Sexual Violence and Palestinian Genocide Since the Nakba
Understanding the intensified attacks on Palestinian women’s bodies in times of heightened attacks by the settler colonial regime requires a feminist analysis. Such an analysis takes the Nakba as its analytical point of departure. Israel was built on the ruins of the Palestinian homeland, on its land, pain, and displacement. It was built on the destruction of our communal social ties, the violation and invasion of our homes and bodies.
Rape and killing of Palestinian women was a central aspect of Israeli troops’ systematic massacres and evictions during the destruction of Palestinian villages in 1948. During the Deir Yassin massacre, for instance:
All the inhabitants were ordered into the village square. Here, they were lined up against a wall and shot. One eyewitness said her sister, who was nine months pregnant, was shot in the back of the neck. Her assailants then cut open her stomach with a butcher’s knife and extracted the unborn baby. When an Arab woman tried to take the baby, she was shot…Women were raped before the eyes of their children before being murdered and dumped down the well…
Thus our struggle for indigenous sovereignty within anti-colonial activism as feminists is necessarily situated in the protection of Palestinian women’s bodily safety and sexuality, family, and communal right to life. It is a struggle against the hypermasculine Zionist military and settler apparatuses that frame Palestinian women as inherently threatening racialized Others whose bodies must be violated and destroyed as the internal enemy and “reproducers of Palestinians.” This logic is inseparable from the settler colonial logic of elimination.
We, at the Institute of Women’s Studies at Birzeit University, call on all scholars of the world, all women’s organizations, all who fight for freedom and justice to take a clear stand against this racist state’s continuous war crimes, genocidal acts, and violent rape culture. Stand against settler colonialism that one of its manifestations is this despicable sexist colonial view. Stand by resistance to the occupation, joining the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) of these “academic institutions” as means to show your solidarity with the Palestinian cause against ever increasing levels of unfathomable violence.
Continue reading at http://www.birzeit.edu/news/institute-womens-studies-urgent-call
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CAPTIVE REVOLUTION (2014) could not have come out at a more timely and pertinent epoch in the history of Palestinians under Israeli brutal occupation. The book represents one chapter in the long history of the Palestinian suffering of about 66 years at the hands of Israel’s settler colonial occupation… Today in the Gaza Strip we are witnessing another chapter of Israel’s policies and practices of ethnic cleansing and, I may add, genocide against Palestinian women, men and children. On the 29th day of Israel’s bombardment of the Strip, more than 10000 women, children and men have been killed and injured. In a population of about 1.8 million people about half a million, mainly women and children have been displaced. Entire families were annihilated and wiped out from the registers of the citizenship map.