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(en) periodico-solidaridad.cl: No, you can not be a Zionist and a feminist - Source: Mariam Barghouti (ca, fr, it, pt) [machine translation]

Date Mon, 4 Dec 2017 11:35:07 +0200

At the checkpoint in Qalandia, in Occupied Palestine, I saw two Israeli women firing tear gas at a crowd of protesting young Palestinians. A bomb bounced and hit a child in the arm. The uniformed woman who was firing starts to laugh. His colleague patted his shoulder proudly as the two stuffed their weapons. ---- At that time, I felt that the intimidating consequences of oppression are familiar to all Palestinians. But I also felt betrayed as a woman. I had confronted these soldiers from woman to woman, naively thinking that we were supposed to be united in the struggle against patriarchy. However, here I am, watching them enforce. ---- As the feminist author Bell Hooks points out, patriarchy is a complete system of domination. The feminist struggle is opposed not only to the alarming sexism of patriarchy, but also to all forms of oppression. It is a message that I have absorbed for a long time through the teachings of my own mother, who constantly guided me to practice an inclusive and intersectional feminism. He often warned me that I must recognize the powers of domination in all its manifestations, even within Palestinian society, if I aspire to implement genuine feminism. Through their teachings and my own experiences, it became clear to me that Zionism, as perpetually expressed in Palestine, contradicts the core of feminism in the execution of its oppressive policies.
When I hear someone defending Zionism while also identifying as a feminist, my mind focuses on the images of night raids, the torture of children and the demolition of houses. But I also think about those military women who participate casually in everything, including the former Israeli soldier and "Wonder Woman" Gal Gadot, who expressed her love and support for the Israel Defense Forces, when they bombed and killed thousands of Palestinians and Palestinians in Gaza in 2014.
Being feminist and Zionist is a conceptual contradiction, because the Zionist feminist is an accomplice in the propagation of supremacy and domination over a people on the one hand, while, on the other hand, it demands the end of patriarchy. In fact, the Zionist feminist is reminiscent of another type of feminist: the white feminist. Women of color have historically been marginalized within the feminist movement, mainly because white women suffocate racial justice issues and downplay the specific oppressions faced by people of color because of their race, ethnicity, and class. This negligence was often justified by working for collective brotherhood. But as Hooks eloquently explains: "As long as women use class, race or power to dominate other women, the feminist brotherhood can not be fully realized. " Fundamentally, feminism can not support racism, supremacy and oppressive domination in any way.
El sionismo a menudo se predica como un llamado a una patria judía para asegurar que los horrores de la opresión antisemita no vuelvan a ocurrir. En esta narrativa simplificada, sin embargo, lo que se oscurece es el hecho de que esta búsqueda de una patria fue iniciada por una agencia colonizadora, lo que significaba apropiación ipso facto de la tierra y la cultura, y despojar a las personas que vivían en la región durante miles de años.
These thefts of land and violations of human dignity and international law continue in the name of Zionism on a regular basis, perpetuating the suffering of an entire population and the denial of their basic human rights on the basis of ethnicity and race. That's why I'm tired of the Zionist feminist. She deliberately ignores that Zionism has advanced itself through innumerable human rights violations.
I remember moments when I was detained by Israeli forces after protesting against a soldier who fired tear gas directly at Palestinian children. While I was waiting for the degradation, I was disconcerted and angry at the military women. They were the ones who carried out my arrest, they mistreated me, they insulted me and they did not say anything while the soldiers verbally and sexually harassed me, calling me "bitch" and "bitch". The women felt some embarrassment for a moment, then returned and laughed with their colleagues.
Feminism emerged to fight against the silencing and exploitation of women, confronting the powers that suppress and control a whole segment of the population. What continues to happen in Palestine under the banner of Zionism is exactly this, the silencing of an entire population and the prohibition against protesting against violent territorial annexation. Israel is involved in the mass incarceration of Palestinian civil society and in a siege of entire towns and cities.
Palestinians and Palestinians have been suffering a military occupation for more than 70 years and those with Israeli citizenship face more than 50 discriminatory laws. Calling yourself a Zionist feminist means granting de facto support to patriarchal domination, since Israel incorporates the same roles and techniques that have long been, and continue to be, used against women. Being a Zionist today means supporting not only the idea of a Jewish state and Jewish sovereignty, but also the real policies of Israel as they manifest themselves on the ground.
More specifically, Zionism means maintaining the liberties and privileges of Israeli Jews at the expense of the Palestinians, including those of the global diaspora who wish to return.
When I consider all of the above I return to Hooks, who wrote that "a true feminist policy always leads us from slavery to freedom, from the absence of love to love". Feminism can not be selective. Its framework comes from the true and absolute liberation not only of women, but of all peoples. This is the reason why Zionism and feminism can not be merged.
A feminist who is not also anti-colonial, anti-racist and who opposes various forms of injustice is selectively and oppressively serving the interests of a single segment of the world community. The alternative I am suggesting to the Zionist feminist is to recognize and join the struggles against systematic oppression. Be brave enough and stand up against the many faces of subjugation and inequality, and embrace feminism as the formidable and all-encompassing force it can be.

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