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Middle East Press (15 Jun 2017 NewAgeIslam.Com)

‘Leave’, the Qatari Slogan That Backfired By Fares Bin Hezam: New Age Islam's Selection, 15 June 2017

New Age Islam Edit Bureau

 15 June 2017

‘Leave’, the Qatari Slogan That Backfired

By Fares Bin Hezam

Time for a Rethink

By Tariq A. Al-Maeena

Boycott of Qatar Will Continue Till It Stops Backing Terrorism

By Mustafa Al Zarooni

On Washington Investigating Qatar

By Abdulrahman Al-Rashed

The Arab World’s Coming Challenges

By Tarek Osman

Will Holding Qatar Accountable Obstruct Other Battles?

By Mashari Althaydi

The Wonder of Imperial Feminism

By Susan Abulhawa

Compiled By New Age Islam Edit Bureau


‘Leave’, the Qatari Slogan That Backfired

By Fares bin Hezam

14 June 2017

The slogan “leave” has been very popular during the phase of the so-called Arab Spring. It’s the right term to address when raising questions about the party which coined it. We all know the repercussions of that phase as it did not take several years for the harmful and painful consequences to unfold in the Arab world.

I recall this specifically bitter word (leave) out of the several slogans which emerged in the beginning of 2011 and which voiced the people’s enthusiasm and fueled popular voices. These developments were not limited to the small country of Tunisia, as the situation escalated and protests erupted in an Arab country which has a major political and historic weight.

Perhaps it was not expected that its streets will be led by this momentum and by that useless approach to create a real “Arab revolution” – that is if we consider that it was in fact a virtuous revolution. The fire of the Arab Spring thus reached Egypt. Those who joined this “revolution” or seized it later began to sabotage Egypt and disrupt the state.

Egypt is the homeland and origin of Muslim Brotherhood leaders who found a friendly environment for all their expansive ambitions in a “rich Gulf state.” The latter has for years worked on providing the Muslim Brotherhood with solid references and it also facilitated its movement and helped it achieve its goals of which the major one was destroying the home of the leaders of “Arabism Egypt.”

Muslim Brotherhood

I will not talk about the Muslim Brotherhood but about this Arab Spring’s end results. The Arab Spring has been imposed on the Arab and global political memory considering the unprecedented support it received to immortalize the brutality of what happened and what is still happening in Arab countries.

We can anticipate this end result and there’s currently a confrontation against those who sowed this destruction in countries like Tunisia, Libya, Iraq, Syria and Palestine. The source and origin of everything which the so-called “Arab Spring” produced has begun to emerge, and it is Doha. Qatar is today incapable of defending or justifying the sources of destruction in these countries. Its arrogance has even led it to target countries which share the same fate with it and which share solid religious and cultural ties with it.

The “General Father” led the path towards his empire via the coup on his late father Khalifa II in 1995. He founded the theories of the new “guide,” and the so-called “Arab Spring” constituted a fertile ground to spread the plans that aim to disrupt the strong ties among some blocs. The common fate between Egypt – which is the depth of Arab resilience – and Gulf countries was a direct target for the “new” Doha.

Back then, Qatar hid behind developmental plans which included foreign investments, modern infrastructure projects and massive financial capabilities. It exploited them to strengthen its presence in the international arena. However, its hidden agenda was to rip Arab unity apart according to the plan set by the “General Father” and the schemes he’s prepared for his son afterwards.

Simplest Slogan

Let’s go back to the simplest slogan during these protests which is “leave.” This was a frank term used to voice the people’s rejection of their presidents. We heard it in Libya and Tunisia. However to Doha, “leave” echoed all over the world.

When protests first began in Tahrir Square in Cairo, official and non-official Qatari media outlets, both public and hidden, worked to expand these protests against Hosni Mubarak’s regime. However, they did not do so to support the Egyptian people as they’ve given up on them during their darkest moment after they brought the Muslim Brotherhood to power.

