points the allegations of “complicity and negligence by the local police” and urges Modi to “take immediate action to combat gender-based violence and improve the safety of women and girls in India.”

The senators’ letter reads :

We look forward to continuing to partner with your government on immediate and sustained action to provide adequate psychosocial support for victims of sex crimes, improve gender and sexual assault response training for all Indian police, promote effective implementation of anti-rape laws, increase efforts to prosecute and hold perpetrators accountable, and help decrease the stigma associated with reporting crimes of sexual violence.

Earlier, the U.S. State Department and the United Nations also made criticized the incidence of rapes in India alluding to the need for “changing laws and changing attitudes,” and “systemic failures” in curbing sexual violence. Significantly, the senators’ letter is of a similar tenor. It notes that “more needs to be done to prevent violence against women, improve victim support services, bring perpetrators to justice, and address other forms of gender-based violence including child marriage.”

There is hardly any exaggeration in such outcry against sexual violence in India. An analysis of the various authentic studies conducted by the National Crime Records Bureau, the Human Rights Watch and other agencies reveals that rape incidents have increased over the years endangering the very honor of women in India.

Most rapes go unreported due to the victims’ fear of retaliation or humiliation. India accounts for a rape rate of 2 per 100,000 people. The majority of victims has been in the 18-30 year age group.

More than 7,200 minors are raped each year in India. It is 12.5 per cent of the total number of sexual victims. In sex trafficking and crime against minors India ranks the seventh worst. The annual rape rate in India increased to 2.0 per 100,000 people over the 2008-2012 period.

Sadly, the women’s rights scenario is grim in other parts of the world as well. The rape rates per 100,000 people are 8.1 Western Europe, 14.7 in Latin America and 40.2 in Southern African region.

The annual rape rate (2008-2012) increased to 1.2 in Japan, 3.6 in Morocco, 4.6 in Bahrain, 12.3 in Mexico , 24.1 in the United Kingdom, 28.6 in the United States, and 114.9 in South Africa. In the cases of sexual victims, the minors account for 17.4 per cent in the United States. In sex trafficking and crime against minors, China ranks first, Russia eleventh and Indonesia fourteenth.

As the Prime Minister of India, one of the world’s most ancient civilizations and leading democracies, Modi must address crimes against women. This kind of crime exposes how hollow India’s claims to some of its finest historical traditions and human values really are today!

Father of the Indian Nation Mahatma Gandhi believed in women’s rights to education, dress, divorce, remarriage, employment and declared, “I am uncompromising in the matter of women’s rights. In my opinion, she should labour under no legal disability not suffered by men.”

Gandhi rejected the projection of women as a weaker sex and said, “To call woman the weaker sex is a libel; it is man’s injustice to woman. If by strength is meant brute strength, then, indeed, woman is less of a brute than man. If by strength is meant moral power, then woman is immeasurably man’s superior. Has she not greater intuition, is she not more self-sacrificing, has she not greater courage? Without her, man could not be. If non-violence is the law of our being, the future is with women… Who can make a more effective appeal to the heart than a woman?”

Grounds of a New Momentum in Indo-Israeli Ties

Friday, June 6th, 2014

In the history of diplomacy seldom have relations between any two nations blossomed as fast as they have in the case of India and Israel. Ever since India’s Congress Prime Minister P V Narsimha Rao decided to establish diplomatic ties with the Jewish state in 1992, there has been no looking back . The successive dispensations in New Delhi have carried forward the Rao tradition attaining newer heights in its multi-faceted relationship with Jerusalem.

Knowledgeable sources say that with Bharatiya Janata Party Prime Minister Narendra Modi now at the helm, this process looks all set to acquire further momentum. The new momentum in Indo-Israeli ties can be attributed to several factors.

Firstly, Prime Minister Modi has long been a great advocate of stronger ties with the Jewish state. He has visited Israel as Chief Minister of Gujarat and experienced how meaningful Israeli cooperation has been in the success story of the state he led until recently. He is likely to visit the Jewish state as India’s Prime Minister and repeat his Gujarat story at the all-India level promoting mutual endeavors in the areas of agriculture, industrial research and development, solar and thermal power, pharmaceuticals, infrastructure, water recycling and water desalination plants.

Secondly, unlike in the previous Indian governments with some voices of dissent against the growing Indo-Israeli bonhomie, there is an almost complete unanimity among all Cabinet Ministers today to boost the bilateral ties. Modi’s External Affairs Minister Sushama Swaraj has been greatly influenced by the legendary Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir. Swaraj has served as chairwoman of the Indo-Israel Parliamentary Friendship Group ( 2006-2009). In 2008 she described Israel as “a reliable partner” while criticizing the then left-wing parties’ opposition to the Israel-India diplomatic relationship.

