Gender relations are not static but dynamic since they are affected by social, economic, cultural, and political factors. The circumstances of society in a historical age have formed and redefined these relationships. However, major, sudden, and violent events can lead to enormous gender imbalances. One can observe these phenomena in many societies around the world. Wars, revolutions, natural disasters, and economic restructuring have caused a significant modification of the prevalent perception of what is masculine and feminine. In addition to what issues women and men are capable of doing in public and private life.
Gender Relations Under Occupation
One of the major events transforming gender relations is living under a long occupation. Until recently, the dominant position emphasizes that the participation of women in the national struggle can positively affect their access to policy rights. Also, it increased public participation. As Yuval Davis noted “clear sexual division in war, however, usually disappears when there is no clear difference between the “battlefront and the homefront.” These changes could not be applied in an Arab and predominantly Muslim society such as the Palestinian Territories. Rather, domestic politics and oppression through the Israeli occupation have emphasized more traditional gender roles. Following the Oslo agreements, the 1994 agreement came with the disappointing representatives of the women in the parliament, the Palestinian Legislative Council, and the lack of access by women to high positions in the Palestinian National Authority.
The role of the extended family is growing in Gaza thanks to various economic and social relations. This has an impact on the identification of gender roles, methods of breeding children, marriage decisions, and the number of children in a family. It also has a direct impact on women’s and men’s lives. The following section discusses some of these phenomena that are evident in Palestinian society
One effect of the occupation is that the Israeli regime restricted people and goods through screening points and curfews. In order to move from one place to another, they should have special permits from the occupier. A good thing, it appears women can move easily and get permission to enter or leave a given area. Women are less dangerous in Israel’s eyes and therefore less important seems to be the need to restrict them. At the first glance, this seems to favor more mobile women; but the intensive use of checkpoints and the demolition of Palestinian cities and villages cast doubts about how women can leave their homes and local communities and take part in public and political actions.
Mobility has generally been restricted to meeting their basic needs which affected women’s participation ability in public life. Checkpoints have prevented students, men, and women, who live in villages from going to school or the workplace. And even from living a normal life in certain cities with universities like Gaza, Nablus, Ramallah, or Jenin. The occupation forced many of them to live in a cheap houses away from their families; imposing on them a different way of life. This seems particularly good on the surface for the young people, who are free of their family’s wider patriarchal authority for the first time in their lives. But a deeper look proves the other way around, young women suffer from increasing social censorship. They could very easily fall prey to bad rumors that could take them and all other young women away from university enrollment and live in a far-flung place. Consequently, women concentrate on working in schools close to their place of residence, and they mostly study traditional topics even in an insufficient environment.
The dire poverty Palestinian society experience is a major contribution to changing gender relations. The unemployment rate is widespread among men, forcing local women to leave their jobs for men who can no longer live as a burden on the Palestinian economy. On the other hand, financial requirements push women into new occupations that were previously socially unacceptable to them. However, it doesn’t correctly assess the number of housemakers and women street vendors as well as the domestic economic contribution helping Palestinians deal with today’s situation.
Women are not favored in emergencies
The Second Intifada forced many governmental and non-governmental organizations to implement emergency aid programs. While such programs, to relieve severe human suffering, are important for the affected families, women remain the worst category affected. Forcing such organizations to deviate correspondingly from their two-fold development agenda. Help programs, especially concerning women’s participation in politics, maintain the situation and do not allow for any variation in the traditional reality of gender roles. These situations have a significant impact on the future of gender relations.
In the end, women shouldered all these burdens. They have strengthened their traditional role, which the Israeli regime restricted to reproduction. It prevents them from taking part in political life. Women have historically had the least of these assets. They are in an even harder situation with lower income and less control.
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Christians must not dance with Israeli apartheid under the guise of fighting anti-Semitism
It has been revealed that major Christian Churches in the UK succeeded in forcing former British Prime Minister Liz Truss, to reconsider earlier thoughts of moving the British embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
According to news reports, the Church of England, the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church strongly urged Truss to reconsider her ideas in this regard.
Cardinal Vincent Nichols, president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, reportedly sent a letter to Truss warning her against moving the British Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, which, according to international law, is considered an occupied territory.
Cardinal Nichols probably reflected the views of his fellow clerics when he warned that the relocation of the embassy would seriously damage British interests throughout the Muslim world: “A relocation of the UK Embassy would be seriously damaging to any possibility of lasting peace in the region and to the international reputation of the United Kingdom.”
Moreover, the chief cleric in the Church of England, Justine Welby, expressed a similar attitude in a newspaper interview.
Predictably, Israeli leaders reacted furiously, accusing Christian leaders of ignorance and adopting an immoral stance toward the apartheid Israeli entity.