They insulted, humiliated and defamed all leaders from Egypt’s modern history and their slogan did not exceed the word “leave.”

It’s been a difficult war which has been secretly led by Doha to strengthen the collapse of the Egyptian state and to infiltrate the Saudi unity and weaken it. The scene comes to a halt today. It entirely collapses in front of the “general’s ambition” particularly in Doha which is usurped by these failed practices. Everything collapses in front of the truth.

Reprimand and anger which are concerned over Doha seem to be echoing “leave,” as this is in the interest of Qatar and its continuity. Leave, Tamim. Leave with your father, the general, and take with you his history which we will not miss at all.

Source: english.alarabiya.net/en/views/news/middle-east/2017/06/14/-Leave-the-Qatari-slogan-that-backfired.html


Time for a Rethink

By Tariq A. Al-Maeena

June 14, 2017

If the Israeli government was harbouring the notion that the Arab World was warming up to them and willing to accept them as partners with the existing status quo, then they better go back to their cabinet for a rethink. In spite of what covert dealings the Israelis may conduct with some Arab figures, or the rare favourable opinion pieces they may read by ignorant Arab commentators, reality on the ground is that they are not trusted or liked in the Arab world which refuses to accept them, given their atrocities in occupied Palestinian lands.

This was aptly demonstrated in a reality TV show that is broadcast during Iftar time and beamed across the Arab world. The plot goes as follows: A TV actor disguised as a salesman at a clothing stall is busy showing the latest line of clothing to unsuspecting customers. He then offers an alternative which he claims is cheaper and better. It is Israeli made!

Customer after customer in cities across Arab countries walk away, some stunned, others angry and yet others in total rejection of his offer. Some admonish him for having the gall to offer such a vile suggestion in the face of existing Israeli policies. Not just in one city in one country, but in many. And in just about every instance, they walked away without a backward glance leaving the salesman actor looking bemused.

Israel should be made aware that the masses among the Arab world do not view them as ‘friends’ nor like them for that matter irrespective of what signals they think they’ve been getting. Members of the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF), a band of thugs in uniform have been systematically targeting and killing innocent Palestinians, and more specifically women and children in recent years and sanctioned and protected by the state of Israel. This is state sanctioned terrorism. This is not something I’m spewing out at the top of my head. There are scores of documented incidents by independent witnesses to the effect.

Israelis have been burning, bulldozing and razing Palestinian homes and rendering their occupants homeless and helpless. Today, apartheid and Israel are being mentioned in the same breath. They defy every UN sanction directed at them brazenly, and the world watches. They evict lawful owners and tenants off their property and turn them into illegal settlements for European and American Zionist imports. They have built walls on illegal property and parcelled off huge portions of what is Palestine towards their own personal ‘Zionist Dream.’ And they have been doing this unchallenged for decades.

Between the unprovoked partition of Palestine in 1947 until Jan. 1, 1949, Zionist militant forces employing terrorist means destroyed or depopulated 531 Palestinian towns and villages, driving two-thirds of the indigenous population into exile. Many Palestinians fled for their lives in the wake of terror gangs of Zionist invaders, leaving behind all their earthly possessions. The unlucky ones never made it past their front doors as Zionist militants would strike in the middle of the night and slaughter all the occupants inside.

As I write, hundreds of Palestinian children languish in Israeli prisons some as young as seven years old. The Apartheid Wall continues to snake its way through Palestinian territory, annexing ever more land and prohibiting Palestinians’ freedom of movement. The siege on Gaza will soon render that area uninhabitable and more than 50 discriminatory laws in Israel deprive Palestinian citizens of Israel of their rights. Israeli occupation policies are choking Palestinians. Such actions do not augur well for gaining warmth or respect. And they expect the Arab world to be friendly and accepting?

Settlers from other lands brought to Israel have been targeting helpless Palestinian civilians and in particular, the old or the very young, with impunity. They shoot at them, they harass them and rob and steal their property in broad daylight without any censure from the authorities. Such acts do not warrant us cozying up to them in any form.