Thirdly, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has an historic opportunity to implement his party ideology today and foster better ties with Israel. The party derives its ideological sustenance from the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh. The Sangh has always enjoyed a fine relationship with the Jewish state. Its hard-core ideologues and Israel’s right-wing Zionists have had a lot in common. Both of them long for a ‘lost civilization’ and lament that they have been the victims of a cruel phenomenon of the ‘outsiders’ dispossessing the originals from their own homelands. The RSS views the nation-state as a goddess (Bharat Mata– the land of Lords Rama and Krishna) while the Zionists see it in a ‘Holy Land’ where the Halakha or sacred law prevails. Paradoxically, some of the original proponents of Zionism and Hindutva cannot be said to be representatives of Judaism and Hinduism in an orthodox religious sense with Theodore Herzl, Chaim Weizmann, Max Nordau, VD Savarkar and KB Hedgewar being self-professed atheists.

The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh views Israel as a bulwark against Islamist terrorism. In 2003, when then Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon visited India, the R S S stated, “The entire world acknowledges that Israel has effectively and ruthlessly countered terror in the Middle East. Since India and Israel are both fighting a war against terrorism, we should learn a lesson or two from them.”

Given this background of RSS- Israel bonhomie, Prime Minister Modi is likely to make the best use of Indo-Israeli cooperation in every possible area. Needless to say, the previous BJP-led government of Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee could do little as it was constantly under pressure of the coalition politics to act differently. With a majority of its own in Parliament, the Modi government would have no such hindrances in implementing its Israel-friendly ideology and serving the perceived Indian national interests .

Fourthly, the Modi government seems to be of the firm conviction that in the post-Cold War landscape Jerusalem can be a very highly reliable partner in its defense modernization . There has of late been a near consensus across the Indian strategic community that New Delhi has had a very realistic approach to defense. Its nuclear doctrine has been followed by a huge investment in improving its command, control, communications, and intelligence systems and its second strike capacity, including the survival of the decision-making structure. India today is also being increasingly equipped with an appropriate defensive nuclear biological and chemical (NBC) mechanism to counter the related threats from any potential corners.

Israel Should Not Be Negotiating with Mahmoud Abbas

Sunday, January 5th, 2014

Former Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir wisely stated, “Peace will come when the Arabs love their own children more than they hate us.” These words uttered by Golda Meir in 1957 are still valid for our times. It is pointless to negotiate with PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, an authoritarian dictator who doesn’t even respect the human rights of his own people. A Palestinian leader who doesn’t respect the human rights of the Palestinian people cannot be expected to care about the basic human rights of the Israeli people, his declared enemy.

Aside from Mahmoud Abbas’ hostile actions towards the State of Israel and the Jewish people, the Palestinian Authority Constitution, formulated in 2003, declares Islam as a state religion and states that the principles of the Palestinian state should be based upon Islamic Shariah Law. This reality has created a hostile atmosphere for Palestinian Christians.

The Gatestone Institute has reported that there has been incitement of Christians in mosque sermons within the Palestinian Authority. They also cited that the Palestinian judicial system doesn’t protect Christian land owners and enforces discrimination against the Palestinian Christian community. As a result, Christian land and property has been confiscated, Christian women have been abused, raped, abducted and subject to forced marriages to Muslim men, and Islamic dress has been imposed on Christian women. This is how Abbas’ Palestinian Authority treats a minority group that has never been opposed to them.

However, the Palestinian Authority does not even respect the human rights of Muslim Palestinians either. Khaled Abu Toameh has reported continuously about how Mahmoud Abbas has tortured prisoners in PA custody and oppressed critical bloggers and journalists. It was recently reported in the National Post that Palestinian mosques petitioned for the execution of a divorced Palestinian woman in an honor crime and that honor crimes rose significantly within the PA in 2013 compared to 2012. Abbas has continued to refuse to take the action that is required to protect Palestinian women fully from honor crimes. This reality in the Abbas-dominated Palestinian Authority demonstrates that Abbas does not love his own people more than he hates Jews, so on what grounds can we negotiate with him?

Furthermore, his actions have repeatedly shown that he does not genuinely seek peace with Israel. Negotiating with him won’t bring peace and will only jeopardize Israeli national security. We would essentially be giving up lands in Judea and Samaria that are crucial to our national security to an authoritarian dictator who wrote a PHD thesis denying the Holocaust, who educates Palestinian children to idolize jihad and hate non-Muslims, and who refuses to recognize Israel as the Jewish state. While Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks of security guarantees, such as holding onto the Jordan Valley, I would like to stress that there is no better security guarantee for the Jewish people than only signing a peace agreement with a political entity that respects women rights, minority rights, democracy, religious pluralism, and peaceful coexistence with ones neighbors.

In an era where the fires of the Arab Spring are spreading throughout the region, denouncing tyranny, corruption, and human rights abuses, the only guarantee for a stable peace agreement is to refuse to negotiate with dictators and to wait for a secular democratic Palestinian opposition to emerge. The Palestinian community in Jordan already has such a leader in Mudar Zahran, who seeks to create a Palestinian state in Jordan living at peace with the State of Israel. If he is given the right support, we can negotiate with him instead of Abbas, thus creating a democratic alternative to both Hamas and Fatah.

