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October 27, 2016 / 25 Tishri, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘WOMEN’

60 Israeli Arab Women in Danger of Honor Murder in Lod, 15 Killed Since 2010

Sunday, October 9th, 2016

Du’aa Abu Sarah, mother of four, was murdered a month ago in front of her children. Last week, her two sister and mother testified before the Knesset Committee on the Status of Women. Committee Chairwoman MK Aida Touma-Sliman (Joint Arab List) said the focus of the hearing was on police failure to defeat violence against women in the mixed cities of Ramla and Lod. “Fifteen Arab women have been murdered in Ramla and Lod since 2010,” she said, adding, “We’re not willing to continue counting the dead bodies.”

Du’aa’s sister testified that the murder victim had launched a complaint with police but no one followed up on it. “We have no one to talk to. We feel threatened, this murderer killed all of us,” she told the committee. She reported that her family members are forced to hide indoors in the evening. “I’m a strong woman, but recently I’m afraid I’m being followed,” she said.

The Arab committee members pointed an accusing finger at police, but were also critical of Arab society. MK Ahmad Tibi said the main problem was the lack of police deterrence of criminals. “When there are no solved crimes, there’s no deterrence of the next murderer,” he said. “In most cases police know who is the killer, but he remains free for lack of substantial evidence.” But beyond the problem of an inept police force, Tibi said, “we have a social sickness of men who think they can easilty take the life of a woman because she is inferior to them. It’s primitive, inferior thinking.”

Several other Arab MKs blamed the Israeli “colonialist” system which prefers to employ police in pursuing political activists rather than focus on crime in Arab society. But some, like MK Osama Sa’adi (Joint Arab List) acknowledged the need to reach beyond criticism of police to dealing will the general violence in Arab society, and specifically violence against women.

An Arab woman from Lod testified about the threats on her life. “I am being threatened. I filed a complaint with police but they told me not to complain. When they shot at my house police didn’t do anything to prevent the shooting and protect me. Everyone is aware of my story, including Police and Social Services. Social Services directs me to Police and vice versa. Today I’m still alive, but I don’t know when it’ll happen, when I’ll be murdered. No one is doing anything, they’re just waiting for it to happen.” Turning to the police representatives at the hearing, the woman pleaded, “Please change things. It’s not just me, men are also murdered and you’re doing nothing. There’s evidence, there’s cameras, there’s shooting. The man who shot at my house was pictured and his license plate is known, and you still don’t have sufficient evidence? What are you waiting for?”

Police Central District Officer, Commander Dado Zamir, told the committee the murders in question “are keeping me up nights. The files are being treated by our central unit and we don’t spare manpower to solve these cases. There are many women whose lives have been saved by Social Services and Police, be it treatment within the community or sending them to communities abroad. We’ve left no stone unturned and every shred of evidence is being examined.”

Zamir stressed the gap between police intelligence and evidentiary proof that can be used by a prosecutor, meaning Police may well know who committed a murder, or who had the motive and intent, “but the gap between that intelligence information and putting together an evidentiary foundation to support a murder indictment is great.”

Samah Salaime, who runs a countrywide project for the prevention of violence within Arab society said that one of the problems in Police being able to elicit testimony from Arab victims of violence has to do with the plea bargain system, which lets criminals out of prison in time to take revenge against the women who put them there. Therefore, she argued, “you can’t convince a woman to testify [against men who threatened her life] if she knows that seven years later they’ll come looking for her.”

Orly Dahan, representing the City of Lod, told the committee that she knows of 80 women whose lives have been threatened, 20 Jews and 60 Arabs.

Hagai Moyal, National Inspector at the Ministry of Social Affairs, told the committee it was difficult to recruit workers to deal with family violence in the Arab society.


Israeli Navy Prepared to Escort Women’ Gaza Boats to Ashdod

Tuesday, October 4th, 2016

As Zaytouna and Amal, two boats with about 30 Gaza-bound passengers, mostly women, are getting closer to Israel’s shores, the IDF navy has been preparing to exercise the routine protocol in such cases, namely to board the boats and escort the passengers, politely but firmly, to the harbor city of Ashdod.

The website Women Boat to Gaza has been billing the endeavor as a “flotilla,” but the term commonly describes a fleet of ships or boats, so, in this case, the term “boats” is probably more accurate.