If the Israelis genuinely want to be treated as partners and not adversaries, they should begin by recognizing the rights of Palestinians to their own lands and adopt the terms offered in the Arab Peace Plan proposed back in 2002 by the late King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia. Only then will the Arab world begin to believe that the Israelis genuinely want peace.

But until that time, Israel should not expect us to be their friends or even have the slightest notion that we are warming up to them in any form. In their current form, they are an anathema in our midst.

Source: saudigazette.com.sa/opinion/time-for-a-rethink/


Boycott of Qatar Will Continue Till It Stops Backing Terrorism

By Mustafa Al Zarooni

June 14, 2017

Doha does not have many options on its table after the latest actions by Arab countries

Differences between countries are normal, but what is troubling is that these differences keep rearing their head quite often when it comes to Qatar over its destabilising role in the region. The bigger danger is when they are played out openly because Doha does not believe it must solve problems at the regional level.

In this see-saw relationship, Qatar doesn't seem to care about the security aspect as it sups with dangerous friends like Hamas, Hezbollah, Taleban and the Muslim Brotherhood while providing support to groups like Al Nusra to wage war. This country is a bundle of contradictions, and it is only getting weirder by the day.

What's even more bizarre is Doha's alliance with Iran even as it supports groups like Al Nusra and the Syrian National Coalition that is fighting to topple President Bashar Al Assad of Syria. Assad is also an ally of Iran. Doha's ensemble of alliances is nothing but a cruel joke as it tries to fool the world with its conflicting policies that are at odds with the policies of the GCC.

Now, consider its ties with Hamas, Israel and Hezbollah - all bitter enemies - and you will understand why this nexus of terror, violence and occupation is taking Qatar south. Israel and Hamas hate each other; Hezbollah is on Hamas's side; Hezbollah has even fought two wars with Israel. Qatar is stuck in the middle, not knowing that it needs to extricate itself from the mess it is in with GCC help or on its own.

Let's now come to Qatar's media brand Al Jazeera. The international arm of the network disseminates news all over the world keeping Qatari interests in mind. It does Doha's bidding in the name of free speech while sowing unrest wherever it operates. A spirit of activism drives its no-holds-barred coverage that has got it into trouble with governments all over the world.

The domestic version of Al Jazeera, however, is subdued and is a far cry from the international version. There are no proclamations of free speech and independent thinking in its coverage of local affairs. There are no trade unions and political freedom at home but that's okay as long as Doha has money to fund political activism and violent movements and report on them through its media channel while throwing all ethics to the winds.

Qatar's neighbours have been patient all these years as the country continued its role as a terror backer. After all, Qatar is part of the Gulf and has family links to countries in the region. The deep-rooted relations between the Al Thanis, the rulers of Qatar, and the Al Saud dynasty of Saudi Arabia, are strong. They share the same Islamic school of thought of Imam Mohammed bin Abdul Wahab, who has a grand mosque named after him in Doha.

Religion, language, customs, traditions and kinship make the Gulf countries and the GCC one family. These bonds cannot be dissolved easily. Qatar, however, used these strong ties to create trouble in other Gulf states. It believed it could do as it pleased because traditional ties would keep them secure. No one would act against it.

But the massive boycott by Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain and Egypt last week came as a rude shock to Qatar. It thought it could get away with a rap on the knuckles like before which would include the recall of Gulf ambassadors from Doha. A media war would be as far as it would go. The envoys would soon return to Doha and it would be business as usual while the country continues its role as a disrupter of peace in the region.

Other GCC countries know Qatar's tricks well. This is a neighbour with whom we have a (family) relationship. They are our cousins and we know how they operate. Doha does not have many options on its table after the latest actions by Arab countries. It can buy support from opportunistic regimes a short while but the harsh reality will dawn on it soon.

Iran has, meanwhile, supplied Qatar with foodstuff at double the market rate. Turkey is also making hay because it knows Qatar has the money. Doha must understand that Iran and Turkey are fair-weather friends who are only interested in geopolitical supremacy. They do not want anything from Qatar but are by its side to siphon off money and exploit the country's natural resources.

