Tag Archive | Israel

On being a Western woman


I have tried and tried to keep my thoughts on the Gaza conflict away from this blog which I intend to be dealing only with literature and my daily work. My political opinions are quite simple, and my political knowledge no more than a kind of “coffee-comments”, moreover I do not like to mix up issues, but after arguing and arguing on FB about the conflict, and see a mass European reaction against Israel, I have decided to write from the most PhD-linked perspective I could find: from a Western woman perspective.

Feminism and radical-feminism stand for women’s sexual liberation and women rights; Western women fought for years and years to win the right to vote, to study, to have a degree, and a professional career; Western women fought as well to write and to be heard, to have a voice in politics, and a place in social organizations. Jane Austen wrote in her house’s living room because it was not usual for a woman to have a room of her own’s at the late 18th C. But she was not the only one, we, Europeans and North-Americans have a great collection of female writers: Wollstonecraft, Shelley, the Brontë, Woolf, Richardson, Arendt, Wharton, Lee, Colette, de Beauvoir, Browning, Dinesen, Pardo Bazán, and much much more. My wonder is to read and listen contemporary feminist writers claiming against Israel and supporting countries where terrorists govern or did govern. Is not Israel defending our rights? Our Western women rights? Being political ignorant, I am based on my daily life experiences; I know I can interact normally with men and women from Israel: our social “non-spoken rules” are shared. I know European and American Jewish men and women can be great intellectuals and academics such as Hanna Arendt or Cixous, Freud or Benjamin, and they have conformed the Western thought. I know I can go from London to Tel-Aviv and my life would change only in its context but not essentially: I would do my PhD, fight for my professional career, have friends, go out, have the same hobbies, dress the same clothes and discuss openly about Woolf, love relationships or where to get mascara at the best price. And I know I would not be burned alive in a Christian church. Do I support Israel? Yes, I do. I do not support Israel because I want Palestines to die, I do support Israel for coherence with my daily life. The death of civilian palestines is terrible and heartbroken, but we have to take decisions, and this imperfect world, and our imperfect lives impel us to take difficult decisions; if I have to choose, I think in what I believe, in my life and in my potential children’s life, and I have to choose Israel.

Most of European media hide information, no one talks for example of Hamas insistence on Palestine population to stay where Israel will attack, that is to remain in military objects because terrorist weapons intended to be used to destroy Israel are hidden within schools and hospitals; only BBC – still occasionally – and a Catalan channel, 8tv – the same media group to which the newspaper La Vanguardia belongs – have openly talked standing for Israel, and clearly talking about Hamas and ISIS intentions regarding Europe. Some years ago, the UK and Spain were victims of terrorist attacks, now Europe and America are again in alert, no one talks about my right to wake up in the morning and go to work traveling in the tube with total safety. The British government warned some weeks ago about the number of “British” citizens who have joined ISIS in Iraq and declared to kill unfaithful till the very end. One of these britons has the following profile: born in the UK, student of medicine in London; alarming. What does it tell me? We, Europeans, have given them the right of education, the right to dispose of a doctor, the right to built mosques, the right to live their religion, the right to European passports; still I wonder, what is my right in their countries? Béatrice Didier wrote in her book Le journal intime that Talibans does not allow women to look themselves in the mirror, it is the total alienation and negation of the subject, as some of the clothes muslim women are forced to wear.

So, because I am a Western free woman who wants the life Western women – and also men –  has granted for me to be enjoyed as well for the ones to come in a wonderful land with its own traditions, history, faults and victories, I do stand for Israel as a democratic country which I see as an ally of the Western values. And thanks to this values this blog can exist.

For those who speak Spanish: (The interviewed speaks in Spanish)