‘CELEBRATING’ INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY IN ISRAEL BY ERASING WOMEN

The city of Beit Shemesh is experiencing further religious radicalization: Visitors of the Leumit Health Services’ Woman’s Health Center in the Ramat Beit Shemesh Bet neighborhood were amazed to discover that the word “woman” had been erased from the sign with black paint.

Some blame this on extremist religious zealots, the real reason is IGNORANCE!

How quickly they forget from whence the came

How quickly they forget from whence they came

Word ‘woman’ erased from HMO sign

After targeting women’s pictures, radical haredi groups in Beit Shemesh take on written word as well.

The city of Beit Shemesh is experiencing further religious radicalization: Visitors of the Leumit Health Services’ Woman’s Health Center in the Ramat Beit Shemesh Bet neighborhood were amazed to discover that the word “woman” had been erased from the sign with black paint.

The incident surprised members of the ultra-Orthodox sector as well, who found it difficult to understand the problem with the word “woman.”

“Apparently, they think their women don’t need any health or services,” says local resident Nili Philipp. “It’s no longer of matter of respect or modesty. It’s complete exclusion.”

About a month ago, Judge David Gideoni accepted a claim filed by Philipp and three other women against a modesty sign posted in Ramat Beit Shemesh Bet and ordered Mayor Moshe Abutbul and the Beit Shemesh Municipality to pay each plaintiff NIS 15,000.

Last week, Philipp toured the area with a group of foreign journalists and noticed the HMO sign with the word “woman” painted in black.

“They received live evidence of what we are going through in Beit Shemesh,” Philipp says. “I used to visit the shopping center where the HMO clinic is located because it’s close to home and offers convenient prices and plenty of parking, but after being sworn at several times, I stopped going there.”

Health Center, no 'woman' (photo from Facebook)

Health Center, no ‘woman’ (photo from Facebook)

The local Leumit Health Services clinic treats women from all sectors. “If a woman gets an appointment, she is sent here even if she is not ultra-Orthodox,” says a city resident. “Some of the men and women who worked there are not haredi either, so they can’t impose their lifestyle on everyone.”

One of the workers says that in recent weeks, the center’s entrance doors have been spray-painted with graffiti calling on women to dress modestly. “The poor cleaning lady had to erase them all the time, but she recently stopped doing that because it took up too much of her time, and the graffiti just stay there,” the worker added.

Visitors of the Woman’s Health Center and the main Leumit clinic located nearby have expressed their anger over the offensive graffiti.

 

Report FROM

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A healthier outlook of this wonderful day can seen from the other side of the wall in this contribution from

Mazin Qumsiyeh, PhD

Many people like me believe sincerely that had women been in charge here, we would have had a free Palestine by now.

A society which bestows honour on women

A society which bestows honour on women

Today is International Women’s Day . The mainstream media misses thepoint intentionally. They highlight certain women (some who make the lives of women everywhere difficult people like Hilary Clinton, Condoleeza Rice, Angela Markel etc) and they fail to give credit to those who change things or to even explain to us the origin of this day. Having an anual dedicated day for women (action) was proposed by Clara Zetkin of Germany to attendees at the International Conference of Working Women in 1910. Inspired by women socialist movements for fair working conditions in the USA in 1908 and 1909, movements grew of women demanding their rights (until then they did not even have a right to vote).  The first women’s day on 8 March 1911 launched demonstration and marches for women workers’ rights (right to vote, right to fair work condition, right to live free from oppression, right to life, against wars etc).  After a long struggle and many lives lost along the way, the UN finally recognized 8 March as an “International” (I prefer global) women’s day in 1977, 66 years after it was launched by brave socialist women. Thus women’s day is about actions against injustice not about Hilary Clinton!

The First Arab Women’s Congress of Palestine gathered about 200 women and was held on 26 October 1929 in Jerusalem. The demands were rights of women and against the Balfour Declaration, against the racist idea of Zionism,  for self-determination, and for full equality (gender, religion etc). They elected a 14 member Executive Committee headed by Matiel E. T. Mogannam.  Mogannam wrote a book titled “The Arab Women and the Palestinian Problem” published 1937.  Moghannam explained how Palestinian women in the 1920s were innovative in many ways: lobbying the colonial power, writing in newspapers, and holding the first demonstration in human history that used automobiles with 120 cars in 1928 (gathered from all over Palestine to drive in the streets of Jerusalem). See my book on “Popular Resistance in Palestine: A story of hope and empowerment” (http://qumsiyeh.org/popularresistanceinpalestine/)

The struggle of women here continues unabated. Many people like me believe sincerely that had women been in charge here, we would have had a free Palestine by now. My mother who is 82 years old showed us by example what giving and self-sacrifice and love of people and land means. My wife and three sisters are likewise examples of what we all should aspire to do: kind, dedicated, and hard-working human beings. Like millions before them and millions contemporary with them, these women make life livable while many men (and a few women) engage in hurting others and pushing for conflicts and war. Words are too mediocre and inadequate to express our feelings but I simply want to say to all the women working for peace and justice: thank you and to pledge that we will work with you for more progressive change in our societies.

 

 

3 Comments

  1. joekano76 said,

    March 9, 2015 at 10:48

    Reblogged this on TheFlippinTruth.

  2. Winston said,

    March 9, 2015 at 18:52

    Like Palestine disappearing from maps.

  3. March 10, 2015 at 04:22

    Or Israel disappearing from maps


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