Saudi Arabia, UAE and Bahrain are not talking military action or regime change. They have only boycotted Qatar. What would happen if they take stronger action against their neighbour?

This boycott will continue until Qatar relents and cuts off ties with extremists and those peddling hard-line thought. It must drive out people who are listed as terrorists and who live in the country. Finally, it must stop inciting riots in the region and hold media its back from messing with the region's security.

Source: khaleejtimes.com/editorials-columns/boycott-of-qatar-will-continue-till-it-stops-backing-terrorism


On Washington Investigating Qatar

By Abdulrahman Al-Rashed

15 June 2017

The ongoing row between Qatar and a bloc including Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt is largely based on allegations of Doha’s backing of terror groups and rabble-rousers. The Saudi-led bloc issued a blacklist naming Qatari suspects and organizations engaged in terror operations. Doha rejects the accusations, claiming the list is controversial, politicized and reflects inter-state disputes.

However, blacklisted Qatari parties are not just barred by the bloc, but are designated by official US institutions such as the Department of the Treasury. The blacklist is becoming international rather than exclusive to Arab states. Qatar is being urged to extradite all those on the blacklist residing on its territory.

But instead of discussing the names, a Qatari Foreign Ministry official took a hawkish position, claiming that the diplomatic crisis targets Doha’s reputation, and that the states joining the boycott have imposed self-proclaimed custody over Qatar. In order for the truth not to be lost amid the bloc’s claims and Qatar’s denials, the latter can involve the Americans, given that they are its friend and have information about the blacklist.

The matter concerns the international community, not just the Saudis, Egyptians, Emiratis and Bahrainis. So it is an opportunity to cooperate and be transparent. All countries involved must lay out their cards on the table and accept cooperation instead of exchanging accusations. They must accept an investigation and try those who are blacklisted. Doha’s problem is that those blacklisted — including Saudis, Kuwaitis and others — are linked to it.

Even though Qataris are blacklisted, Doha refuses to try them. This strengthens suspicions. Worse, most on the list are still active in Syria, Libya, Egypt, Iraq and other conflict zones where terrorist groups operate. The same goes for institutions and associations that are considered bogus charities. Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain and the UAE have made these institutions’ names public.

“The list included the names of charity organizations that have a long history in humanitarian work. Some of them have a consultative status at the UN,” the Qatari Foreign Ministry official said. So why does Qatar not silence its rivals by allowing an international investigation into these institutions or shutting them down? Our brothers in Qatar, for their own sake and interest, must heed this advice.

Doha has befriended terrorist groups since the mid-1990s. First it publicized Al-Qaeda videos and propaganda in Afghanistan, then Qatar’s activity expanded into areas where there are revolutions, funding armed groups such as Al-Nusra Front and Ahrar Al-Sham.

Counterterrorism ranks first on the world’s priority list. The international community will pursue any country that supports these groups. It will not be long before Doha finds itself caught in the clamps of countries bigger than Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt and the UAE.

Source: arabnews.com/node/1115261


The Arab World’s Coming Challenges

By Tarek Osman

15 June 2017

Fifty years after the Six-Day War, which marked the beginning of Israel’s occupation of East Jerusalem and the West Bank, the Middle East remains a region in seemingly perpetual crisis. So it is no surprise that, when addressing the region, politicians, diplomats, and the donor and humanitarian community typically focus on the here and now. Yet, if we are ever to break the modern Middle East’s cycle of crises, we must not lose sight of the future. And, already, four trends are brewing a new set of problems for the coming decade.

The first trend affects the Levant. The post-Ottoman order that emerged a century ago — an order based on secular Arab nationalism — has already crumbled. The two states that gave weight to this system, Iraq and Syria, have lost their central authority, and will remain politically fragmented and socially polarized for at least a generation.

