Tuesday, January 6, 2009

An Outrage in Gaza; a feminist issue

Every mornning I wake up to yet more news of brutalities and deaths in Gaza. It is unbearable to watch such suffering and see Western governments sit on their hands and allow it to happen. While I don't condone the Hamas rockets, they are no match for the unequal and overwhelming might of Israel and its US military, political and economic support. Without that support Israel would need to enter into dialogue with Palestine on more equal terms.

I call on the NZ government to make explicit statements condeming the unwarranted use of force by the Israel government, and its policies that imprison and starve the people of Gaza of resources. An Israeli government that, it seems, is allowing its military to controversially (perhaps illegally) use phosphorous in its attacks on Gaza. This is something that can cause "horrific burns" for anyone, including civilians, that it rains down on.

Amongst other things this brutality agains the people of Gaza is a humanitarian and a feminist issue, as outlined by a post on the F-Word website.

They quote the Coalition of Women for Peace
We women’s peace organizations from a broad spectrum of political views demand an end to the bombing and other tools of death, and call for the immediate start of deliberations to talk peace and not make war. The dance of death and destruction must come to an end. We demand that war no longer be an option, nor violence a strategy, nor killing an alternative. The society we want is one in which every individual can lead a life of security - personal, economic, and social.

It is clear that the highest price is paid by women and others from the periphery - geographic, economic, ethnic, social, and cultural - who now, as always, are excluded from the public eye and dominant discourse.

The time for women is now. We demand that words and actions be conducted in another language.
They also quote from Arutz Sheva
A broad coalition of Israeli women's groups is organizing the first large demonstration against the IDF's counter-terror operation in Gaza, "Cast Lead." The demonstration, which organizers believe will be "huge," will take place in Haifa Friday and will call on Israel to accept the international initiatives for an immediate ceasefire.The organizers number 18 groups, including the Coalition of Women for Peace (itself a coalition which includes groups like Machsom Watch and Women in Black), Ahoti, Ruach Nashit, Isha L'Isha, Bat Shalom, The Organization for Women's Economic Empowerment, Women's Parliament and other groups.
These groups compain that the approach of the Israeli government and related institutions are very male dominated and this is contributing to an intensely masculine approach to using disproportionate force and violence. I am not totally convinced that all women are "naturally" less violent than all men. But as far as I can see, large numbers of women and children are "innocent" victims of the Israeli violence against Gaza.

This bloodshed and violence is an outrage, and I add my voice to those asking for it to stop now.


  1. Hey Carol, would you mind emailing me? Sorry I couldn't find an email for you. Ka kite ano

  2. Dear Carol, please find it in yourself to post, I'd really like to read you get a head of steam up, whakamoemiti, SeaJay