A panel of experts and activists assembled at Likud headquarters in Tel Aviv Sunday, the International Day for Combating Violence against Women, to discuss one feminist topic that leftist feminists do not talk about: nationalistic sexual harassment by Arabs.
Dr. Mordechai Kedar of Bar Ilan University provided a short history of women's objectification in Islamic culture, from the days of Mohammed to the current mass rape in Darfur. He explained that from its outset, Islam allowed “mut'ah” marriages, a form of temporary marriage for pleasure, which enables a man to marry a woman for a period of time that can be measured in hours or even minutes, solely for the purpose of his gratification. This form of marriage is still allowed among Shi'ite Muslims, he said.
Jurist and journalist Daphne Netanyahu explained to the audience, which was made up mostly but not solely of women, that feminism was developed by the Left and is the successor to communism. She said that feminism, like communism, is opposed to nationalism and it expects a Jewish woman to identify with an Arab woman who raised her son to be a terrorist more than she identifies with her own husband, father or son.
Likud Knesset Member Tzipi Hotobeli told the gathering that several months ago she was invited, as the chairman of the Knesset Committee for Advancement of Women's Status, to visit a hostel in Jerusalem for Jewish women who had left abusive relationships with Arabs. She met a group of 20 women aged 15 to 30, and discovered to her surprise that these women had not come from “peripheral” areas but from central Israel.
She also visited a religious group in Yafo, where Arabs frequently threaten their Jewish neighbors, and learned of a growing phenomenon of Jewish girls in the central Yafo High School who are seduced by Arabs and marry into Islam.
Anat Cohen of Hevron told of a repeated pattern of sexual harassment of women in Hevron by Arabs as part of an ongoing campaign aimed at intimidation and humiliation of the Jews. She said that she had turned to the police and repeatedly demanded, in vain, that they do something about the problem. When an Arab accosts a Jewish woman and a Jewish man intervenes to protect her, the police arrest the Jew and not the Arab, she said.
Gil Ronen, who heads the Familists organization, spoke of a leftist-feminist “mafia” in academia and the press which censors all attempts to challenge its absolute authority on all matters pertaining to men, women and the relations between them. The right wing, he says, needs to take back morality, because “he who controls morality controls the country.”
Amit Barak of the growing student movement Im Tirtzu told stories similar to Cohen's regarding Upper Nazareth – a town founded to create a Jewish presence in a predominantly Arab environment. Gradually, he said, Arabs are moving into the town and Jews are moving out. The daily threat of harassment which women face when walking down the street in Nazareth Illit is a major consideration causing many families to leave, he explained.
Attorney Tamar Har-Paz of the Zionist Women's Forum, the group that organized the panel, said that it intends to fight for recognition by the establishment and to seek funding for its activity. One idea the group would like to advance involves the creation of neighborhood patrols to give Jewish women and men greater safety in the streets of the mixed cities.