As a proud Zionist, I believe in the Jewish people’s right to statehood in their indigenous land, Israel. Anti-Zionism is then, inherently a form of anti-semitism because it denies the Jewish people’s right to exist in their own homeland. A recent argument against Zionism is that one cannot be a Zionist and a feminist. However, I am both a strong feminist and unapologetic Zionist just like Gal Gadot, so how is this possible?
To me feminism is equality to all genders along with guaranteed basic human rights. In Israel, women are treated with equality and held to the same standard as men even in the military. Being a patriot and supporting your country is not limited to men as some would have you believe. Unfortunately, gender equality does not exist in Arab culture. Women are not seen as equal human beings in the eyes of men in Arab society. The Palestinian sub-culture is indeed westernized by militarization in terms of terrorism, where Israel is a democratic nation that defends itself from annihilation. The president of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas
“emphasized his absolute refusal of the Israeli demands to stop the allowances of the families of the prisoners and Martyrs (Shahids)”, and “emphasized his absolute support for them (i.e., for the payments).'"
The disproportionate statistic of 3,000 Palestinian deaths in the 2014 conflict was a result of Hamas using women and children as human shields while storing weapons in schools, mosques and hospitals . The reason for doing so being that Hamas was “desperate to win world sympathy by any means”, so they have “always been happy to use Palestinian innocents as human shields — the more casualties, the better.”
This lack of regard for human life that the Palestinian leadership has for its people has left Israel, no choice but to protect and empower all of its diverse Jewish, Muslim, Russian, Ethiopian, Arab and Druze citizens through a strong defense force.
There is a subculture of oppression and terrorism, fighting a culture of equal rights and female empowerment.There is a democratic nation that embodies human rights while it defends itself from annihilation by terrorism. This is why Zionism and Feminism are not only compatible, but why they are an integral part of being strong females like Gal and me.
The article was written by Lilly Romond, the Secretary of Students Supporting Israel at Kent State University, and a Glocal Communications and Jewish Studies Major.