Blaming the victim – and her children

November 4, 2010 13:37
1 minute read.


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user uxperience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew, Ivrit
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Repor
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

‘No one knows why my sister was killed. Maybe she heard something or saw something she wasn’t supposed to see, and somebody wanted to shut her up.’ Fatimah Sha’aban is sitting in the unfinished living room of her house in Dahamesh, an enclave at the edge of Lod where she says “all my neighbors have guns.

They shoot them off all night – at weddings, for target practice, to try out before they buy them.”

Sha’aban, 53, wearing a white head scarf and long black robe, is a sister of Fatimah Abu Khatifan, 33, who was shot to death in her home last month by a masked man in another of Lod’s most violent neighborhoods, Pardess Snir. Her husband and a couple of other male relatives were arrested and soon released, but Sha’aban says everyone knows they’re innocent. “The husband was crying, poor guy, he loved my sister,” she says.

Honor killings, as a rule, are carried out by the victim’s blood relatives – members of her extended family, or hamula.

The victim’s whole family was enraged when police, less than an hour after the body was discovered, declared it an honor killing.

“It brings disgrace on the family. The woman’s daughters can never hope to be married – they’re marked as the daughters of an adulteress. Even the sons will find it hard to find wives,” says Sha’aban, noting that her sister had two sons and two daughters.

“My sister was a good woman who cleaned houses every day so she could feed her children. That’s all she cared about,” says Sha’aban. “Her children have nothing to be ashamed of about their mother.”

By arbitrarily calling Abu Khatifan’s death an honor killing, police stigmatized her children for life. Meanwhile, the killer, whoever and wherever he is, doesn’t have to answer to anyone.

Related Content