In Lebanon, sectarianism remains the defining characteristic of politics. Jordan has reached its refugee-saturation point, and continued inflows are placing limited resources under ever-greater pressure. As for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, there is no new initiative or circumstance on the political horizon that could break the deadlock.

The Middle East is certain to face the continued movement of large numbers of people, first to the region’s calmer areas and, in many cases, beyond — primarily to Europe. The region is also likely to face intensifying contests over national identities as well, and perhaps even the redrawing of borders — processes that will trigger further confrontations.

The second major trend affects North Africa. The region’s most populous states — Algeria, Egypt and Morocco — will maintain the social and political orders that have become entrenched over the last six decades of their post-colonial history. The ruling structures in these countries enjoy broad popular consent, as well as support from influential institutions, such as labor and farmers’ unions. They also have effective levers of coercion that serve as backstops for relative stability.

But none of this guarantees smooth sailing for these governments. On the contrary, they are poised to confront a massive youth bulge, with more than 100 million people under the age of 30 entering the domestic job market in North Africa between now and 2025. And the vast majority of these young people, products of failed educational systems, will be wholly unqualified for most jobs offering a chance of social mobility.

The sectors best equipped to absorb these young Arabs are tourism, construction, and agriculture. But a flourishing tourism sector is not in the cards — not least because of the resurgence of militant Islamism, which will leave North Africa exposed to the risk of terror attacks for years to come.

Moreover, a declining share of the European food market and diminished investments in real estate undermine the capacity of agriculture and construction to absorb young workers. The likely consequences of North Africa’s youth bulge are thus renewed social unrest and potentially sizable migration flows to Europe.

The Gulf used to provide a regional safety valve. For more than a half-century, Gulf countries absorbed millions of workers, primarily from their Arab neighbors’ lower middle classes. The Gulf was also the main source of investment capital, not to mention tens of billions of dollars in remittances, to the rest of the region. And many Arab countries viewed it as the lender of last resort.

But — and herein lies the third key trend — the Gulf economies are now undergoing an upgrade, ascending various industrial value chains. This reduces their dependence on low-skill foreign workers. In the coming years, the Gulf countries can be expected to import fewer workers from the rest of the Arab world, and to export less capital to it.

The fourth trend affects the entire Arab world, as well as Iran and Turkey: The social role of religion is becoming increasingly contested. The wars and crises of the last six years have reversed much of the progress that political Islam had made in the decade before the so-called Arab Spring uprisings erupted in 2011. With radicalism becoming increasingly entrenched, on the one hand, and young Muslims putting forward enlightened understandings of their religion, on the other, a battle for the soul of Islam is raging.

The problems implied by these four trends will be impossible for leaders, inside or outside the Arab world, to address all at once, especially at a time of rising populism and nativism across the West. But action can and should be taken. The key is to focus on socioeconomic issues, rather than geopolitics.

The West must not succumb to illusions about redrawing borders or shaping new countries; such efforts will yield only disaster. One highly promising option would be to create a full-on Marshall Plan for the Arab world. But, in this era of austerity, many Western countries lack the resources, much less public support, for such an effort — most of the Arab world today could not make the most of it in any case.

What leaders — both within and outside the region — can do is pursue large-scale and intelligent investments in primary and secondary education, small and medium-size businesses (which form the backbone of Arab economies), and renewable energy sources (which could underpin the upgrading of regional value chains).

Pursuing this agenda will not stem the dissolution of the modern Arab state in the Levant. It will not generate workable social contracts in North Africa. And it certainly will not reconcile the sacred with the secular. But, by attempting to address young people’s socioeconomic frustrations, it can mitigate many of the longer-term consequences of these trends.

Source: .arabnews.com/node/1115246


Will Holding Qatar Accountable Obstruct Other Battles?

By Mashari Althaydi

14 June 2017

Some people have been asking “What’s the point of punishing Qatar or Qatar’s policies to be specific when we (who is we?) are fighting the nation’s battle (against whom?) now?”

