Honor Killings in Gaza

The Unmentioned Murders of the Middle East

Honor killings have a sad history throughout the Muslim world. Many families deliberately and systematically kill wives and daughters if there is any suspicion of the women bringing “dishonor” to the family. The cause of such shame may come from actual or feared adultery, refusal to marry a designated spouse, or even dressing inappropriately. The cultural rationale for the honor killings is that by murdering the offending women, honor is restored to the families.

Gaza and the West Bank are similar to other parts of the Muslim world regarding the reasons for honor killings. However, the recent spike in the number of killings in the territories has been very dramatic and atypical. In 2011, there were five such murders in the territories. The number of homicides jumped to 13 in 2012, and doubled again to 27 in 2013. In just the first two months of 2014, 8 honor killings were reported by Palestinian media sources, a pace that would have put it on course for nearly doubling again.

By comparison, in Afghanistan an estimated 150 women are killed each year in honor killings. Afghanistan has over eight times the population of Gaza and West Bank, and 18 times Gaza alone. Therefore, on a proportionate basis, the Palestinians now kill twice as many women in honor killings as Afghanistan (or over three times as many if one only counts Gaza where most of the murders take place).

Adding insult to these horrific murders increasing popularity, was the lax way such murders were treated in Palestinian courts. According to the Palestinian Law (Article 340), the killers were not subject to any punishment.

He who discovers his wife or female relative committing adultery and kills,
wounds or injuries one or both of them is exempted from any penalty,
and he who discovers his wife, or one of his female ascendants or descendants
or sisters with another in an unlawful bed and he kills, wounds or injures one
or both of them, benefits from a reduction of penalty
.”

The terrible jump in honor killing of women in Gaza and the West Bank did not make it to the pages of The New York Times. The courts absolution granted to the murderers was not a subject that the Times decided to cover. In 2011. In 2012. In 2013. In 2014.

The closest the New York Times came to an article about the Palestinians’ disregard for a woman’s life in the territories was in an article by Jodi Rudoren in October 2012. That article was about a particular women’s rights advocate. While one would imagine some specifics about the lack of women’s rights and a review of honor killings being covered in such an article, there was barely any mention.

  • There was no description of honor killings
  • No report on the increasing number of killings
  • No review of Palestinian Law absolving the murderers

Instead, Roduren chose to describe the difficulty of a specific woman acting as a rights advocate in Gaza (as opposed to the hardship all women face in Gaza). Of course, according to Roduren, the main source of the hardship was Israel:

  • ““psychological siege” imposed by a combination of Israeli restrictions on travel and trade”
  • “lost a personal battle last month when Israel’s Supreme Court rejected a petition by her and three other women to study in the West Bank.”
  • “the resistance of the Israeli occupation as a priority,”
  • Israeli court ruled, 2 to 1, against the four women
  • “Israeli warplane hit an apartment building”

So what does a reader take-away from the New York Times?

    1. While the New York Times occasionally covered stories of honor killings in Afghanistan or Pakistan, it never covered those killings in Gaza, despite the greater prevalence in Gaza.
    2. When the paper had a chance to describe the honor killings in Gaza in an article about a woman’s rights advocates, it opted not to do so.
    3. The thrust of the sole article on the morbid topic laid most of the blame on Israel, as opposed to the Palestinians themselves

Hooray New York Times. You gave a pass for Mulim misogyny and murder meted out by Palestinians. Absolution of the Arab sins came from Jews just across the Green Line.

It would be much more convenient for the left-wing fringe if Israel bordered Pakistan and Afghanistan as well, so they could blame Jews for the entire reprehensible ritual.

honor_killings


Sources:

Jump in 2014 Honor Killings and Palestinian Law Article 340: http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2014/03/palestine-honor-crime-women-abuse-law-abbas.html#

http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2014/03/upsurge-palestinian-honour-killings-gaza-201432372831899701.html

http://www.mezan.org/en/details.php?id=18419&ddname=honour&id_dept=9&p=center

Jodi Rudoren NY Times 2012 article on Honor Killings: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/13/world/middleeast/andalib-adwan-shehada-a-bold-voice-for-gaza-women.html

CNN coverage of honor killings back in 2009: http://www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/meast/07/30/mideast.honor.killings/

Silwan Circulars, Christmas 2014

A Sad and Sick Satire

Ahmed and Mohammed were very excited to open the newspaper one cold day in late 2014. The brothers knew that the paper was packed with colorful circulars for Christmas 2014. While they were devout Muslims, they appreciated toys as much as the next kid, and this year’s circular promised to be one of the best ever.

The boys ripped open the paper and let the various pages fall into the middle of the room. They grabbed handfuls of inserts that colored the hard floor. Each claimed a stack to himself and started to review the pictures and text.

The brothers learned quickly that each insert was sponsored by a different organization. The younger Mohammed yelled out “this one is from Hamas!” It had a giant picture of Khaled Mashaal pointing his finger in the air with a quote: “Who says you can no longer afford it?” Mohammed began to read off the promotions for the Hamas circular:

  • A model train set modeled after the Jerusalem light rail line, complete with switches to blow up the stations and rail cars
  • A kit called “Terror Tunnel for Tots,” complete with 160 small shovels named for each of the children who died digging in Gaza
  • Dera” T-shirts with targets on them, (dera means “shield” in Arabic)
  • A hand grip exerciser which claimed to strengthen hands and empower stone throwing
  • An assortment of emojis including ones with a green bandana, a keffiyeh, and black ski mask
  • An adaption of the Majesco Entertainment game “Zumba” called “Boomba” which gets suicide bombers into shape
  • An advertisement for summer camp where children as young as three can learn to shoot guns and sport suicide vests
  • The back page included a note that any order comes with a copy of the Hamas Charter, animated with pictures of Jews as apes and pigs killing prophets

