Women and the Israeli Occupation: The Politics of Change

By Tamar Mayer | Go to book overview

7

HOMEFRONT AS BATTLEFIELD

Gender, military occupation and violence against women

Simona Sharoni

There is a strong connection between violence against women and violence in the Occupied Territories. A soldier who serves in the West Bank and Gaza Strip and learns that it is permissible to use violence against other people is likely to bring that violence back with him upon his return to his community.

(Ostrowitz in interview with Sharoni 1990)


INTRODUCTION

In April 1989 Gilad Shemen, a twenty-three-year-old Israeli-Jewish man doing his military service in Gaza, shot and killed a seventeen year-old Palestinian woman, Amal Muhammad Hasin, as she was reading a book on her front porch. The Regional Military Court convicted Shemen of carelessness in causing Hassin’s death, but he was released after an appeal. Two years later, on June 30, 1991, Gilad Shemen shot and killed his former girlfriend, nineteen-year-old Einav Rogel.

In an interview right after her death, Einav Rogel’s parents recalled that their daughter had supported Gilad Shemen unconditionally during his military trial, trying to convince everyone around her that he was not guilty. Yet during that entire period Einav did not tell anyone that Gilad also had been violently abusing her. She did not recognize the connections between Gilad’s shooting of a Palestinian woman and the violence and fear that Gilad brought to her own relationship with him. Einav Rogel lived and died in a society that draws clear distinctions between ‘us’ and ‘them, ’ and usually doesn’t even record the names of Palestinians who are shot. At the same time, she did not realize that, like many other Israeli women and most Palestinians (both women and men) in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, she belonged to a high risk population—since she lived in the line of fire of an Israeli man who had learned to use his gun to deal with crises and difficult situations.

This tragic story underscores the complex relationship between sexism,

-121-

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Women and the Israeli Occupation: The Politics of Change
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Tables ix
  • Acknowledgments xii
  • 1 - Women and the Israeli Occupation 1
  • 3 - Between National and Social Liberation 33
  • 4 - Heightened Palestinian Nationalism 62
  • 5 - Israeli Women Against the Occupation 88
  • 6 - Palestinian Women in Israel 106
  • Bibliography 119
  • 7 - Homefront as Battlefield 121
  • 8 138
  • 9 - Women Street Peddlers 147
  • Bibliography 163
  • 10 - Environmental Problems Affecting Palestinian Women Under Occupation 164
  • 11 - A Feminist Politics of Health Care 179
  • Index 199
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