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April 21, 2014 / 21 Nisan, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘world economic forum’

Why are Feminists Not Standing Up for Israel?

Sunday, March 30th, 2014

T.S. Eliot was wrong. March, not April, is the cruelest month. Certainly it is at New York University.  In the early days of the month a conference took place there on “Circuits of Influence: United State, Israel, and Palestine.”  The conference was organized by Lisa Duggan, Professor of Social and Cultural Analysis, whose academic fields at NYU are listed as lesbian and gay studies, and the history of gender and sexuality.

Professor Duggan is a gender scholar rather than a political scientist renowned for expertise in Middle East history and politics. She is presently president-elect of the American Studies Association (ASA) that on December 4, 2013 disgraced itself and the academic world by its ignorance, its bias, and its bigotry in calling for a boycott of Israeli academic institutions. The resolution of the ASA, by 66 per cent of voters, endorsed the Palestinian call for a boycott because of alleged denial of Palestinian basic rights by Israel. The resolution said nothing about the denial of women’s basic rights by Palestinians and other Arabs.

Professor Duggan’s invitation to the conference was ironic. It was sent only to selected recipients, and said, “Please do not post or circulate the flyer (about the conference). We are trying to avoid press, protestors, and publication.” It was ironic because the conference avoided confrontation by inviting only those who were not known for their pro-Israeli views.

The NYU meeting was not exactly secret, but it was a closed-door conference. To no great surprise, it coincided with the celebration of Israel Apartheid Week. It may perhaps have been described as a meeting discussing the Protocols of the Learned Leaders of the boycotters or the New York friends of the ASA.
It is not clear, though one can guess the reasons, why leaders of an association created to deal with American studies, and especially if they are most interested in women’s issues, make declarations on Middle Eastern affairs or why they are primarily or solely concerned with the State of Israel. One would have thought that Professor Duggan and other members of the ASA might be more properly concerned with the problems that women encounter in Arab Middle East societies, including that of Palestinian.

The nature of those problems is detailed in reports of NGO Monitor and various think tanks. Women in all the Middle East countries, except Israel, have few rights, and do not enjoy equality with men. The gender gap in those countries is among the highest in the world. Women are discriminated against in almost all relationships and activities, in marriage, divorce, child custody, and inheritance. They are restricted in movement, expression, and work opportunities. Women suffer from being forced into child marriage, female genital mutilation, and “honor” crimes, which may be punished by death.

Professor Duggan and her ASA colleagues must know that there has been no significant improvement in women’s lives in spite of the “Arab spring.” In most Arab countries women are marginalized; in Islamic societies they are repressed. She should know that the lack of freedom for women in all Middle East countries, except Israel, is a major problem in the world today. Have she and her colleagues in the ASA, reported on this? Are they so concerned with their ideological attack on Israel that they have no time or thought for the political and social freedom of women? Even though they are supposedly interested in American studies, why do the members of ASA not state clearly and unequivocally that women in the Arab world including the Palestinians should enjoy the same rights and opportunities as women in Israel?

Let’s deliver a clear message from the 1993 UN Vienna Declaration to Duggan and the ignorant and biased boycotters of Israel.  The Declaration called for the full and equal participation of women in political, civil, economic, social and cultural life, at all levels, and eradication of all forms of discrimination on grounds of sex.

It may well be, as the UN Arab Human Development report of 2005 said, that it is beyond the power and resources of women’s movements to affect the condition of women in the Middle East. But perhaps Duggan, with the support of other women in the ASA, might have organized a conference on the subject. She might have addressed the problem of why the 2011 departure of dictators in Egypt, Tunisia, Yemen, and Libya has not led to fundamental reforms for women.

The UN Arab Human Development Reports (AHDR), written by Arab scholars about conditions in the 22 member states of the Arab League, have recognized the major problem: the oppression of women. Women suffer from inequality with men and are vulnerable to discrimination in law and in practice.  The prevailing masculine culture and values view women as dependents of men.  Those AHDR reports clearly state the need for change: Arab societies must provide for the complete empowerment of Arab women. Specifically, they should deal with illiteracy (more than half of Arab women are illiterate), the low rate of education of women, maternal mortality, and the low participation of women in politics.