According to the propaganda of the Muslim Brotherhood and the Sururists, who are a Salafised branch of the Brotherhood, the nation’s battle, which is the only battle, is against the Safavid invasion. They are referring to the Khomeini republic and its networks, and Qatar is a partner in this battle.

According to some leftists and westerners who sympathize with Qatar, the world’s battle is against ISIS and it is only against ISIS as all other battles are silly. Qatar contributes to this war by providing its bases and funds.

During the German foreign minister’s press conference with his Qatari counterpart few days ago, he commented on the recent Saudi, Emirati, Egyptian, Bahraini and other countries’ fury against Doha and said that everyone must remember that our only battle is against ISIS.

Decisive Propaganda

Let’s put aside this deceiving propaganda by the Brotherhood and the Sururists regarding confronting Iran, which is being obstructed now due to this anger from Qatar as they claim.

Let us go beyond this “selfishness” or say “naivety,” if you don’t want to say “spitefulness” in the German minister’s statements, and play along with these arguments.

Who said Doha’s policies have been against the interests of the Khomeini republic for the past 20 years? Who said Doha was honestly working with determination and good intentions against the terrorist al-Qaeda network and its ungrateful branch ISIS?

There’s clear financial, media and political evidence pointing to strange relations between al-Qaeda figureheads and Doha. Osama bin Laden had commended Al-Jazeera television channel. A number of the channel’s journalists, such as Tayseer Allouni and Sami al-Hajj, have been detained over terrorist charges and links to al-Qaeda.

The Houthi Network

Relations between Iran and its networks, such as the Houthi network, are well-known and can be clearly seen. I recommend reading Fahd al-Sharfi’s article “Qatar’s story in Saada mountains”, which has been published in this daily. Sharfi is a Yemeni journalist from Saada and his article provides insights to these relations.

Badreddine al-Houthi, the father of Abdulmalik and Hussein, thanked Hamad bin Khalifa in a famous speech in February 2010 and also thanked “the lions of Islam in Iran” for their support of the Houthis!

In 2008 during the fifth Houthi war, Yemeni tribal leader Mohammed bin Naji al-Shayef accused “Iran of standing behind the Qatari mediation” between the Yemeni government and the Houthis and confirmed that “Qatar was only a messenger sent by Iran.”

This is the real problem. It is not about a siege or ignoring the real issue, which people like Mr. Erdogan cannot see clearly. In short, in order for the “real” confrontation to succeed against Sunni and Shiite networks of chaos and terrorism, some Arab and Islamic countries and other countries decided to tell Doha: Enough in enough.

It’s time for real work.

Source: english.alarabiya.net/en/views/news/middle-east/2017/06/14/Will-holding-Qatar-accountable-obstruct-other-battles-.html


The Wonder of Imperial Feminism

By Susan Abulhawa

14 June 2017

When I was a little girl, like many women of my generation who grew up watching American television shows (even if they were dubbed in Arabic), I used to twirl and twirl, trying to attain super powers like Wonder Woman. I would twitch my nose to magically transform my surroundings, like Samantha from Bewitched.

These female characters were exceptions among the docile housewives, the efficient secretaries, and damsels in distress that pervaded the popular media of my time. Wonder Woman and Samantha had the power to change their lives, even if that power had to remain hidden, forever a secret.

I am sure I knew that those characters weren't real, that their powers were mere fantasy for the sake of entertainment. But that did not stop me from believing that maybe, just maybe, I might also have power lurking somewhere in me. It didn't matter that twirling only made me dizzy and twitching my nose failed to magically complete my chores. I kept trying.

I am in my late 40s now and the world has changed a lot since my youth when print, radio, and television mostly taught women how to be obedient and pleasing wives, good mothers, and efficient housekeepers. Naturally, I was excited when I learned that Hollywood was producing a big-budget feature film about Wonder Woman, finally, after multiple iterations of Batman, Spiderman, Superman, and other male superhero films. Even better, the film was directed by a woman.

Then came the shock and betrayal.

