Activist criticises Western feminists 'silence' on the brave women of Palestine

March 11, 2024
Jana Fayyad addressing the Palestine protest
Jana Fayyad addressing the Palestine protest on March 10. Photo: Peter Boyle

Jana Fayyad, a Palestinian activist, had some sharp words about “the silence of Western feminists” at International Women’s Day, asking in her address to the Palestine rally on March 10: “Are you only progressive until Palestine?”

No Palestinian speaker had been asked to address the annual IWD protest the previous day and Fayyad did not mince her words.

“Save your corporate high teas, your bullshit speeches, your ridiculous and laughable social media posts on this International Women’s Day!"

We don’t think of Margaret Thatcher or Ursula Von der Leyen or Hillary Clinton, she said. “We think of Besan [Helasa]; we think we think of Dr Amira al Assori, we think of Hind Khoudary; we think Plestia [Alaqad], we think of Lama Jamous.

“We think of the women that we honour — the women in Gaza.

“And beyond the women of Gaza, we think of Leila Khaled and Hanan Ashrawi and Fadua Tuqan and Amira Hass and Dr Mona el Farrah — the women at the forefront of Palestinian liberation.”

She said considering that 9000 women had been “slaughtered by the terrorist state of Israel”, the silence of Western feminists has been deafening.

“The silence has been deafening the silence on the 15,000 children slaughtered; the silence on the sexual assault and the rape that woman in Gaza have been subjected to; the silence on the horrific conditions that 50,000 pregnant women face having to do C-sections without anesthesia; and the silence on the mothers having to pick up their children in pieces.

“The silence is deafening!”

“Where is your feminism?” she asked.

“I don’t see it anywhere! I don’t hear of it! Where are your voices? Or are you only progressive until Palestine?”

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