The statistics in the Global Gender Gap Index, compiled by the World Economic Forum, which measures gender-based disparities, confirms the AHDR conclusions. Of the 136 countries analyzed in terms of the access of women to education, political participation, economic opportunity, and health, the Arab countries come last. Political empowerment of women in Saudi Arabia and Qatar is listed as zero.

Gender-based discrimination exists in personal status laws which require permission of a male relative for marriage, favor husbands in divorce cases, give fathers the rights in child guardianship, restrict freedom of movement, make it difficult for women to get a passport, and deprive women of their proper inheritance. In the law courts the testimony of women is regarded as of less value than that of men in a number of countries. Dress codes for women are enforced by the religious police force.

Beyond all this legal and social inequality there is the matter of domestic violence against women. Rape is usually not seen as a criminal offense. Honor killings exist in many of the Arab societies, including that of the Palestinian Authority. It is legal for women to be beheaded, burnt alive, stoned, and tortured for “immoral” behavior such as adultery or having sexual relations with a non-Muslim man. They are also forbidden to marry non-Muslims. On the other hand, polygamy is legal in a number of Arab countries.

Given her scholarship on the history of sexuality, Professor Duggan must surely be familiar with the sad condition of women in all Middle East countries except Israel, where women have full social and political rights. Can we expect her as the leader of ASA, to organize a conference on that sad condition and to call for equality and justice for women in the Arab countries?  If not, she may be judged guilty of indifference to the problems of women.
Originally published at The American Thinker.

Netanyahu: Agreement with Devious Iran Cannot Succeed

Sunday, January 26th, 2014

Any permanent agreement with Iran “cannot succeed if its President Hassan Rouhani acts according to its words, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu told the weekly Cabinet meeting Sunday in his report on conversations at last week’s World Economic Forum at Davos.

“Rouhani said that Iran was against international involvement in Syria, but Iran is the country that is most involved and aids the Assad regime in perpetrating mass slaughters on a daily basis,” the Prime Minister noted.

“He said that he was against the killing of innocents, but several days previously dozens of people were executed in Iran, most of whom, I can assure you, were innocent….

“The most important and most significant thing, Rouhani said that Iran would not dismantle even one centrifuge.”

Prime Minister Netanyahu cited Rouhani’s “assault of pleasantness” and added, “There is a problem here. We know the truth. There is a regime here that, under cover of an assault of smiles, is trying to arm itself with nuclear weapons, to reach the status of a threshold state that could achieve nuclear weapons very quickly, and a country that has not changed its true ideology at all.”

Peres: Listen to What Rouhani Did not Say

Thursday, January 23rd, 2014

President Shimon Peres found himself in rare agreement with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu at Davos Thursday in denouncing the speech by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani at the 2014 World Economic Forum.

After the Prime Minister warned everyone not be deceived by Rouhani’s smiles, Peres said at a press conference, “The most significant remarks were the ones he didn’t make – he didn’t express support for peace in the Middle East. He is the only leader I know who didn’t say clearly the time has come to make peace between Israel and the Arabs.

“He excluded the reference to peace and when he was asked if his vision included all countries he said it included only the ones that Iran will accept, that is some definition.

“He didn’t announce that in order to reduce the bloodshed in Syria, he’s going to stop sending arms and money to Hezbollah to the stop the killing. He could have announced that seeing as he doesn’t want a nuclear bomb that he will stop building long range missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads.

“He didn’t announce that Iran will stop being the center of terror in our time. “

Lest anyone think that President Peres’ vision of the world might have improved, he put them at ease by stating his support for U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry. “I believe President Obama is trying to do the right thing and the US has decided not to stop the sanctions fully until they see the results,” Peres declared.” Secretary Kerry is doing an excellent job with dynamism and determination. There are different opinions, different options and it is normal that they are being examined.”

Netanyahu Says Rouhani Master of Deception

Thursday, January 23rd, 2014

Mohammed “Rouhani is continuing with the Iranian show of deception,” Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said Thursday after the Iranian president’s speech to the 2014 World Economic Forum in Davos.

