Crossposted from Radarsite:
Today (1/11/08) on Spree’s Wake Up America HCDL posted an astonishing little piece about how the famous -- perhaps now infamous -- Ms. women’s magazine refused to run the above ad promoting Israeli women in positions of power. What possible motive, HCDL asks, could they have for refusing to run an advertisement which clearly demonstrates the success of professional women in Israel?
From The Volokh Conspiracy:To read the rest of this startling article click here:
The message, I take it, is pretty clear — "Feminists should like the way women are treated in Israeli life," coupled with the pretty strong implication of "... and look how favorably it compares on this score to Israel's enemies."
Needless to say, this decision is causing quite a bit of stir, NEGATIVE stir, probably more than RUNNING the ad would have caused.
Yet this is what the American Jewish Congress reports happened when the ad was submitted to Ms. magazine:
When Director of AJCongress’ Commission for Women’s Empowerment Harriet Kurlander tried to place the ad, she was told that publishing the ad “will set off a firestorm” and that “there are very strong opinions” on the subject -− the subject presumably being whether or not one can say anything positive about Israel. Ms. Magazine publisher Eleanor Smeal failed to respond to a signed-for certified letter with a copy of the ad as well as numerous calls by Mr. Gordon over a period of weeks.
A Ms. Magazine representative, Susie Gilligan, whom the Ms. Magazine masthead lists under the publisher’s office, told Ms. Kurlander that the magazine “would love to have an ad from you on women’s empowerment, or reproductive freedom, but not on this.” Ms. Gilligan failed to elaborate what “this” is....
HCDL ended his piece with a call for our emailed responses to Ms.
Dear Ms. Kort --
Being a 70 year old male, I have not had occasion to read Ms. lately, although I have certainly heard of it. Today, however, I heard about Ms. in a somewhat different and quite disturbing context. I read several reports in well-known and respected conservative blogs about your refusal to run the Israeli ad in question. Your excuses for refusing to publish this pro-Israeli women's ad come off at best as disingenuous, at worst as downright deceptive.
Never before in recent history have women's rights been so blatantly and brutally suppressed and trampled on as they are being right this moment in the Arab/Muslim cultures of the Middle East. The only exception to this pervasive onslaught against women's equality is the tiny brave state of Israel. If ever women's advocates, such as Ms. and other such publications and organizations, who purport to be fighting for the rights of women, were needed in this great civilizational battle the time is now.
But where are you? Where are those powerful voices of protest that were so vocal and pervasive all during the sixties and seventies? Where are all those multitudinous angry demonstrations and those media-savvy bra-burnings now? Where are you now that we, the world, need you most?
The battle rages on and you are AWOL. And your silence is deafening. Now more than ever, when American women need to speak up on behalf of their downtrodden Muslim sisters around the world -- and even here in the United States -- not only do you choose to remain silent on the sidelines, you actually race to support the cause of our enemies. This kind of self-centered pettiness is totally incomprehensible to me -- and to many other rational and disgusted citizens across this country.
Is your political hatred of Bush and his foreign policies so great, so blinding, that it even causes you to turn against those very women for whom you claim to be speaking? How can you justify this cowardly betrayal of your constituents and your country?
If there is any hope at all of bringing about some sea change in that brutal male-dominant culture of the Middle East, it lies with Israel, and with your Muslim sisters and in their ability to stand up and fight against this wicked Islamic oppression. But they need your help. They need the help and support of women's orgs like yours. Yet, for the sake of making some misguided liberal political statements -- or perhaps expressing some not-so-subtle anti-semitism -- you have dishonored your mission and given aid and comfort to our enemies.
Have you no shame?
I intend to publish this email in the form of an article which I will then disseminate to as many websites as possible. If you reply with something other than your previous meaningless obfuscations, I will be happy to publish your response as well.
Roger W. Gardner
Thanks to HCDL and Spree for bringing this important issue to our attention