Where are our feminists?  Isn't the first right of Palestinian women the right to life?

Where are our feminists? Isn’t the first right of Palestinian women the right to life?

By Maryam Aldossarg

The message that leading Western feminists are sending to Palestinian women is loud and clear: your suffering does not matter.

In today’s age of digital platforms wielding unparalleled influence, X – formerly known as Twitter – is the closest we have to a global public square. Within this vast marketplace of ideas, a subset of Western feminists have unilaterally assumed a role of leaderpresenting themselves as the gatekeepers of who is a true “feminist” and what truly constitutes “feminism.”

Since October 7, these “leading feminists” have bombarded this all-important digital landscape with messages vehemently condemning Hamas’ attack on Israel, while excusing or simply ignoring the collective punishment of more than two million Palestinians in the Gaza Strip that followed.

Some even attempt to present the indiscriminate bombings and total siege of the small enclave by Israel, which have already cost the lives of more than 5,000 men, women and children, as acceptable retaliation for Hamas’ actions and as “legitimate defense “.

Let us be clear: what is at issue here is not their condemnation of the violence inflicted by Hamas on Israeli women, but their apparent indifference and, in some cases, enthusiastic approval of the violence currently carried out against Palestinian women .

Not only do these so-called feminists show no empathy or support for the long-standing suffering of Palestinian women, they also join growing efforts to silence those who express even the slightest hint of sympathy. towards them.

Every time someone, especially someone with a certain public profile, posts a message on to several replies to the same tendentious questions: “Do you support Hamas? », “Do you condemn the attacks against Israeli civilians? »

As a result, some feel intimidated and back away, while others refuse to engage or attempt to challenge the assumptions of these self-appointed public interrogators.

But whatever their response, they face the same barrage of abuse, intimidation and insults from those who “support Israel,” including many prominent Western feminists.

Phrases and labels such as “anti-Semitic”, “rape apologist”, “support for rape and kidnapping of women”, “support for a terrorist group that governs according to Sharia » and, in particular, “not a real feminist” are freely brandished.

I would therefore like to ask all these Western feminists who not only publish postssign statements and write articles unconditionally supporting Israel’s “right to defend itself”, but who also work tirelessly to “erase” anyone who dares to highlight decades of Palestinian suffering or call for an end to the bombing blind men of Israel in Gaza, who kill and mutilate hundreds of women and girls every day: is this what you call feminism?

Your conception of feminism, which only seems to apply to a certain subgroup of predominantly white, Western, and Western-aligned women, is difficult to digest.

You rightly condemn the violence inflicted by Hamas on Israeli women. Yet not only do you say nothing about the suffering of Palestinian women, but you try to silence anyone who has the courage to speak out on their behalf.

Today, the women and children of Gaza are not only subjected to intensive bombing, but also to a diet of starvation due to the “total siege” imposed by Israel. Is this not a crime against women that deserves attention and condemnation?

How can we call ourselves a feminist while excusing, or even supporting, the punitive and genocidal actions of a powerful state against a defenseless people locked in an open-air prison?

How can you so easily ignore the harrowing experiences of hundreds of thousands of women who have no power to change their situation?

Western feminism’s apparent indifference to statements such as Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant’s equating Palestinians with “human animals” is deeply alarming.

If your feminism does not inspire you to come to the defense of a people who have known little other than ethnic cleansing, oppression and occupation since 1948, who have been trying to survive under a paralyzing blockade for 17 years, who is defined as a “human animal” and who is now facing what can only be described as genocide, so what good is he?

If these realities don’t move you to take a stand, it’s hard to imagine what will. Are Palestinian women not women enough to deserve your feminist advocacy?

I hope this weighs on your conscience: by supporting Israel’s right to “defend itself” at all costs, you are condoning violence against women and children – the very demographic you claim to defend.

By ignoring the plight of the Palestinian people, by trying to label anyone who dares to support their struggle as “anti-Semitic” and “anti-feminist,” you are clearly showing that not all lives – not all women – have the same value. in your eyes.

Your message to the women trying to survive under Israeli bombs, to the women who cradle the corpses of their murdered children, is loud and clear: you don’t count…

– Al Jazeera – Translation: Chronicle of Palestine