The older brother Ahmed got the circular promotion from Fatah. The large picture at the top of the front page was of acting PA President Mahmoud Abbas speaking at the United Nations with the teaser “Free Palestine”. The circular included:

  • Two large pictures of a shirtless Abbas with the quote “Let us stand before them with chests bared”. The ad offered a waxing service and showed Abbas with a hairy chest and the other smooth as a baby’s bottom.
  • A new release of “Martyr Cards”, updated with the newest inductees including Abd Al-Rahman Al-Shaloudi (killed a three-month old with his car), and Mu’taz Ibrahim Khalil Hijazi (shooter of Temple Mount activist Yehuda Glick)
  • A “Hanging Kit” including ropes of different sizes, “ideal for hanging land brokers who sell land to Jews”
  • A GoPro Car hood ornament, perfect for videoing running over Israelis
  • A map of the Jerusalem light rail with markings to show which ones have roadblocks
  • The back page had a picture of a scene with baby Jesus in a kheffiyeh with a sign that read “Bethlehem, Palestine”. Underneath the picture was a coupon for five “Apartheid Wall Paint” spray cans for graffiti, with any order of $200

The Islamic Jihad circular was relatively small:

  • A collection of small model cars with spikes on the front grill, some painted “Jew red” according to the outer box.
  • A couple of bumper stickers which read “We Don’t Break for Jews” and ”Islamic Jihad – Supplying Suicide Bombers for your Community”
  • Boxes of “Killing Candies” to be handed out to the community upon the murder of any American or Israeli

The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine used the full page for a single ad on each side:

  • A knife collection in various sizes, ideal for Papa Terrorist, Mama Terrorist and Baby Terrorist. Buying two or more sets entitles the purchaser to the newly branded “Jerusalem Cleaver” like the one used to butcher four rabbis in November 2014
  • A vintage model airplane with various toy terrorists that can be placed inside to fly the plane to a destination of your choice

The Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine printed their circular in the format of a poster, only printing on one side:

  • The top of the page had pictures of ancient pottery. The website and phone number sat above a description for making “Ancient Pottery for Profit” for sale to tourists
  • The bottom of the page was full of skeleton keys, to represent homes of Palestinian Arabs lost in the 1948 “Nakba.” All items were labeled as being made locally in Syria.

The United States included a circular for the first time, likely as part of Obama’s outreach to the Muslim world. The advertisement included a big picture of Obama with a quote “A New Beginning” near his face. At the bottom of the page was a large picture of former US President Jimmy Carter holding up his book “Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid”. The Obama administration was offering a discount code and the ability to buy the book on the whitehouse.gov website.

The most exciting offers were high-end electronic gear from a joint marketing effort between New York University – the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology in Saudi Arabia and Brookstone. The offerings were beyond the boys expectations:

  • A rock pulling cart, complete with LED lights for night time stonings
  • A hand massager for relaxing the hands after a full day of rock throwing
  • A hand sized electric lighter, ideal for igniting Molotov cocktails on the go
  • Earplugs connected to mosque loudspeakers, in case 120 decibels wasn’t enough to wake you up for morning prayers

The boys thought that they were done going through all of the advertisements when the older Ahmed found a small ad printed on thick cardboard stock. This insert was sponsored by the Qatari government. They offered $1,000 for anyone who died killing a Jew.

“That stinks,” said Ahmed. “Saudi Arabia and Iraq used to give us a heck of a lot more!”

“Well,” answered Mohammed, “they gave that money after the fact, when they knew how much it would cost them. At this point, Qatar isn’t sure how many people will sign up.”

Ahmed laughed and patted his younger brother on the shoulder. “You make an excellent point!”  Mohammed beamed.

“So what do you think of this year’s offerings?” Ahmed continued.

“I like the model train set which you can blow up,” he replied. “But I think it’s too expensive for Abi (father).”

“Oh, no, he can afford it,” answered Ahmed. “He just won’t go to such an expense without actually killing any Jews.”

Mohammed let out a huge laugh as he thought, this is going to be the best season ever.

20141128_090554


Sources:

Khaled Meshaal affordability: https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/news/middle-east/12684-meshaal-blames-netanyahu-for-current-escalation

The dead children of Hamas terror tunnels: http://tabletmag.com/scroll/180400/hamas-killed-160-palestinian-children-to-build-terror-tunnels

Abbas bare: http://www.palwatch.org/main.aspx?fi=157&doc_id=12915

Abbas “martyr inductees: http://www.algemeiner.com/2014/10/23/abbas-fatah-praises-slayer-of-israeli-infant-as-holy-martyr-as-new-attack-footage-emerges-video/

http://www.timesofisrael.com/abbas-says-glick-shooter-will-go-to-heaven-as-martyr/

http://palwatch.org/main.aspx?fi=709&fld_id=709&doc_id=9297

Fatah on hanging people on poles: http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2014/11/16/video-plo-official-wants-horrific-punishments-for-palestinians-who-sell-land-to-jews/

Fatah run over Jews: http://www.palwatch.org/main.aspx?fi=157&doc_id=12979

Palestinian Jesus: http://www.haaretz.com/news/middle-east/1.564989

Islamic Jihad candies: http://www.israelnewsagency.com/bostonmarathonterrorattackpalestiniansdancingcandygazaobamahamasislamicjihadhezbollahiran48041513.html

Reducing noise levels of call to prayer: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/178063#.VHi9I5stCUk

Hamas Themes song for kids “Teach Your Children Well (CSNY)”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kF2fcaSPB6M