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Hamas, Netanyahu and an Assault on Women's Rights

One of the things that both Hamas and the Netanyahu government share is a terrible record on women's rights.

On October 6, Hamas raped and mutilated innocent Israeli women as a weapon of war. They imposed gender segregation in Gaza that limits the employment, education and social opportunities of Palestinian women. Hamas imposed male guardianship laws that restrict Palestinian women's travel and mobility. Hamas gives Sharia courts dominion over women's issues, which limits Palestinian women's ability to appeal on domestic violence issues.

Because Benjamin Netanyahu needs Ultra-Orthodox members in his coalition to stay in power in the Israeli government, Netanyahu has tried to to expand the powers of all-male rabbinical courts, and to bar women and men from mixing in many public arenas. Netanyahu is trying to weaken the power of the secular Supreme Court that has protected women's rights. Ultra-Orthodox have been requesting that Israeli women and girls sit in the back of public buses. Netanyahu's government has tried to water down laws against domestic violence and give only men the power of divorce.

And in the Israeli retaliation against the Hamas attacks on October 7, Netanyahu has allowed indiscriminate bombings in Gaza that have killed countless innocent Palestinian women and children.

I think any time fundamentalist religions (whether it be fundamentalist Christian, fundamentalist Judaism or fundamentalist Islam) gains a lot of political influence, women's rights are threatened.

I have a feeling that the only reason that the far Right Netanyahu government's record on women's rights is not as bad as Hamas is because secular Israeli society is still strong enough to act as a check on Ultra-Orthodox efforts to weaken women's rights.

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Hugo, we disagree about Hamas. But I do agree with you that Israel needs to be held accountable for its indiscriminate bombings of Gaza, which has killed countless innocent Palestinians. Those innocent Palestinians did not need to die. Several observers say there is mounting evidence that Israel may be trying to commit ethnic cleansing of Gaza, which is a war crime. Even if South Africa is unable to bring Israel to the International Court of Justice for investigation on genocide, the Netanyahu government is probably guilty of other war crimes that need to be prosecuted in an international setting.

My disagreement with you is that I do not think supporting Palestinian liberation has to mean supporting Hamas.

Hamas is a terrible oppressive group that has a terrible record on women's issues and LGBTQIA+ issues. The people who equate supporting Palestinian liberation with supporting Hamas are making the same mistake that Iranian leftists made in the 1970s when they allied with religious fundamentalists in their shared opposition to the oppressive Shah of Iran. When the Ayatollah Khomeni and the fundamentalists took over Iran, many of those Iranian leftists were jailed and killed.

If you support Hamas, you're basically just trading one oppressor for another oppressor.

My ambivalence on taking sides in the Israeli/ Palestinian conflict derives from my dislike of both the Netanyahu government and Hamas.

I think Netanyahu and Hamas are trapping Israelis and Palestinians in an escalating cycle of perpetual violence where ever more innocent Israelis and Palestinians will get killed. I don't know what the solution is. But I think the focus should be on breaking the cycle of violence, not perpetuating it.

Western propaganda, no proof whatsoever. The Zionist will see justice in the International Court of Justice on Genocide brought by South Africa... Do a cartoon about that...

I'm sorry you don't like my cartoon. You're right that the Hamas rape allegations are still being investigated. But several news organizations like the New York Times and human rights organizations like Human Rights Watch take the rape allegations seriously and have some eye witness testimony on the crimes.

Even if you don't take account the rape allegations, Hamas's record on women's rights are still pretty terrible. Both Hamas and the Netanyahu government have a terrible record on women's issues.

Unlike some of the great cartoonists in this website who have strong opinions about the conflict, I have a more ambivalent opinion of the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians. Because they have more definite opinions, these cartoonists have been creating much stronger political cartoons than mine. I think my ambivalence is reflected in my cartoons.

These past few months, I've been inundated with messages asking me to support Palestinians or to support Israelis. I'm always wondering what specifically do these people mean when they say I should support Palestinians or Israelis.

I support some means of Israelis and Palestinians living in peace and safety with equal rights and no one lives under oppression.

I have a feeling that a lot of people who message me equate supporting Palestinians with supporting Hamas, or equate supporting Israelis with supporting the Netanyahu government.

I do not like Hamas or the Netanyahu government.

I try to focus my cartoons on only those things where I have confidence in my opinions. I think Hamas killing and raping and taking hostage innocent Israelis on October 7 is wrong. I think the IDF's indiscriminate bombing of Gaza that has killed thousands of innocent Palestinians is wrong.

I support a ceasefire in Gaza to stop the killing of innocent Palestinians. I support the release of the remaining innocent Israeli hostages.

I leave it to other political cartoonists who are more knowledgeable about the conflict to take sides and make a wider commentary on the Israeli Palestinian conflict.

I don't have that knowledge. I can only do cartoons on specific issues: killing and raping innocent people is wrong; indiscriminately bombing a civilian population knowing that innocent people will be killed is wrong; attacks on women's rights is wrong.

So far, most of these Hamas rapes are unproven. Check into the truth about the IDF and rape situation. Atrocity propaganda.

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