Video Going Viral: UN Watch director confronts U.N. investigator at the podium Egyptian chair rebukes: "I can't thank you; you need to respect this council more"
A U.N. investigator's new report blames Israel for domestic violence against Palestinian women.
She also cited Israeli counter-terrorism measures for their "gendered impact" on Palestinian women.
UN Watch took the floor to respond, and was rebuked by the Egyptian chairman of the session.
Click here for video — already viewed more than 200,000 times on the Internet. News report below.
When Palestinian Men Beat Their Wives, It’s Israel’s Fault? NGO Challenges Report by UN Diplomat
CNSNEWS | June 13, 2017 By Patrick Goodenough
An NGO representative at the U.N. Human Rights Council suggested Monday that incitement by Islamic preachers may bear a greater responsibility for Palestinian violence against women than Israeli occupation, to the evident displeasure of the session’s Egyptian chairman.
Skipping the standard protocol of thanking each speaker before moving onto the next one, Amr Ramadan told U.N. Watch Executive Director Hillel Neuer, “I would like to say thank you, but I can’t – because I think that you need to respect this council more in the next days.”
Egypt’s mission to the U.N. in Geneva did not respond to queries by press time about the reason for Ramadan’s indignation.
It came after U.N. Watch challenged a report by a U.N. expert on violence against women, Dubravka Simonovic, which recurrently implied links between the Israeli occupation of disputed territories and the way Palestinian men treat women.
Noting that Simonovic’s report referred to a “clear linkage between the prolonged [Israeli] occupation and violence against [Palestinian] women,” Neuer asked her where the data was to back up the claim, as it did not appear in the report, he said.
He said she was essentially saying that, “When Palestinian men beat their wives, it’s Israel’s fault.”
“Is it right to continue infantilizing Palestinians, such that when a man in Ramallah beats his wife, we encourage him to say ‘Israel made me do it’?”
Neuer asked Simonovic, a Croatian diplomat, why the report did not include comparable data on violence against women in other Arab societies (that is, where occupation is not a factor.)
He also asked why the report had not explored in detail other possible influences.
“You make a passing reference to the influence of ‘tradition and culture,’” he said. “Do you mean Palestinian, Arab or Muslim tradition? You don’t say which, and don’t seem to be interested in this key factor in the Middle East.”
“Why did you fail to mention that official Palestinian TV regularly broadcasts Islamic preachers who tell the people how to beat their wives?” Neuer asked.
He cited as an example the mufti of Gaza in February 2016, quoting from the Qur’an and Hadiths, advising husbands on how to beat their wives in ways that will not attract police attention.
“While you find numerous indirect ways to blame Israel, how could you omit these direct forms of Palestinian incitement, for men to beat their wives?” he asked the U.N. expert.
After the chairman scolded the NGO for not showing respect to the council, Simonovic later responded to points made by member-state and NGO delegates.
On the point raised by U.N. Watch about Israel supposedly being responsible for Palestinian wife-beating, she said that “in each and every country, any man who is beating his wife is responsible – he is perpetrator of violence.”
At the same time, she said, “states have due diligence responsibility to prevent violence against women and to establish measures to prevent such violence; to punish perpetrators of violence and to provide compensation to victims.”
Simonovic’s report refers to “the gendered impacts of the protracted conflict and prolonged occupation on violence against women.”
Israeli delegate Aviva Raz Shechter drew attention to the term.
“The recurring term of ‘gendered impacts’ of the occupation or conflicts remains extremely vague,” she said. “[The report] provides no evidence or explanation for many of the claims and serves as a shaky base for some far-reaching conclusions about Israel’s alleged responsibility for the violence that Palestinian women suffered in the hands of other Palestinians.”