Palestine Update 223
“Friday of the Palestinian woman”
It is not spoken about too loudly or adequately. But Jerusalemite women are clearly an important part of the first line in the defence in Jerusalem against the Israeli occupation. They are aware that the occupation aims to hinder them, expel their children and their husbands from their own land and expunge Muslim and Christian Arab presence in Jerusalem. Audacious women have taken on hostilities of illegal Jewish settlers at the holy sites. They are viewed as a thorn in the side of the Israeli occupation authorities and police.
Despite the immense contributions of women to the struggle for justice and liberation, their social status is unfair. Justice within the community, especially on the lines of gender and class, must be redefined if Palestine must be born as a new nation based on equity. Especially, within the intent and goals of the International Women’s Day, the rights and identity of women demand to be contended with if the Palestinian struggle itself is be just within itself.
In a think-piece in Middle East Monitor, Mahmoud Mardawi, dares Palestinians in a description of the occupation. He describes how it ‘kills, demolishes, confiscates and arrests’, and why it must be ‘instinctively resisted’. This option, he points out, is ‘the path down which revolting nations follow; it is the path to escape the occupation and achieve independence…the occupation cannot be driven out except with iron, fire and resistance’. He urges for a united front which must know that nothing but what is destined to happen will happen on earth.
Hamas has closely integrated women into the Friday protests and notes in Gaza: “Today, women are standing side by side with our men and our revolutionary youth — along with others from all walks of life — to take part in the rallies” On the occasion of International Women’s Day, last Friday’s protest in Gaza was held under the banner, “Friday of the Palestinian woman”.
Further afield the Democratic Party in the US, that once received half its financial support from Jewish sources, is badly split over the Palestine crisis. In a big political upheaval, young Democratic stars have suddenly broken the seemingly inviolable code of loyalty to Israel and exposed the harsh truth that there is simply excessive rightwing Israeli influence. There must be justice for Palestine, they demand. Even, sedate sources, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren have countered charges against Ilhan Omar that allege she is anti-Semitic. Black groups and smaller liberal Jewish groups have joined in support.
Finally, Hamas seems to have broken political grounds applying assertive politics. This is evidenced in signs that it can make demands of Israel and extract concession by making some of its own.
Stand with the Palestinian women of Jerusalem
On International Women’s Rights Day, Palestinian women in Jerusalem are suffering at the hands of the Israeli occupation of the Holy City. Jerusalemite women have been and still are the first line of defence in Jerusalem against the Israeli occupation, which aims to expel them, their children and their husbands from their own land so that the Muslim and Christian Arab presence in the city is erased without a trace. Courageous women have been on the front line defending freedom of worship in Jerusalem’s mosques and churches, especially Al-Aqsa Mosque. They are confronted by illegal Jewish settlers and their incursions at the holy sites, which have become a daily struggle; the Palestinian women are thus a thorn in the side of the Israeli occupation authorities and police.
There is no doubt that the occupation is attacking Jerusalemite women because Israel is very aware of their role in the Palestinian people’s struggle. This is why it specifically targets and attacks them, blatantly disregarding international law and human rights which guarantee the rights of women in peace or war, including those living under military occupation.
Huge gap in labor participation between Palestinian women, men
Marking International Women’s Day, data by the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS) confirmed that the gap in the participation rate in the labor force and average daily wage between women and men in Palestine remain high. PCBS said despite the increase in participation of women in the labor force in previous years, still it is very low compared to men, where women participation rate was 21% of the total women at work age in 2018, compared to 10% in 2001, while the men participation rate was 72% in 2018. There was also a gap in the average daily wages between men and women (the average daily wage for women was 92 shekels ($25) compared to 129 shekels ($35.5) for men). PCBS also confirmed that the unemployment rate among participated women in the labor force was 51% compared to 25% for men. Unemployment rate among women with 13 schooling years and above reached 54% of women in this group.
Women’s participation in public life remained compared with men, where 82% of judges were men, compared to 18% for women, while 73% of registered lawyers were men, compared to 27% for women and 80% of prosecutors were men, compared to 20% for women. In the public sector, women represented 43% of the employees in civil public sector, compared to 57% for men. In the civil public sector, women represented 12% of the general directors and higher, compared to 88% for men in the same category.
