At the closing of the 59th UN Commission on the Status of Women, only one political resolution was passed – one that accuses Israel of mistreating Palestinian women, in all aspects of life.
Israeli representative Nelly Shiloh responded in Arabic: "This is neither the right place, nor way, to improve the status of the Palestinian woman. Change will come when the Palestinian leadership takes responsibility for its own people, and works to facilitate a better future."
Remember this date, March 20 2015. Today the CSW will probably end its annual most important meeting by singling out Israel, again. What a way to mark 20 years since the Beijing declaration!
The goal of this forum is to advance the rights and interests of women around the world through productive and professional dialogue. However, it seems that the sponsors of this resolution would sooner score cheap political points than address the important subject at hand.
This resolution – with its thinly veiled efforts to attack Israel – is profoundly out of place and risks turning this forum into another venue for politicized rhetoric. We cannot allow certain delegations to hijack this forum for short-term political gains.
In a region where women are routinely subjugated, Israel stands out as place where gender equality is a fundamental goal of government. In a region where women are excluded from public life and political participation, we ensure that they have opportunities to serve as leaders.
This Committee must champion women’s rights universally and focus on addressing the real causes behind women’s suffering.
This resolution, as drafted, is an injustice to Palestinian women, whose true oppressors remain unmentioned in the text before you. Palestinian women face an extraordinary culture of violence, discrimination and oppression under their own leadership.
Reports from the Secretary General have noted that many barriers to Palestinian women’s access to justice, especially for female victims of violence, remain in place, hampering opportunities for women to seek redress. The existing legal frameworks contain laws that are outdated and discriminate against women, particularly in matters of divorce and child custody.
The situation is even worse for Palestinians living under Hamas – an internationally recognized terrorist organization – that endorses spousal rape and honor killings.
If this resolution sought any semblance of balance or factual accuracy, it would mention the crimes committed against Israeli women by Palestinian terrorists in 2014. Last November, 26-year-old Dalya Lamkus was standing by the side of the road when she was stabbed to death by a Palestinian terrorist. Where is the outcry for Israeli victims like Dalya?
This resolution is politically motivated, factually disconnected, and morally flawed. As in previous years, the text before us is cut and pasted with little regard for the facts on the ground. Instead of bringing to light the challenges facing Palestinian women, it gives cover to those who oppress them.
Singling out Israel for condemnation, among all the nations of the Middle East – and the nations of the world, is not only unfair. It is absurd.
For all these reasons, Israel has called for a vote on this resolution and will vote against it. When you vote, send a message loud and clear – let the CSW be free of petty politics and do not create barriers to reach our goal of 50-50 by 2030. We call on all those who truly believe in the integrity and neutrality of this Commission to vote against this biased resolution.
Thank you, Madam Chairman.