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Purim: un messaggio da Anat Shechter Vidor, neo eletta Presidente World WIZO

E’ con piacere che condividiamo il messaggio inviato per Purim da Anat Shechter Vidor, neo eletta Presidente World WIZO.  E’ un testo ben radicato nella nostra storia, che  nel nome della regina Ester ripercorre il lavoro eroico delle donne sioniste battutesi per l’emancipazione femminile. Ma soprattutto ricorda, in modo ben documentato, quanto per il solo fatto di essere ebree e israeliane, queste siano state sempre emarginate dai movimenti per i diritti delle donne. Una forma di pregiudizio che purtroppo

continua ancora oggi.

Shalom everybody,

Purim is usually the happiest Jewish festivity of the year. But this year due to Israel still being at war, out of sensitivity to the families of hostages and those who lost their loved ones, and out of concern for our soldiers, Purim will be very different. Big events have been cancelled, postponed or will be carried out in a more low-key version.

However, there is one compelling reason to celebrate Purim this year more than in previous years - the female element.

The festival of Purim tells the story of a Jewish woman in Persia who saved our people by keeping her identity hidden from a genocidal enemy named Haman. Two and a half millenia later, we have 19 of our Jewish women kept hidden from us by a genocidal enemy called Hamas, funded and trained by modern-day Persia, Iran. But did you know - Purim is the only festival whose story does not contain the name of G-D, even once. -.

Jewish women have been the canaries in the mine of anti-Zionist Jew hatred, which manifested first in the modern age in the women’s movement itself.

Jewish women have been our heroes in the fight against that evil, from proto-feminists Betty Friedan, Letty Cotton Pogrebin and Bella Abzug; to Deborah Lipstadt, Tamar Lazarus and Noa Tishby; Michal Cotler and Dara Horn; from Eve Barlow to Bari Weiss.

In June 1975 Betty Freidan attended the UN’s International Womens Year World Conference, which she later described as “one of the most painful experiences of my life.” That conference’s Declaration on the Equality of Women became one of the first international documents to label Zionism, the national liberation movement of the Jewish people, as a form of racism. Although a tepid Zionist before the conference, on her return home Friedan dedicated herself to the Zionist cause. Freidan talked about the use of feminism itself as an antisemitic political tool. What happened at that women’s conference was the prelude to the notorious UN Resolution just 5 months later that “Zionism is a form of racism and racial discrimination.”

In a 1982 article titled “Antisemitism in the Women’s Movement”, Letty Cottin Pogrebin confronted feminist anti-Zionism, saying “If we can understand why history entitles minorities and women to affirmative action, we can understand why history entitles Jews to ‘preferential safe space.’

This must have been one of the earliest uses of the term ‘safe space’…today there is no safe space for Zionists, or even for the relatively small proportion of Jews who are not Zionists.

The International Women’s Conference in Nairobi in 1985 was not a safe space for Zionists. There, Pogrebin and Bella Abzug convened black-Jewish dialogue groups and tried establishing Palestinians-Israeli groups too. Due to their tireless work, the Conference unanimously adopted a final document with every reference to Zionism gone.

Six years later in 1991 the UN General Assembly repealed its Zionism is Racism resolution.But two years after that, the idea that we were safe was proven to be an optimistic fantasy. At the Durban Conference against Racism in 2001 another Zionist woman faced the fight of her life against the most vicious Jew hatred the world had seen since the Shoah. Past WIZO Durban president Tamar Lazarus led the local Jewish caucus with heroism noted across the Jewish world.

Since then things have only become more dangerous for Zionists everywhere and for Zionist women in particular.

In 2017 Jewish women were ejected from Chicago’s Dyke March for the ‘sin’ of carrying rainbow flags marked with a Magen David.

In 2018 anti-Israel groups boycotted the Los Angeles Women’s March because Zionist Scarlett Johanssen was one of its speakers. Palestinian American activist Linda Sarsour pronounced that Zionist women could no longer be part of the feminist moment.

That same year Democratic Senator Kirsten Gillibrand tweeted that “the future is female and intersectional.” The future may be female, but the doctrine of intersectionality invented in 1989 relegates Zionists to the bottom of its moral pyramid and so for Zionist females the present and foreseeable future are most certainly not ours.

As Scottish Jewish firebrand Eve Barlow explains, “Israel is the battered woman of the world [who] survived atrocities and formed herself from the ashes of near-destruction, pushing through trauma and repair to re-establish her place in the world…It has never mattered how much evidence Israel has for her own existence or proof for her own actions in self defence, the world looks away. The world wants a perfect victim. There is no such thing.”

Women massacred in Israel on October 7 have been described by Palestinian Australian academic Randa Abdel Fattah as “phantom settler victims,” even though they included Bedouins, Muslims, Filipinas and others. For Abel Fattah, the fact that these woman were in Israel at all negates, their right to any empathy.

Women Wage Peace founder Vivian Silver was also slaughtered on October 7. For all her work supporting and advancing the cause of her Palestinian sisters, for all the Palestinian patients she drove to Israeli hospitals, she is denied victimhood status because she was Zionist.

The obscene continuing denial of the sexual violence against Israeli women and the illogically parallel claim that we have “weaponized raped to justify genocide” are two sides of the same foul anti-Semitic coin. But no matter how twisted the world’s moral compass, we know that like Esther and our modern feminist heroes, the 19 women still hostaged in Gaza are our Warrior Women.

Video footage from October 7 has been released showing 40 year old Israeli lawyer Amit Soussana fighting off SEVEN Hamas terrorists as they carried her off to Gaza. Amit was among those released after two months, and she limped home. That video was her message to the world: the Jewish people will not submit.

May our remaining 19 Esthers emerge into the light TODAY so that we can embrace them and show them how deeply we love them.

Am Israel Chai.

Always with you,

Anat Shechter Vidor, President, World WIZO

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