Ashdod has been serving as a destination for aid supplies for Gaza, for most of the decade since Hamas has taken over control of the Strip. Israeli officials go through the cargo, remove the contraband weapons and explosives that routinely arrive in those shipments, and clear the goods for trucking to Gaza, a few miles southward. Presumably, whatever goods the one or two boats manage to bring in will end up in Ashdod for inspection, followed by shipping to Gaza.

Israel’s Channel 2 News has reported that naval gunships have been waiting in Ashdod harbor for the signal to intercept the two boats. The same report suggested that the women onboard the boats are planning to exercise civil disobedience, which could get splashy.

The Zaytouna Captain is US Army retired Colonel Ann Wright, who served in the State Dept. diplomatic corps. She resigned from the US government in 2003, over her objection to the Bush Administration’s foreign policy. Since then she has been active in every single attempt to break through the blockade on Gaza.

It should be noted that the Turkish government, which ended up in a six-year tiff with Israel over the tragic end of the largest and most memorable 2010 Gaza flotilla, has expressed its anger at the mostly Turkish activists in that endeavor, for forcing it into this quagmire. Since Turkey has settled its dispute with Israel, Turkish goods destined for Gaza have been arriving in Ashdod regularly and then shipped to their intended recipients.

It should also be noted that the reason Israel has imposed a naval blockade on the Gaza Strip is because the Hamas government has been declaring practically every day its intent to destroy Israel, and has been devoting most of its international aid money to military preparations to carry out this threat.


The Power Of Jewish Women

Sunday, July 24th, 2016

The immense power of Jewish women has been documented from time immemorial, but there is one cataclysmic episode in the Torah that, to the best of my knowledge, has never been utilized as a prime example of exemplifying the absolute necessity of the presence of the woman/mother in Jewish history.

Before that episode is brought to bear, let us examine some prior history, as the Torah, in its inimitable wisdom, uses the iconic mother/heroines Sarah and Rivkah to delineate the incalculable preeminent position of women in the Jewish home.

Sarah, with her gifts of prophecy, not only knew that Yishmael was a mortal threat to Yitzchak’s existence, but also knew that as the son of an Egyptian woman, he could never identify as a Jew. Long before Ezra, she anticipated the necessity of matrilineal lineage, casting Yishmael out and making it clear to Avraham that only her son, only the son of a Jewish woman, could continue the line of the Jewish people.

As difficult as that action was for Sarah to take, the fact remains that Sarah was not rejecting her own son; Yishmael was Hagar’s, and thus the pain Sarah may have felt at Avraham’s own suffering at the loss of his son was not compounded by Yishmael being her own child.

Sarah’s difficulty may seem severe, but it pales next to Rivkah’s, as Rivkah had to reject her own son in order to preserve Jewish lineage. It is no accident that the episode in which Rivkah advises Yaakov to trick his father immediately follows the passage in which Eisav chooses wives from outside the Jewish people. Rivkah well knows that Eisav’s betrayal makes him unfit for preserving the Jewish line, and thus even though Eisav is her own son, she has the courage to reject him and make certain that Yaakov is chosen to become the progenitor of the Jewish people.

Yet even Rivkah’s test pales next to the unsung heroine of the Jewish people, Leah. The cataclysmic episode referred to above revolves around this utterly selfless woman who rarely gets enough credit for her critical part in the genesis of the Jewish people.

Just as it was Yaakov’s mission to keep his family together, to ensure that all of his children stayed Jews, it was Leah’s as well. Not only did she have to raise six sons of her own, but six others who weren’t hers; not only did she have to supervise the children of Zilpah and Bilhah, she had to raise the sons of her deceased sister, Rachel.

It is this dynamic – the raising of sons not her own and keeping them Jews –that elucidates the power of Leah and the crucial necessity of the Jewish woman in the home more clearly than any other instance in the Torah.

For centuries, the question has been asked: How could the sons of Yaakov have behaved so brutally toward Yosef, throwing him into the pit, selling him as a slave, letting their father believe his precious son was dead? Many explanations have been offered, including the thought that Yosef had threatened the preeminence of Yehuda with his dreams of supremacy, but the question remains: How could the sons act in such a way while their father was alive?