Israel Has ‘No Choice’ but to lift siege on Gaza
Israel has “no choice” but to lift its 12-year-old blockade of the Gaza Strip, Palestinian resistance faction Hamas, which has governed the strip since 2007, said in a statement. “We will continue staging our peaceful demonstrations along the Gaza-Israel buffer zone while employing all peaceful means of pressuring Israel,” the statement read.
Hamas goes on to stress the important role played by Palestinian women in the ongoing struggle against blockade and occupation. “Today, women are standing side by side with our men and our revolutionary youth — along with others from all walks of life — to take part in the rallies,” the group noted in the statement. On the occasion of International Women’s Day, Friday’s protest in Gaza was held under the banner, “Friday of the Palestinian woman”.
Resistance is the choice and way to victory
The occupation is taking advantage of the worst moment the Palestinian cause is experiencing in light of the Arab and Islamic positions’ shameful regression and the world’s abandonment of the slogans raised since the establishment of the UN until recently. The occupation is accelerating its pace of settlement expansion, the Judaization of Jerusalem, its siege on Gaza, and conspiring against the refugees’ right of return. All these crimes and violations aim to destroy the Palestinian national identity and disregard the national rights of the Palestinian people with the consent and approval of the Arab countries, which has long been boasting its leading role in fattening the Palestinian sheep by pumping money into it preparing it for slaughter. This role will be exchanged for positions from the future leadership which it will forcibly impose on the Palestinian people to serve the occupation’s project. In light of this, the youth have become confused and are being pulled in different directions. They are stuck between resisting the criminal occupation and fighting off the PA, which believes its destiny and survival is linked to the occupation. The occupation occupies kills, demolishes, confiscates and arrests, and it must be instinctively resisted, but this instinct is met with a Palestinian reading that does not agree with this innate option. This option is the path down which revolting nations follow; it is the path to escape the occupation and achieve independence…the occupation cannot be driven out except with iron, fire and resistance. Do not hesitate and strike from a united front, and know that nothing but what is destined to happen will happen on earth.
New Democrats break America’s biggest taboo – criticism of Israel
Eric S. Margolis, an American journalist and writer comments: “Saying anything negative about Israel has long been the third rail of US politics and media. Israel is our nation’s most sacred cow. Any questioning of its behavior brings furious charges of anti-Semitism and professional oblivion,” Margolis wrote. A number of US senators and congressmen “lost their positions after rebuking Israel for its mistreatment of Palestinians or daring to suggest that Israel had far too much influence in the US… journalists were not even allowed to write there was an ‘Israel lobby’…Now, young Democratic stars Tulsi Gabbard, Kamala Harris, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and a feisty congresswoman from Minnesota, Ilhan Omar, have suddenly broken the taboo and said what dared not be said: there is too much rightwing Israeli influence and there must be justice for Palestine …Presidential candidates Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren have come to the defense of Ilhan Omar against the usual charges that she is anti-Semitic. So have black groups and smaller liberal Jewish groups.”
The Democratic Party, that once received half its financial support from Jewish sources, is badly split over the Palestine crisis,” he revealed.
Israel must ease blockade to prevent Hamas escalation
Hamas doesn’t wish to escalate the conflict with Israel, yet expects the Jewish State to do its part to prevent another conflagration by easing the restrictions on the coastal enclave. Hamas has agreed to rein in violence coming from Gaza in return for economic concessions by Israel. The agreement would include restoring a high-voltage power line in Gaza, expanding the Strip’s fishing zone and facilitate international economic projects. Hamas would in return “freeze” the launching of arson balloons from Gaza into Israeli territory, and rein in the weekly border demonstrations.
There has been a rise in the launching of incendiary devices by Gaza militant groups, with clusters of balloons reportedly dropping explosive charges in a several border communities in recent days. Israel is bracing for mass protests in Gaza on March 30, the one year anniversary of the “Great March of Return”.
لا تصاحبني يوماً .. لتهجرني شهراً ولا تقربني .. لتبعدني .. لا تقل ما لا تفعل كُن قريباً .. أو ابتعد.