By Ziva Dahl, Originally published in The American Spectator
Last month, the United Nations condemned only one country in the world for violating women’s rights. Singling out Israel with specious accusations of harming Palestinian women is a popular annual ritual in Turtle Bay — scapegoating democratic Israel while willfully ignoring the many states with actual, well-known egregious policies toward women. Just because the UN repeats this accusation every year does not make it true. The hypocrisy and institutional bias are mind-boggling.
At the 60th session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), whose mission is to promote global gender equality and the advancement of women, a report of the Secretary-General, “Situation of and Assistance to Palestinian Women,” was presented, discussed, and approved. It accused Israel of violating the rights of Palestinian women through its blockade of Gaza and “occupation” of the disputed territories, and received a vote of 20 in favor (including China, Cuba and Iran), 11 abstentions (including Belgium, Germany, and Japan), and only Israel and the U.S. opposed. In its statement after the vote, the U.S. termed the report a one-sided, politicized document, and Israel described it as an attack on the Jewish state because of its failure to hold the Palestinian leadership accountable for the lack of advancement for Palestinian women.
The report describes the dismal situation for Palestinian women in Gaza and the “West Bank,” including those in refugee camps under UNWRA administration. UNWRA, an arm of the UN, has been complicit in fostering hatred against Israel rather than encouraging cultural, legal, and religious reforms to enhance the quality of life of Palestinian women.
According to the UN, Israel’s so-called “occupation of Palestinian land” is the sole impediment to Palestinian women attaining gender equality.