The answer is simple and instructive.

The brothers, led by Leah’s sons, were not disinclined to act in the fashion they did even though Yaakov was alive. His presence had little or no effect in dissuading them from their brutality.

The one whose presence was needed was Leah, their mother.

And Leah was dead.

According to Seder Olam Rabbah, Leah did not live over 45 years, which means she died the same year Yosef was sold. Rachel had died eight years before.

How do we know Leah died before her sons sold Yosef? Because in Bereishis 37:35, the Torah states, “Vayakumu chol banav v’chol b’nosav l’nachamo” – “And all his sons and all his daughters arose to comfort him.”

There is no mention of Leah, for she was already niftar.

Now it finally makes sense. Why did the brothers treat Yosef so brutally? Why did they wait as long as they did to sell Yosef? It was because their mother was no longer there to say to them, “Treat your brother/cousin with respect. Behave yourselves. I know you are angry, but remember we are all one family.”

It is the very absence of Leah in which we realize the tremendous power and centrality of the mother in the Jewish home. Had she been present, the incident with Yosef may never have occurred, and the whole history of the Jewish people may have been different.

Yes, Sarah’s test was difficult; yes, Rivkah’s superseded Sarah’s, but only Leah – the unsung heroine, the woman enjoined with keeping her massive family on the straight and narrow – managed to keep Yaakov’s fractious family together as long as Hashem gave her life. When she was gone, everything came asunder.

The Torah’s emphasizes Rachel’s beauty, but in Leah we see a deeper beauty – in essence, the true beauty of the Jewish people. In Shmuel Bet, 1:19, David laments the death of Shaul and Yehonatan, crying, “Hatzvi Yisrael al bamosecha.” The word “tzvi” is variously translated as beauty, honor, or precious, implying the words’ synonymity. The closeness of “tzvi” to “tzaddik” can be seen in Yishiyahu 24:16, when Yishiyahu states, “Miknaf haaretz z’miros shaman t’zvi latzaddik” – “From the edge of the earth we have heard songs ‘Glory to the righteous.’ ”

Thus beauty and honor are quite closely related to righteousness. This concept goes to the heart of being a Jew. For Jews, unlike for others, true beauty is found in righteousness – and only righteousness.

And Leah, with her heroic struggle to raise 12 sons, six of whom were not hers, and knit them into one Jewish family after her sister had died, exemplifies the kind of selfless righteousness that is the essence of who we are as a people. Hers was the kind of exalted beauty that the Jewish woman and mother offers the world as a beacon in the murky darkness of immorality and violence; hers was the presence that inspired her sons to behave as just men, and her absence left a void that precipitated cataclysmic events.

It is the presence of the Jewish mother, with her selfless role in engendering harmony and peace, that is the fiercely burning flame within the holy light of the Jewish people.

David Shapiro

Weizmann Institute Professors Launch Course Helps Women Juggle Science and Motherhood

Tuesday, July 12th, 2016

Profs. Maya Schuldiner of the Molecular Genetics Department, Nirit Dudovich of the Physics of Complex Systems Department and Michal Sharon of the Biomolecular Sciences Department were discussing the challenges their female students undergo as they move from childlessness to motherhood, and they reflected on the difficulties they had experienced during this time in their lives.

“Why don’t we give them the benefit of our own experience? We all wished we had such a course when we were in that situation. Maybe if we’d had one, the transition to becoming a mother would have been easier for us.” – Michal Sharon

The three professors approached Prof. Daniella Goldfarb, the President’s Advisor for Advancing Women in Science, who was happy to allocate funds for the course. They then consulted Orit Viterbo, Head of Social Work at the Institute, and she joined them in the planning and execution of the course. Finding interested participants for the course was the easy part; the difficulty was in having to turn away others. To maintain an intimate and open environment, the course is limited to twenty women.

The course consists of six sessions, in which the young women are taught practical solutions for managing their career and family life, emphasizing the need to maintain open communication with their advisors and set realistic expectations. Decision making is another area they work on, as is learning to define their own interpretation of success and learning to pay less attention to the expectations of others.

