Friday, December 20, 2019

  • Friday, December 20, 2019
  • Elder of Ziyon

The Supreme Fatwa Council, the decision making body of the Palestinian Fatwa House which was created by Yasir Arafat as an official Palestinian institution in 1994, has announced that it does not accept the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW).

The Council said that it cannot accept any provisions of CEDAW that are inconsistent with the provisions of Islamic Sharia Law. 

Here's where it gets interesting. The Palestinian Authority says it acceded to CEDAW in 2014 without any reservations. But, the Supreme Fatwa Council notes, the Palestinian Constitutional Court ruled in 2018 that international human rights treaties and agreements must agree with the religious and cultural identity of the Palestinian people.

Which means that since CEDAW violates Sharia law, the Palestinian leadership really never accepted the convention. Indeed, several NGOs noted last year that Palestinian laws fall far short of what CEDAW requires - there are no equal rights for women under existing Palestinian law, even five years after supposedly acceding to CEDAW. In fact, Palestinian laws for women seem to be fully in line with Islamic law and inconsistent with CEDAW.

The Fatwa Council said that CEDAW cannot be accepted specifically in terms of Palestinian laws for marriage and inheritance. Shares of the inheritance today are calculated according to Sharia law for all Muslims and Christians as well in the West Bank. Each female share, upon the death of their parents, is equal to half of each male share. If there is no male child, siblings receive the inheritance before daughters. The rules are complicated but generally unequal towards women.

The Council also reiterated its opposition to abortion, as codified in a 2008 law. Abortion is forbidden except under extremely limited cases which have to be approved by the Mufti.

The Supreme Fatwa Council has only male members.

For some reason feminists who say they are pro-Palestinian never say a word about the Palestinian laws that explicitly discriminate against women and against abortion.  The news media, of whom there are many in Israel and the territories, avoid topics like this. As always, if being pro-Palestinian is regarded as a liberal cause, then illiberal Palestinian laws and customs must not be mentioned.

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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

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