Israeli Organization Empowers Arab and Druze Women

Wednesday, September 11th, 2013

Under the auspices of MASHAV-Israel’s Agency for International Development Cooperation, Mazal Renford has worked to promote the cause of both Palestinian and Israeli Arab women. In her capacity as director of Haifa’s Golda Meir Mount Carmel International Training Center, Renford has made great strides to this end. Speaking to participants at the Stand With Us International Women’s Conference, Renford discussed her work to “bring Israelis and Palestinians together,” which involves frequent consultations with Palestinian women from Judea and Samaria.

According to Renford, “If we educate for peace, maybe one day we will enjoy it.” As “a city of peaceful coexistence” where Jews, Christians, Muslims, Druze and Bahais live side by side, Renford believes Haifa is the ideal location for her work. Renford’s organization was founded on former Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir’s belief that “women weren’t taken into consideration in the process of development,” despite their pivotal importance. In this regard, Renford emphasizes that “Israel has been a pioneer in promoting” women’s development, with the Golda Meir Mount Carmel International Training Center providing Palestinian women an opportunity to “come, learn how to set up a business, and stand up for their rights.”

Vered Sawied, a former mayor of Netanya who is presently working for the Prime Minister’s Office as an Advisor for Social and Welfare Issues, notes that while Israeli Jewish women often struggle to find the right balance between work and family, “the situation in Arab society is more difficult.” For this reason, explains Sawied, Israel set up an authority to provide jobs for Arabs as well as specific scholarships for Arab women seeking to enter the hi-tech profession.

Hiba Zaidan, a young Druze PhD student, credits Israeli professors and her family with helping her advance. She claimed that in Druze society, it is considered taboo for a woman to drive, go to school, or even leave the village without an escort. This has created major problems for Druze women who wish to work and study outside the village.

However, Zaidan also emphasized that Druze society is changing due to courageous and bold strides made by Druze women, with many of them now driving and studying to be teachers. She noted, however, that psychological research at the PhD level is still very rare for Druze women. “Lots of people in my village were against me getting a PhD,” she stated. She added that her Israeli professors were very understanding of her situation and always offer her assistance.

Dr. Janan Faraj-Falah was the first Druze woman in Israel to receive her PhD and today works as a lecturer at the University of Haifa, as well as the Arab Academic College for Education. Her book “The Druze Woman” is widely acclaimed both in Israel and around the world as the first book to discuss the status of women in the Druze community. Additionally, she is the founder of the Women’s Vision of Akko Foundation, which brings Jewish and Arab women together to work towards peace.

According to Dr. Faraj-Falah, “I established this association to improve women’s status and support peace. Women bring life into this world so women can also bring peace.” Some of her organization’s projects include constructing peace gardens in which Jewish and Arab children play, teaching Arabic to Jewish women and Hebrew to Arab women, and bringing both Jewish and Palestinian writers together for joint meetings. She emphasizes, “We will continue our march for peace and never give up.” Her work is supported by Renford, who notes, “Bringing Arabs and Jews together can make a big difference.”

Visit United with Israel.

Pro-Israel Valerie Harper (Rhoda) Suffering Incurable Cancer

Monday, March 11th, 2013

Valerie Harper played one of the most-loved Jewish women on television throughout the 1970′s.  Harper was Rhoda Morgenstern, Mary Tyler Moore’s best friend and her neighbor.  Rhoda was a Jewish character on the “Mary Tyler Moore Show,” and Harper played her with a broad New York accent and plenty of shtick.

Harper was cast as Rhoda after honing her nasal Jewish voice in a 1960′s comedy album, “When You’re in Love the Whole World is Jewish.”

In 1974, Harper’s role was spun off to a show of her own, “Rhoda,” which ran until 1978, and for which she won a Golden Globe award in 1975.

Harper must have been very convincing as a Jew, because she was also called on to play Israel’s fourth prime minister, Golda Meir, in a national touring company of “Golda’s Balcony,” a play based on her life.  In addition, Harper played Meir in the film version of “Golda’s Balcony,” which came out in 2007.

Although many people thought Harper was Jewish, she was actually Catholic.  In a 2006 interview, Harper said that while she wasn’t Jewish, she was a Zionist. “I’m not Jewish, but I guess I’ve always been a Zionist without a word for it,” she said.

Some of the proceeds from Harper’s national tour of “Golda’s Balcony” were donated to Israel Children’s Centers.

Harper was named Honorary Grand Marshall of Israel’s 60th anniversary parade in New York City in 2008.

Harper, 73, was recently diagnosed with an incurable form of brain cancer, leptomeningeal carcinomatosis.  She was reportedly told she has only a few months to live, but she says she is “open to a miracle,” and that she “intends to live each moment fully.”  Harper battled lung cancer in 2009, but believed she had defeated it.

Harper’s memoir, “I, Rhoda” was published late last year.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/rhoda-actress-non-jewish-zionist-has-incurable-brain-cancer/2013/03/11/

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