 “We are part of this culture in which, as women, we are pushed to be perfectionists. To be the best mother ever. To be the best scientist ever. We say: You don’t have to be best at one or the other. You can be happy about the way you mother and happy about the way that you do science, and you can combine them in a way that is optimal for you and not the outside world.” – Maya Schuldiner

Although the presence of women in the field of science has seen notable increase, there is still much progress to be made. At the Weizmann Institute 85 percent of the principal investigators are male. In the life sciences 70 percent of the PhD students are female, but they make up only 15 percent of the principle investigators. The childbearing period is also the critical juncture where women often decide not to proceed to the next stage in a scientific career. Indeed, many women at the Weizmann Institute of Science have their children while they are doctoral students. According to Schuldiner quite a few women obtain advanced degrees; it is the lack of support just when they are deciding whether to continue that often leads them to abandon their careers. This, she says, is why the course is vital. The women who participate are learning how to navigate a challenging situation, but during this process they also become confidantes who encourage one another and continue to meet after the conclusion of the course.

“When a student feels her situation is impossible, even if it doesn’t directly help to solve her specific problem for the day, knowing that other women – women who eventually succeeded in their careers – faced the same difficulties, it gives her some perspective. I think there is something relaxing about knowing that you are not the only one who faces certain difficulties.” – Nirit Dudovich

Schuldiner, Dudovich and Sharon all say that the biggest lesson they hope the participants will take away is that they are the sole proprietors of their careers. Balancing motherhood and a scientific career is difficult, but with the correct approach it is doable and can be very successful.

“There are voices that say if you try to combine family and a career, this is doing science like a woman. We say this is a good thing: Do science like a woman! ” – Schuldiner.

CAIR Says Trump’s ‘Hibi-Jabis’ Comment Endangers Muslim Women [video]

Sunday, July 3rd, 2016

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization which has been shilling for some of the worst anti-women regimes on the planet, believes the real danger to Muslim women in the US is presumptive GOP presidential candidate Donald J. Trump. This is because of Trump’s “apparent support for an Islamophobic town hall question which will endanger American Muslim women.”

During a question-and-answer session Thursday at a town hall event in Manchester, NH, an audience member asked candidate Trump, “Why aren’t we putting our military retirees on that border or in TSA? Get rid of all these hibi-jabis they wear at TSA?”

The questioner was referring to the “hijab,” the Islamic head scarf worn by Muslim women, as part of their task to conceal themselves entirely from male eyes, because males cannot be blamed if they are overcome by their desire and end up raping said women. In fact, under Islamic law, the raped woman is more often than not the party to be punished.

Trump appeared to support the questioner’s anti-Muslim views when he responded, “I understand. . . You know, and we are looking at that. . . And we are looking at that. We’re looking at a lot of things.”

“By appearing to endorse the bigoted views of one of his supporters, Donald Trump is placing all American Muslim women who wear Islamic attire in danger,” said CAIR Government Affairs Director Robert McCaw. “American Muslims, and particularly Muslim women, are facing an unprecedented spike in discrimination and hate attacks, due in no small part to Donald Trump’s Islamophobic rhetoric and policy proposals.”

McCaw added that the proposed removal of Muslim TSA staffers devalues the crucial work they do on a daily basis to protect the nation.

Not crucial enough, apparently, as was evident last month when the acting head of the Transportation Security Administration was reassigned after an internal investigation by the Department of Homeland Security had found security failures at dozens of the nation’s busiest airports. The breaches allowed undercover investigators to smuggle weapons, fake explosives and other contraband through 95% of TSA checkpoints.

Earlier this year, CAIR said Donald Trump’s continued his use of “a debunked myth” about US General John Pershing executing Muslim prisoners in the Philippines using bullets dipped in pig’s blood was endangering ordinary American Muslims who were already facing a surge in hate.

But is it a myth?

In 1941, TIME Magazine ran a letter to the editor from a soldier named J. R. McKey who had served with Pershing in the Philippines decades before. In the letter, McKey describes using pigs in burials to deter Muslim insurgent activities, but does not ascribe the act to Pershing.

McKey wrote, “US soldiers … had a pretty good cure for juramentado [Moro swordsmen] activities. Knowing the horror of the Mohammedan for any contact with swine, and particularly with its blood, these American roughnecks, when they had killed a juramentado, held for him a very public funeral. The body of the defunct bad man having been deposited in the grave, a pig was brought, stuck, its blood sprinkled freely over the D B M, the dead pig thrown in with him, and the burial completed.”

