Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Israel and UAE Women

I read this excellent article in The National the other day:

Don’t lecture UAE on women, Israel told

Mahmoud Habboush

* Last Updated: March 29. 2010 1:15AM UAE / March 28. 2010 9:15PM GMT

BANGKOK // An Israeli politician got more than he bargained for when he said UAE leaders should be talking about women’s rights in the country instead of lobbying against Israel’s actions in East Jerusalem.

Majalli Wahabi, Israel’s deputy foreign minister, was reminded by a female UAE official that according to UN data, the Emirates rank higher on the empowerment of women than his country.

Mr Wahabi spoke shortly after Abdul Aziz al Ghurair, Speaker of the FNC, addressed the annual meeting of the International Parliamentary Union meeting in the Thai capital.

Just before the meeting concluded, Amal al Qubaisi, the FNC’s only elected woman member, took the podium.

“Jerusalem is home to 220 historical sites with symbolic value not only to Islam but also to international heritage,” said Dr al Qubaisi, who wrote her doctorate dissertation on the preservation of architectural heritage.

She said Israeli practices in Jerusalem contravened the Geneva Conventions, which prohibit the destruction of cultural heritage by occupying powers in territories under their control.

As for women’s rights, Dr al Qubaisi noted the Emirates ranked 17th in the world for women empowerment, while Israel was 24th, according to the UN’s Human Development Report 2009.

She added that women occupy 23 per cent of the FNC’s seats, eight per cent of Cabinet positions, 33 per cent of leadership positions and 66 per cent of public positions.

“Women are empowered in the UAE at all political, social and economic levels,” Dr al Qubaisi said.

Her remarks were greeted with applause by many of the representatives of the 131 parliaments attending the conference.

The Israeli official had criticised the UAE’s insistence that Israeli actions in East Jerusalem be included on the meeting’s emergency agenda, saying that earthquake relief in Haiti was a more pressing matter.

“The Israeli practices in Jerusalem are not only a breach of Palestinian Arabs rights, but a violation and a threat to the feelings of Muslims around the world,” Mr al Ghurair said in his speech.

The Israeli government announced earlier this month plans to build 1,600 Jewish settlements in East Jerusalem while the US vice president, Joe Biden, was visiting Israel, triggering a rare row between the Jewish state and the US.

“I request the formation of an international parliamentary committee to look at what is happening in Jerusalem and report to the union’s conference next year,” Mr al Ghurair said.

The Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, warned on Saturday at the opening of the Arab League’s summit in Libya that the peace process was unlikely to move forward “as long as Israel maintains its settlement policy”.

Islamic and Arab states have repeatedly criticised Israel’s excavation works outside the Al Aqsa mosque. Many Palestinians believe that Israeli extremists want to destroy the mosque to rebuild the ancient Solomon’s Temple in its place.

Mr al Ghurair said that changing the Islamic features of Jerusalem “is an unambiguous violation of the international treaty signed by all countries with regard to protecting the cultural and natural heritage of humanity”.

“We, the Arabs, have tentatively listened to the calls by the international community for peace with Israel,” said Mr al Ghurair.

“And the Arab leaders have held on to the Arab peace initiative throughout their meetings and resolutions, but our calls have been ignored.”

mhabboush@thenational.ae http://www.thenational.ae/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20100329/NATIONAL/703289866/1186/enewsletter

Also.. this video clip is EXCELLENT.. I suggest you view it.. another excellent piece of work by Dr Norman Finkelstein.


Stimulus said...

That article just drew a smile on my face :)

BuJ said...

oops.. well rest assured it's a very legitimate and well-deserved smile :)

super.devoika said...

A very interesting post.... it is true that usually when Arabs or Muslims stand their grounds on a matter... the other part will start pointing out their faults and mistakes...
But the one about Arab Women was a wrong shot... and I'm glad a successful Arab Woman showed him wrong!!!
If the numbers mentioned about UAE is right... then I applaud all the women in UAE...

The Contentious Centrist said...

"Human Development Report 2009"


Human Development Indicators


Table J p. 181:

Under: Gender-related Development Index (first column):

27. Israel Rank: 26


Life expectancy: 82.7
Rate enrollment in education: 92.1
Estimated income: 20,599


35. United Arab Emirates Rank: 38


Life expectancy: 78.7
Rate enrollment in education: 78.7
Estimated income: 18,361

Dubai Jazz said...