Furthermore, one right-wing Israeli writer lambasted the three Churches which objected to the idea of relocating the British embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, claiming that the churches didn’t represent Christians around the world. He hinted that a Christian cannot be a true Christian unless he or she embraces the Israeli apartheid regime in the West Bank where non-Jews, e.g. Christians and Muslims, are treated as children of a lesser God, or using the biblical terms, as water-carriers and wood-hewers!
Interestingly, most extremist Israeli leaders subscribe to the silly concept that the only authentic Christians are the evangelical groups, or the so-called Christian Zionists, who believe that the creation of Israel in Palestine in 1948 was a fulfilment of Biblical Prophecy and a precedent to the second advent of Jesus.
“The Hitler of Bethlehem”
By the way, it might be appropriate to remind readers on this occasion that the Israeli government which claims to tend to and protect Christian interests in Palestine is the very same government that pays hundreds of millions of Shekels to vehemently anti-Christian Talmudic colleges (Yishivot) that teach the filthiest possible hate literature, like Hesronot Shas, against Jesus Christ. I am not going to mention passages from this filth out of veneration for Jesus himself and as a gesture of respect for Christian brothers and sisters around to world. My ultimate goal behind these stunning revelations is not to incite Christians to hate Jews. In the final analysis, truth, not hate is my craft.
Before leaving this thread, I want to remind readers of an incident that occurred several years ago. Then I met an ostensibly moderate and respectable rabbi. And as we were speaking about monotheistic religions and the common grounds between them, the rabbi surprised me when he referred to Jesus, a figure I love so much as every other Muslim does, as “The Hitler of Bethlehem.” The repulsive remark shocked me from head to toe, to say he very least.
Noticing my reaction, the rabbi said: I know that you Muslims venerate and sanctify Jesus, I am sorry if I have inadvertently caused you any offense.”
Venomous anti-Christian Hostility
None the less, not all rabbis, especially in the West, are as honest as my interlocutor mentioned above. In fact, Zionist rabbis and other manifestly dishonest propagandists hysterically strive to distract attention from this colossal shame.
Hence, they concoct all sorts of lies and disinformation about an alleged persecution in the Holy Land of Christians by Muslims and even by the unreligious Palestinian Authority (PA), which is absolutely and completely at Israel’s beck and call.
The truth of the matter is that the apartheid Israeli entity and Talmudic Jewish circles (the Pharisees of our time) are the only sources of harassment and persecution of al Palestinians, Christians and Muslims alike.
This unceasing persecution assumes many forms, including:1- Seizing land and real estate belonging to the churches, either by coercion or through suspicious purchase deals.
2-Routinly harassing Christian clergymen in the streets of East Jerusalem by spitting on them, verbally abusing them or even bad-mouthing Jesus.
3-Denying Palestinian Christians in the Gaza Strip access to Christian Holy places in the West Bank such as The Nativity Church in Bethlehem and the church of Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem.
4-Occasionally vandalizing and setting churches on fire by anti-Christian Talmudic fanatics who often act on instructions from their government-paid rabbis.
5-Constantly seeking to stir Muslim-Christian tension, using Shen Bet agents to carry out this filthy feat. Fortunately, 99% of these toxic efforts have utterly failed, due to the exemplary vigilance of the Palestinian community.
An Australian Blow
A few days before the resignation of Liz Truss, the Australian government decided to reconsider its erstwhile decision to relocate Australia’s embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. The decision was warmly welcomed by the Palestinians and the PA, which described it as consistent with the rule of international law. However, the Australian decision drew much anger and consternation from the Israeli government and jingoistic media, with former Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu blaming current Prime Minister Yair Lapid for the reversal of Australian policy.
None the less, Christians are expected to show some justice toward the tormented Palestinians.
We all know that thanks to the grossly unethical and illegal western policy toward the Palestinian question, Israel has been given a carte blanch to murder, torment, savage and dispossess the Palestinian people. This utterly unfair and unjust policy by western governments, particularly the U.S. and UK, effectively condemned the Palestinian people to an unenviable situation that is similar to those proverbial orphan kids, sitting for dinner around the table of the cruel and the mean.
Hence, the gesture of the three churches in England is highly appreciated. We also sincerely hope that Church leaders will continue to raise their influential voices in defence of the virtually abandoned Palestinians. This would be consistent with the lofty Christian ideals of siding with the oppressed.
Moving British Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem is huge insult to 2 billion Muslims
The contemplated plan by British Prime minister Liz Truss to move her country’s embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Occupied Jerusalem is the ultimate insult to the Palestinian people and Muslims worldwide.
The evil and morally unjustifiable feat was disclosed less than 24 hours after the conclusion of Queen Elizabeth’s funeral in which several Arab and Muslim statesmen and dignitaries took part out of respect to their historical relations with Britain, which began even before the downfall of the Ottoman empire during the first World War.