Rouhani said, “The Islamic Republic of Iran is prepared to engage in constructive cooperation for promoting global energy security, drawing on its vast oil and gas resources. I hereby announce that one of the theoretical and practical priorities of my government is constructive engagement with the world.”

He limited his definition of the world to those countries that Iran recognizes- in other words, a world without Israel.

Rouhani also said with a straight face, “We never sought and will never seek nuclear weapons. I declare that a nuclear weapon has no place in our security strategy.”

The media lapped up the loving words, but Netanyahu warned everyone not to be fooled.

“At a time when Rouhani condemns the killing of innocents, dozens of innocents were recently executed in Iran,” said the Prime Minister. “At a time when Rouhani talks about a positive approach to technology, he prevents Iranians from freely surfing the Internet. At a time when Rouhani talks about peace with the countries of the Middle East, he refuses – even today – to recognize the existence of the State of Israel, and his regime daily calls for the destruction of the State of Israel.

“At a time when Rouhani claims that Iran is not interested in a nuclear project for military purposes, Iran continues to strengthen its centrifuges and heavy water reactor, and to arm itself with intercontinental missiles, the sole purpose of which is for nuclear weapons….

“The goal of the Iranian ayatollahs’ regime, which is hiding behind Rouhani’s smiles, is to ease sanctions without conceding on their program to produce nuclear weapons.”

Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer to Visit Israel in July

Wednesday, January 22nd, 2014

Yahoo President and CEO Marissa Mayer told Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in Davos Wednesday that she expects to visit Israel in July.

Meeting at the 014 World Economic Forum Annual Meeting, the Prime Minister told her that whereas major powers were once measured in terms of territory, today they are measured by the number of unique users.

He presented the advantages of investing in Israeli technology, discussed the leading position of cyber technologies and asked what he could do to increase Yahoo’s investments in Israel.

 

Netanyahu to Address Davos Forum on ‘Israel – Innovation Nation’

Tuesday, January 21st, 2014

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu will travel Wednesday to the 2014 World Economic Forum in Davos, where he will deliver an address under the heading “Israel – Innovation Nation,” with an emphasis on the cyber industry.

He also will attend the IT session, in the presence of Cisco CEO John Chambers, and a cyber session that is expected to draw dozens of corporate managers and senior government officials from countries active in the field.

Prime Minister Netanyahu is due to meet with Yahoo President and CEO Marissa Mayer and with Google Senior Vice President and Chief Business Officer Nikesh Arora and will emphasize Israeli innovation and the technological leadership of the Israeli high-tech industry in order to expand economic cooperation with the two companies.

Google has bought out Israeli firms, most notably Wade, for which it paid more than $1 billion. It also has established an active presence in Israel, including a research and development center.

“Israel is an exception on the Western economic scene,” Prime Minister Netanyahu said Tuesday, “We have succeeded in dealing with the global economic crisis better than almost all Western countries. But we cannot rest on our laurels. We need to develop new markets and new partners and this is my goal in going to Davos. My intention is to talk with leading global high tech companies, in the cyber and other fields, in order to tell them to come to Israel, invest in Israel and create jobs in Israel.”

Kerry’s Palestinian Mission: Create Facts on the Ground

Sunday, June 2nd, 2013

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about the harassment of the pro-Israel organization Z Street by the IRS. A couple of days later, I suggested that left-wing Jewish groups cooperated with the administration in calling for scrutiny of Zionist groups, because of their pathological hatred of ‘settlers’ and ‘settlements’.

Now investigative reporter Alana Goodman has shown that there were numerous Zionist groups in addition to Z Street that were improperly targeted by the IRS. It also turns out that the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee and even Palestinian negotiator Ahmed Querya — as well as Jewish groups like J Street, the New Israel Fund, and the Union for reform Judaism, along with administration-friendly journalists — all called for IRS investigations of Zionists who might be funding settlement activities.

Yes, it’s all about a few Jews living in a place that the administration — like the Jordanians in 1948 and the PLO today — believes should be free of them. Transferring these Jews out has been a top priority goal of US policy for decades.

