Marginalizing Women in the War Zone

| 7/10/2009 11:59:23 AM

Gaza during Operation Cast Lead

When the BBC published its series of interviews with Gaza residents talking about Hamas, they pushed the most compelling conversation (and the only comments by a woman) to the bottom of the page. It’s a conversation with Tihani Abed Rabbu. Her teenage son Mustafa, her brother and her closest friend were killed during Israel's January assault, codenamed "Operation Cast Lead."

Journalist and Middle East analyst Helena Cobban took issue with the placement of Abed Rabbu’s story. On her blog, Just World News, she protests the placement of this woman’s story:

Too frequently decision makers in the [mainstream media] simply marginalize women's experiences. But women's work in holding families together in very tough times lies at the heart of the social resiliency that can either save or break a community that's in conflict. So it is not only a compelling 'human interest' story—it is also at the heart of the big 'political' story regarding whether, for example, the people of Gaza or South Lebanon end up bowing to Israel's very lethally pursued political demands, or not. Maybe the BBC could, at the very least, elevate Ms. Abed-Rabbu's story to the top of that page?

Here’s a profoundly unsettling excerpt from the interview with Abed-Rabbu:

"I'm afraid that after I have lost Mostafa, that I will lose somebody else as well. When my children go to sleep, and I look at them, I start to think 'who is next—is it Ahmad's turn, or his brother?'

7/16/2009 5:54:51 AM

Israel has for too long been held under a protective bubble courtesy of the US media. It's time to expose their shameful record that has, since the '70s, produced the very horrors they supposedly fight against. Until the Palestinian people and other people of color are given human dignity, Israel will continue marching up the road to its own demise. Israel and its government's actions are steeped in racism, and the actions of its military are highly polished forms of terrorism.

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