Israel is certainly one of the few nations of which it can be said that there is no “glass ceiling” for women. In addition to having had a woman Prime Minister, Israel has women in some of the top positions in government today.
So the American Jewish Congress produced a simple ad, showing three of them, and submitted it to feminist flagship Ms. Magazine (slogan: “More than a magazine — a movement”) .
American Jewish Congress ad rejected by Ms. Magazine
From an AJ Congress press release, here is what happened:
When Director of AJCongress’ Commission for Women’s Empowerment Harriet Kurlander tried to place the ad, she was told that publishing the ad “will set off a firestorm” and that “there are very strong opinions” on the subject − the subject presumably being whether or not one can say anything positive about Israel. Ms. Magazine publisher Eleanor Smeal failed to respond to a signed-for certified letter with a copy of the ad as well as numerous calls by [AJ Congress President Richard] Gordon over a period of weeks.
A Ms. Magazine representative, Susie Gilligan, whom the Ms. Magazine masthead lists under the publisher’s office, told Ms. Kurlander that the magazine “would love to have an ad from you on women’s empowerment, or reproductive freedom, but not on this.” Ms. Gilligan failed to elaborate what “this” is. [my emphasis]
She doesn’t need to elaborate. We already know that there are some segments of the political spectrum where Israel is anathema. But Ms. Magazine does write about Israeli women from time to time. A search of feminist news briefs comes up with
- Women arrested for praying improperly at the Western Wall
- Israeli women who meet with Palestinian women in peace groups
- Will Israeli women get combat roles in the army?
- A rabbinical court issuing a decree that married women may not stay out past midnight
Palestinian women are covered too. In addition to the articles about peace groups (which usually blame Israel for the violence), there is one about a female Palestinian filmmaker. There is an interview with Queen Noor of Jordan, who disapproves of honor killings (and blames Israel for the violence), but nothing about beatings and murders of ‘scandalously’ dressed women by Islamist fanatics in Gaza, or women forced to become suicide bombers. One would think that there is plenty for “the movement” to become outraged about.