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NIF Women's Groups Rally Behind Bedouin Land Takeover

New Israel Fund women's organizations' latest campaign features Bedouin women demonstrating in front of the Interior Ministry.
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 8/24/2010, 6:14 PM / Last Update: 8/24/2010, 6:23 PM

Flash 90

Women's organizations supported by the New Israel Fund – which is accused by nationalists of being a cash funnel for anti-Zionist front groups – launched one of their myriad media campaigns Sunday, making use of their hallmark tactic of hiding a radical leftist cause behind a cloak of “women's issues.”

A report on Communist party Hadash's website said that the demonstrators who gathered in front of the Interior Ministry numbered in the “hundreds” and included Bedouin women and their sympathizers 

The protest is part of a struggle to force the state to accept illegal construction by Bedouin Arabs at a spot called El Arakib in the Negev. Among the groups reportedly participating in the event was Zochrot – an ultra-leftist women's group that promotes the “Right of Return” that would allow Arabs to flood into Israel from neighboring countries. The NIF has denied claims by Maariv journalist Ben-Dror Yemini that it transfers funds to Zochrot.

Also participating in the event was the “Coalition of Women for Peace,” an umbrella organization of pacifist-defeatist women's groups that enjoys the NIF's funding.

A convenient vehicle
The popularity of the radical leftist-feminist mindset among women in Israeli media makes the press more open to radical messages that would otherwise never receive prominent or sympathetic coverage in mainstream news. The El-Arakib women's demonstration, for instance, received generous coverage in the relatively popular Ynet website, which employs an influential cadre of radical feminist editors and writers.

While Israel lives on the sword, feminist writers routinely mock the military for being too masculine. On Monday, Maariv columnist Yael Paz-Melamed penned an article complaining that men have been hogging all of the media attention ever since the “Galant document” controversy surfaced. “All of this male discourse,” she wrote, “smells of dusty uniforms, grease and a lot of testosterone.”