Now think about this. Our new Secretary of State, John Kerry, recently proposed a $4 billion program to develop the ‘Palestinian economy’:

“These experts believe we will increase the Palestinian GDP by as much as 50 percent over three years,” Kerry told the closing session of the World Economic Forum meeting on the shores of the Dead Sea in Jordan.

“The most optimistic estimates foresee enough new jobs to cut unemployment by two-thirds to eight percent down from 21 percent and to increase the median wage by 40 percent,” said the top US diplomat.

Some 100,000 jobs in home construction alone could be created in the next three years, while tourism could triple.

The economic predictions are ridiculous, but never mind. What I find interesting is that this is precisely an attempt to create Arab ‘facts on the ground’ in Judea and Samaria — to create a Palestinian state by simply building it, on disputed land.

In other words, at the same time that the administration is trying to choke off Jewish building in the territories, by pressuring Israel (there is an unannounced freeze on construction in effect since Obama’s recent visit) and by using the IRS against private parties that might assist ‘settlers’, Kerry plans to finance a massive building campaign for Palestinian Arabs!

So while the administration does all it can to stop Jews from building on land within existing settlements, because they say it will hurt the peace process by foreclosing options, it finds nothing wrong with encouraging extensive Arab construction in the same disputed territory.

This is just another illustration of the way our government has swallowed the completely false story that the Arabs are the default owners of all the land outside the Green Line.

Visit Fresno Zionism.

Kerry Huffs and Puffs and Abbas Blows Him Down

Tuesday, May 28th, 2013

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s $4 billion economic program to save the “peace process” got as far as the headlines for at least 12 hours until Palestinian Authority PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas economic adviser in effect wrote a “Dear John” letter Monday, virtually telling him to go back home.

“The Palestinian leadership will not offer political concessions in exchange for economic benefits,” read a statement from Mohammad Mustafa, president of the Palestine Investment Fund and economic adviser to president Mahmoud Abbas. “We will not accept that the economy is the primary and sole component.”

Abbas is nothing if not consistent. No matter  what concession Israel offers, usually after pressure from the U.S. government, Abbas says, “Israel must return to the 1967 borders, accept a Palestinian state headquartered in Jerusalem and accept the immigration of several million foreign Arabs – so we can eliminate Jewish majority in what is left of Israel. Then, we will negotiate.”

The Clinton, Bush and Obama administrations don’t get it, but their insistence to play into Abbas’ hands eventually is in Israel’s favor because Abbas is aborting any hopes for a Palestinian state.

Kerry landed in Israel this week with the over-confidence of a show-off and braggart.

Reflecting incredible ignorance – sorry, naïveté –  of Middle East reality, he unveiled a grandiose “groundbreaking plan” at the World Economic Forum on  Sunday that in his own words “is bigger, bolder and more ambitious than anything proposed since Oslo more than 20 years ago now” will be “enormously powerful and different from anything we’ve ever seen before.”

That really is impressive.  And not very modest.

No one could have more proud of John Kerry than John Kerry, but he did not come up with this brainchild alone. He was helped by the Quartet’s Middle East envoy Tony Blair, whose record in the Middle East is about as successful as that of the U.S.  State Dept.

Also at the Forum was President Shimon Peres, who lives in the same world as Blair and Kerry.

“President Abbas, you are our partner — and we are yours,” Peres said for the 2000th time.

The “partner” on Monday returned to his same mantra. Money or no money, the economy is only a “part of a political framework that will ensure the creation of a Palestinian state based on the 1967 borders with east Jerusalem its capital and the rights of refugees and a reference to a political solution,” said Mustafa in a statement that made Kerry look like a dumbbell for even opening his mouth.

Kerry actually believed that Abbas is interested in a strong economy with the investments of Palestinian Authority billionaires like Munib Al-Masri, a former Palestinian Authority minister.

But that would mean someone else getting the credit for economic growth, a direct threat to Abbas’ political power.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/kerry-huffs-and-puffs-and-abbas-blows-him-down/2013/05/28/

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