I wonder if the millions of women refugees Israel had inflicted over the years are included in the UN Human Development report.

I wonder if there's a mention of the pregnant Palestinian women who are forced to give birth at checkpoints because Nazi IDF soldiers won't allow them access to hospitals.

I wonder if it mentions that 60% of women diagnosed with breast cancer in Gaza are actually examined too late since there are no enough mammography units because Israel won't allow them in.

I wonder if it talks about medical neglect and denial of education for Palestinian women prisoners in Iraeli jails.

I could go on... but you get the point.

The Contentious Centrist said...

Dubai Jazz does not mind being lied to, as long as that lie comforts his peculiar world view.

This is a comment left on my blog with a pertinent question at the end. Does anyone care to try to answer it?

"Hi there,

I just got back from two weeks in India and we had a 12+ hour layover in Dubai which is where a cousin of my wife's has been working for over a decade.

He picked us up from the airport, took us home for lunch and drove us around for a short tour. We had an enjoyable time, mostly due to his hospitality.

In one of our conversations on his life in Dubai as a guest-worker/non-citizen, I asked what percentage of people in Dubai (which has a population of 1.1 mil) are citizens and what percentage are guest-workers, he told me 25-75. I was floored. I realized there was a high percentage of guest-workers, but I had no idea it was three-quarters of the population!

I wonder if these folks are included in the statistics or if the statistics only include citizens?"

BuJ said...

hello Super Devoika.. what an interesting name.. welcome!

i think similar to what Stimulus felt, it's a fresh way of looking at Arab-Israeli relations rather than looking too closely at the facts and missing the big picture.

women have got a lot of rights in the UAE and have a very comfortable life.. and in this case Israel pretty much picked on the wrong country...

there are a lot of things u can criticise about the UAE but women are not one of them..

on the other hand it's great to see the CC gracing our humble semitic pages, and we always welcome her with open arms.. devoid of phosphorus and full of love.

The Contentious Centrist said...

Yes yes but what about providing a real answer to the question posed in my comment, an answer devoid of malice and feeble attempts at sarcasm?

BuJ said...

Dear CC,

Ironically, you have answered your own question in your comment on one of my newer posts. Your answer was full of "malice and feeble attempts at sarcasm"

You wrote:

"The hand with the finger seems to be a man's hand and a left hand at that. But the woman herself is pious and well brought up, obviously. She knows it is wrong to be disrespectful to a genocidal maniac"

Incidentally, I would be interested to have a statistic on how many Jews did Ahmedinejad kill? Or how many mothers did he force to die giving labour on basij checkpoints, Or how many schools he doused with illegal phosphoros? Or or or...

Have a nice day.

The Contentious Centrist said...

Still prevaricating.

What about the issue YOU brought up in YOUR blogpost:

1. I quoted from the same source
Amal al Qubaisi did, showing that at very least she cannot read tables and statistics.

2. TNC's asks:

"In one of our conversations on his life in Dubai as a guest-worker/non-citizen, I asked what percentage of people in Dubai (which has a population of 1.1 mil) are citizens and what percentage are guest-workers, he told me 25-75. I was floored. I realized there was a high percentage of guest-workers, but I had no idea it was three-quarters of the population!

I wonder if these folks are included in the statistics or if the statistics only include citizens?"

Clearly, you cannot answer these questions and still keep your blogpost as is. You cannot accept that the document from which al-Qubaisi drew her authority in scolding the Israeli representative is actually showing very different figures and statistics.

So instead you opt for diversion by flaming in your own blog.

Here is something I read today on Paul Berman's "Terror and Liberlalism":

"In [Tariq] Ramadan's opinion, the impulse to rebel in Western culture follows directly from the esteem that is accorded to skepticism and doubt... Muslim tradition does not have these traits. In Islam, Ramadan tells us, there is no impulse to rebel... ".

Is Ramadan correct?

Is it true that doubt and scepticism are foreign to your thinking, which is why you don't know how to deal with my questions?

BuJ said...

Sorry CC, but you support a terrorist country that bullies almost all other countries, big and small. This country is kept alive via the ventilator paid by mainly american taxpayer dollar and oiled by jewish brains and pushed by hired muscle.

You support the murder of innocents to forward your cause and have complete disregard for human life. What differentiates you from supporters of Al-Qaeda or the IRA?

Until you get some basics right, answering your questions is as useful to me as quarreling with a sectioned patient.