Some reports do say that Pershing was engaged in burying Muslims with pigs or throwing pig’s blood on them. According to the History News Network, a Chicago Daily Tribune article from 1927 describes Pershing sprinkling prisoners with pig’s blood, then setting them free to warn others of being doused with the blood. “Those drops of porcine gore proved more powerful than bullets,” the article wrote.

Christopher Capozzola, a history professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, also cited an incident in which Pershing brought a pig’s head to a ceasefire negotiation with a Muslim leader.

CAIR has previously stated that Trump’s pig’s blood claim and other instances of his “Islamophobic rhetoric,” including his calling for a ban on all Muslims entering the United States, his false claim that “Islam hates us,” his refusal to rule out special IDs for American Muslims, and his willingness to consider closing down American mosques place millions of innocent, law-abiding citizens in the American Muslim community at risk.

CAIR has reported an unprecedented spike in anti-Muslim incidents nationwide since the Paris terror attacks, the San Bernardino shootings and Trump’s call for a complete ban on Muslims entering the United States.

It is possible however that the former two may be at least as important as the latter reason for hate against Muslims…


Women of the Wall Caught in Mix of Bad Timing, Bad Taste

Thursday, June 30th, 2016

On the same day thirteen and a half year old Hallel Yaffa Ariel from Kiryat Arba was murdered in her bed by a 17-year-old Arab, and just as hundreds assembled to bury her on Thursday afternoon, the organization Women of the Wall sent out an email blast with the subject: “Demand Justice for Frannie.”

It turns out there were other girls out there whose suffering needed our attention. In the case of twelve-year-old Frannie — well, she is “traveling over 6,000 miles to join Women of the Wall for her Bat Mitzvah. Will she be able to hold a Torah scroll on her special day?”

Yes, this is what constitutes an urgent cause these days in the minds of the organizers of the WOW: will this American girl, who could have her Bat Mitzvah literally anywhere else on the planet, including all of the land of Israel (other than the Temple Mount, where Jews these days are verboten) — will she be embracing a Torah scroll in front of the supporting wall King Herod erected outside the temple he renovated circa year zero.

Women of the Wall will meet next week on July 7 at 7AM in the women’s section of the Western Wall for Rosh Hodesh Tammuz prayers and for Frannie’s Bat Mitzvah. And they declare with fierce determination: “We will ensure that Frannie has a Torah scroll to read from for her Bat Mitzvah ceremony.”

Indeed, the urgent email continues, “Despite police harassment, intimidation and detainments, we will be bringing a Torah scroll in to the Kotel. Will there be more arrests? Will another woman be arrested for the act of simply holding a precious Torah scroll?”

This is so brave and subversive. It’s also going to take place around the time the family members of Hallel Yaffa Ariel will rise from the Shiva week, so maybe they, too could come and support the courage of the WOW.

With about 300 people in all of Israel giving a hoot about Reform Judaism in general and the WOW in particular, and in light of the seriously tough times Israelis are having these days, Women of the Wall Executive Director Lesley Sachs could have probably waited a couple of days with her urgent message this time.

Happy birthday, Frannie, may you grow up to marry a Jewish guy some day if you are so inclined.

David Israel

What is the Truth About Financial Equality for Women?

Thursday, June 30th, 2016

Does financial equality really exist for women?

Financial advisor Cary Carbonaro, best-selling author of The Money Queen’s Guide: For Women Who Want to Build Wealth and Banish Fear, reveals that women are still far from being financially equal to men. Generally, women live longer than men but work for a total of fewer years, for lower salaries, and as a result they tend to accrue two-thirds less savings than men.

Find out how women can improve their financial situation and what they should do in the event of a divorce or the death of a partner.

What happens to a brokerage account when its owner dies, and if there isn’t a will? Get tips and advice on how to claim the assets, what to do if the deceased lived in a different country, and what paperwork you need to start the process.

The Goldstein On Gelt Show is a financial podcast. Click on the player below to listen. For show notes and contact details of the guest, go to www.GoldsteinOnGelt.com

Doug Goldstein, CFP®

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/goldstein-on-gelt/what-is-the-truth-about-financial-equality-for-women/2016/06/30/

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