MK Wilf to Ambassador Shapiro: “women are the bellwether of Arab revolutions”

In US Ambassador Dan Shapiro’s first ever discussion in the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, MK Dr. Einat Wilf said the following:

“I commend committee chair Shaul Mofaz for holding this discussion as part of an effort to put foreign affairs on the agenda of the committee no less than defense.””The latest phase of US sanctions against Iran is an important next step in the global effort to prevent further proliferation of nuclear weapons. Particularly important is the fact that the US military option is clearly on the table and being seriously prepared and developed.”

“With respect to the revolutions in the Arab World, the US and the progressive nations have to emphasize three critical issues:

1) Relations with Israel: As Arab countries are in the process of writing and rewriting their constitutions, it is imperative that they do not enshrine in them refusal to have ties and relations with the State of Israel. Not only is it an abomination to do so, it makes a mockery of the idea of constitutionalism. Once this is in a country’s foundational document, it closes the door on any hope for peace.

2) The status of women: Women are and will be the bellwether of the future direction of the Arab world. Where women will go, so will the revolutions. If the status of women will deteriorate, no-one would be able to credibly argue that the revolutions signify progress. If not, we will know there is hope for democracy and freedom and that one day Israel could find itself in the region as one democracy among many. The US Secretary of State in particular should raise red flags for even the most minor infractions of women’s rights.

3) Anti-Semitism: The Arab world remains the only place in the world where the most virulent forms of anti-Semitism, identical and even worse than those present in Nazi Germany, are prevalent, supported and accepted and even lauded in respectable society. For decades we have all turned a blind eye, thinking that this helps deflect popular anger. The time has come to say no and mount a global campaign that would make it clear that anti-Semitism is a mark of a sick regressive society and has no place in any way, shape or form, in the 21st century.”

MK Wilf thanked the Ambassador for expressing his support for those ideas and  stressing US commitment to promoting those values.