Hence, any honest observer would have no qualms viewing Truss’s reported plan to move the British Embassy as a gesture of betrayal and profound ill-will to every Arab and Muslim under the sun.
It is indeed hard to think of a single logical rationale justifying Liz Truss’s inherently racist insult.
Indeed, the grave affront is by no means an aberration of British policy toward Muslims in general and the Palestinians in particular. After all, Britain has always embraced, either explicitly or tacitly Israel’s Nazi-like policies of aggression and expansion against Palestinians, including the disgraceful apartheid regime now enforced in Palestine.
We all know that Britain’s record in dealing with Muslims, whether in the Indian sub-continent or, indeed, in Palestine, is indelibly ugly, absolutely ignominious and irredeemably evil.
In 1917, Britain’s timeless hatred of Islam prompted its government to issue the nefarious- infamous Balfour Declaration, which gave the Palestinian people’s ancestral homeland to rapacious Zionist Jews on a silver platter. Ever since that time, Britain never flinched from consolidating and expediting the colonial scheme of international Zionism while doing everything in its power to ravage and dispossess the Palestinian people, the ultimate victim of hateful British colonialism.
Read also: Britain is the original sin
Now, the new British premier Liz Truss is reportedly considering another shameless feat to further torment the Palestinian people and perfect the criminal usurpation of its inalienable rights.
The Palestinian people along with many Muslims around the world have been waiting rather desperately for over a century to see Britain take some corrective measures to atone for its gargantuan crime against humanity in Palestine.
However, to our profound disappointment, Britain shamelessly continued its hostile policies against our people and its legitimate rights. It is very sad, indeed, that successive British governments proved repeatedly that words such as justice and equity don’t exist in Britain’s lexicon.
Moving the British Embassy : Evil feat par excellence
The Balfour Declaration is not just a contemptible historical document.
Indeed, despite the passage of 105 years since the issuance of the Satanic declaration, it is manifestly clear to those who have eyes to see and ears to hear that the Palestinian people are still suffering the indescribably harsh ramifications and repercussions of the Balfour Declaration.
Yes, the daily acts of murder, savagery, barbarianism, home demolitions, land theft as well as all conceivable forms of systematic, large scale repression meted out to our people around the clock would not have continued to this day had it not been for that evil promise.
Moving the British Embassy to Jerusalem is another Balfour declaration
Undoubtedly the reported willingness of the new British Prime Minister Liz Truss to contemplate moving her country’s embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem constitutes a new Balfour declaration.
This is because the immensely provocative measure is tantamount to recognizing Israeli sovereignty over the holy city, a measure that the bulk of the international community has avoided taking rather meticulously due to the special sensitivity surrounding this matter.
I am talking about both East and West Jerusalem which, according to international law, is still designated as ” Corpus Separatum.”
Sovereignty can’t be acquired through military Force
Moreover, the argument that Israel’s decades-old military control gives the Jewish state sovereignty over the city is absolutely worthless since sovereignty cannot be obtained through the acquisition of territory by way of military force. Otherwise, Russia would have the legal right to declare its sovereignty over eastern and southern Ukrainian territories occupied by invading Russian troops.
The reason I mentioned the Ukrainian analogy is because the manner through which predominantly Arab Palestine was transformed into predominantly Jewish Israel is almost completely identical to the manner through which Crimea, Dunbas and other territories in eastern and southern Ukraine have become Russian! It’s like tweedledum and tweedledee.!
The notoriously hypocritically west, including the US and the UK know this fact too well, but they lack the moral credentials to call the spade a spade.
Jerusalem is occupied territory
Now, Liz Truss, the Pathetic latecomer is brazenly and without any semblance of Chutzpah displaying her brutal ugliness against the very people whose ancestral homeland Britain seized and gifted to the supremacist and ultra-racist Khazar Jews without even consulting with the natives of the land as if they were children of a lesser God.
This is why, Muslims all over the world must leave no stone unturned until this racist woman reverses her illegal, immoral and manifestly unjust plan to bless and bestow legitimacy on Israel’s Lebensraum policies against the Palestinian people.
After all, Jerusalem, East and West, is occupied territory and recognizing the city as Israel’s capital is illegal immoral and starkly incompatible with the rule of international law.
There is no doubt that the usurpation of Palestine and banishment of millions of its people at the hands of the Nazi-like Zionist gangs constitute the most enormous crime in the annals of history since Adam and Eve.
I know that many westerners, whose governments enabled Zionist Jews to carry out their still ongoing Holocaust against our people , may not view the Palestinian plight this way. But so what? The West which has effectively adopted the Jewish holocaust as its de facto religion has absolutely no moral right to lecture the Palestinians on how they should relate to their ongoing holocaust-like Nakba, just as westerners admit they have no right to challenge or even question the wild tales about the lamentable Jewish tragedy in the course of World War II.