Wonder Woman, it turns out (at least in this Hollywood version) is an avowed Zionist and cheerleader of war crimes. Gal Gadot, the actor in the lead role, was an active soldier in the military when Israel invaded and carpet-bombed Southern Lebanon in 2006.

In 2014, Gadot sent a message of support for Israeli soldiers as they were slaughtering more than 2,100 human beings imprisoned in a seaside enclave with no place to hide or escape. They bombed whole neighbourhoods, burying families in the rubble of their demolished homes. For 52 days, they rained death from sky, land, and sea on to defenseless civilians in the most densely populated place on earth.

Those who were not killed were either maimed, wounded or traumatised in one way or another. The bombing didn't stop until what little remained of Gaza's infrastructure from the previous assault was crippled again, including hospitals, electricity, water treatment facilities, agriculture, businesses, roads, schools, and fishing boats.

Israel has one of the world's deadliest militaries, with the most advanced and technological machines of death, and they used their might over and over against the principally unarmed and besieged indigenous population which had no way to defend itself. What Israel has done to Palestine, and Gaza in particular, is unconscionable. It rises to the worst forms of oppression and injustice and it is decades old now.

Yet, precious few opinion pieces have tried to examine what it means to cast a Zionist in the role of an iconic feminist character. Mainstream media reactions have been mostly laudatory. What criticism there is has mostly focused on the incongruity of casting a corseted beauty to reflect an image of female power. Where Gadot's ideological underpinning was mentioned, it tended to be in the context of trying to quell public outrage when it was revealed she is a Zionist.

The defence is familiar: Israel is fighting terrorists. They are defending themselves, merely trying to maintain their enlightened Jewishness in the midst of a barbaric non-Jewish region. This is much the same narrative that apartheid South Africa gave when it imprisoned Nelson Mandela, when it mowed down schoolchildren in Soweto, or when it massacred protesters in Sharpeville. They, too, were defending themselves against the natives who did not appreciate being oppressed.

What if Hollywood made this film in the 1980s and cast a militant apartheid supporter for the role of Wonder Woman? Would the US media focus on her acting talent and beauty instead of the fact that she openly and proudly asserts her right, as a white woman, to subjugate the natives of her country?

What is even more bewildering is that Gadot is being touted as a feminist (per her own claim) and, remarkably, as a woman of colour. Queen Latifah fits that bill and would have made an excellent Wonder Woman, but I digress.

Gal Gadot's family came to Palestine as colonisers and conquerors. Like most Zionists, her parents changed their name from Greenstein to "indigenise" themselves, but that does not change who they are. Gadot's position of privilege in life is predicated on the despair, displacement, robbery, and destruction of the indigenous society where she lives. For that, she offers neither shame nor apology, but rather, pride.

Discussions of feminism around this film have sidelined this crucial fact about her. They've omitted the actor's cheering of wanton killing, which took the lives of 547 children in less than two months. Instead, the focus is on her impossible physical proportions. This is just another way that the destruction of our society is normalised.

But make no mistake. Zionism cannot reconcile with feminism, and such antiquated imperial feminism belongs to another era, when feminists fought for the right to vote, but only for white women.

In the words of Jaime Omar Yassin, "Feminism cannot be Zionist, just as it cannot be neo-Nazi - feminism that doesn't have an understanding of how it intersects with racial and ethnic oppression is simply a diversification of white supremacy."

I have not seen the film, nor do I intend to. But millions of girls have or will, including little Palestinian girls, like the younger version of myself. They will see feminine power epitomised in a superhero who holds disdain, disregard, and contempt for Palestinian lives. It is a painful thing to contemplate. And I can only thank Lebanon and Tunisia - and individuals around the world - for boycotting the film.

Source: aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2017/06/imperial-feminism-woman-170613101125222.html


URL: http://www.newageislam.com/middle-east-press/new-age-islam-edit-bureau/‘leave’,-the-qatari-slogan-that-backfired-by-fares-bin-hezam--new-age-islam-s-selection,-15-june-2017/d/111543


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