A young Palestinian feminist responds to Hillary Clinton’s recent comments on Israel

Published November 16th, 2015 - 12:05 GMT
The presidential candidate has reaffirmed her support for Israel, but one Palestinian feminist is asking her not to forget Palestinian women. (AFP/File)
The presidential candidate has reaffirmed her support for Israel, but one Palestinian feminist is asking her not to forget Palestinian women. (AFP/File)

Earlier this month, Hillary Clinton wrote an article in online news site Forward reaffirming her support for Israel in the run up to the 2016 US Presidential Elections and her bid for the Democrat party nomination.

In it, she describes her love for the nation and its people, and condemns the attacks carried out by Palestinians against Israeli civilians.

Plenty have responded to Clinton's comments, but one Palestinian feminist made headlines in the US with an open letter which highlights Clinton’s hypocrisy in advocating women’s rights while supporting the Israeli occupation.

Layali Awwad is a freshman at Kenyon College in Ohio and hopes to pursue a career in human rights advocacy. Her letter, published in the Huffington Post this month, might be considered her first step into the field.

Awwad's letter calls Clinton out for not mentioning Palestinian women’s struggle against the Israeli occupation of their land. She praises the presidential candidate for inspiring women and girls worldwide but adds that she hopes Palestinian women are not forgotten.

Here are some of the highlights from the letter. Or you can see the full version here.

“As a young Palestinian girl growing up in a patriarchal society, your speeches about women's rights inspired me to imagine a world where gender equality could exist.”

“I was surprised to read your article in The Forward. I was surprised because when you chose to speak about my homeland, not once did you mention Israel's human rights violations against Palestinian women and children.”

“Did you know that half of Palestinians are women and girls? Did you know that like our brothers, we also live under military occupation, and that Israeli settlers steal our land?”

“Did you know that pregnant women rushing to the hospital have been stopped at checkpoints and have given birth there?”

“Secretary Clinton, you have been an inspiration for women and girls around the world. My own dream is to become a human rights and peace activist, but your article left me deeply frustrated. I know you can be better. Please do not forget us again.”

 

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