Muslim dignity at stake
In conclusion, I would like to stress that Muslims everywhere must take proactive steps to punish the UK for its criminal defiance of more than two billion Muslims. Such steps must include, inter alia, a total boycott of all British products and commodities. This should be done even if our tyrannical regimes objected to our legitimate activism. This is because the collective dignity of more than 2 billion Muslims is at stake.
Regarding the Pain of Palestinians
In the last few weeks, horrific viral pictures and videos from Palestine flooded social media. The internet brought the untold sufferings inflicted on the people of Palestine by Israel into every home around the world. People perhaps uploaded these pictures on social media to make the world aware of Israel’s crimes in Palestine. They also amplified the pain that the Palestinians have been suffering from the last more than 7 decades.
Visuals from Palestine: The Element of Shock
The visuals coming out of Palestine are shocking. They have an element of shock in them. They contain pain in them. Israeli forces are shooting some Palestinian, they are beating and kicking another person. Someone’s house is being bulldozed and NGO offices are being raided. Some Israeli soldiers are ordering a few Palestinian kids to say “cheese” in the middle of the night while photographing them.
An average social media user consumes such horrific pictures from Palestine every day. All those people around the world, suffering from any kind of oppression, can understand the pain of the Palestinians in these visuals. For others, who do not have a sense of the tragic, it ought to teach them the meaning of tragedy.
The Meaning of Tragedy for Palestinians
There were times when America waged wars around the world and called them “invisible wars” or “forgotten wars”. These wars were invisible to the world because no information came out of these places. However, these invisible wars were invisible only to the world outside. They were pretty visible to the people on whom the war was being waged. The war in Laos was not invisible to Laotians.
The invisible wars provoked a need to teach the Americans and the people around the world the meaning of tragedy. America’s education system has resisted teaching the meaning of tragedy to students. The recent opposition to the teaching of Critical Race Theory in American schools endorses this point.
The CNN Effect
It was the Vietnam War that taught some Americans the meaning of tragedy. The media played a huge role in this teaching. The television brought the pain of Vietnamese people into every American home. This phenomenon is widely known as CNN Effect. The CNN Effect provoked unprecedented protests in the US, forcing the government to end the war in Vietnam.
Susan Sontag writes in her book Regarding The Pain of Others (2003), about the impact of photographs of the Vietnam War and Bosnia war on public opinion. She writes, “The first idea is that public attention is steered by the attentions of the media—which means, most decisively, images. When there are photographs, a war becomes “real”. Thus, the protest against the Vietnam War was mobilized by images”. While war photographs make war real for the spectator, protest photographs make protests real for the spectator by bringing images of the protests into their homes through daily newspapers or TV news. Having fed the spectators with the shocking photographs and having made the protest real for them, the media certainly does incite a spectator to think at least a little and dig deeper into the images.
Palestine’s CNN Effect
Palestine also had its CNN Effect moment. When Israel waged war on Gaza from December 2007- January 2008, Kashmir had just started using the social media widely. It was perhaps the first time that Kashmiris were watching Israel’s crimes live on social media. One of the most widely circulated pictures those days was the picture of Israeli kids writing messages on rockets that Israel was launching against Palestinians.
These pictures were shocking. Entire Kashmir was on the streets to express their solidarity with Palestinians and protest the war on Palestine. A lot of people were injured in these protests. It is not that Kashmiris had not expressed their solidarity with Palestinians before but for the younger generation, it was the pictures that made them aware of the pain of Palestinians. There have been protests many times after the 2007-2008 war on Gaza also. However, it would be safe to assume that with more visuals coming out of Palestine, the intensity of protests has decreased over time. At some point, Kashmiris became numb and insensitive.
Earlier, Friday sermons or Eid prayers would not go without the mention of Palestine. There was always a special mention of Palestine in almost all mosques across Kashmir but now one rarely finds Palestine being mentioned in mosques or Kashmir’s local newspapers.
Overexposure to the pain of Palestinians
The insensitiveness is brought about by overexposure to the visuals from Palestine. The overexposure seems to take the element of shock out of these pictures and videos. As Susan Sontag writes, “the hunt for more dramatic (as they’re often described) images drives the photographic enterprise”. It is “part of the normality of a culture in which shock has become a leading stimulus of consumption and source of value”. About the need for a shock in photography, Sontag asks “how else to make a dent when there is incessant exposure to images, and overexposure to a handful of images seen again and again”?
This phenomenon has normalized the oppression or pain of Palestinians. The visuals that should normally give goosebumps to one no longer do that. Its ability to provoke solidarity or protests is gone. The pain of Palestinians is no more worthy of shock because they are perhaps made for it. We see them being killed live and hence they have become killable bodies. Their killing has been normalized.
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