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Op-ed implies that Israel behind Palestinian rejection of UN convention protecting women from discrimination

Excerpt of an op-ed by Bassem Barhoum, regular columnist for the official PA daily

Headline: "Who is inflating the topic of the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women and what is the purpose!"

"The debate over the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) is just beginning to calm down, and already someone has come who is inflating the topic again and attempting to turn the topic into a top national priority. No one denies that there is a right to disagreement and debate, but to treat this topic as if it were a crucial matter is dangerous and unacceptable. How can this be understood at a time when we are a people and state under occupation and at a time when there is an attempt to eliminate the Palestinian cause by eliminating the main issues – Jerusalem, the refugees, and the legitimization of settlement, and also in the shadow of [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu's threats to annex the Jordan Valley (see note below –Ed.)?

Who has an interest in diverting the national compass, overturning the priorities, and distracting attention from the cause of the families of the Martyrs and the prisoners – particularly in light of the fact that Palestine already signed this convention five years ago, so why now? Who has depicted this convention as if it would cancel the religion, Shari'ah law, and the system of customs and values?Undoubtedly there are those who are drawn to this topic out of good intentions, and they are the majority, but who is benefiting from inflating this topic, and why? Undoubtedly, Israel will be pleased as it sees the Palestinian people busy with causes other than resistance against its occupation, Jerusalem, the settlement plots, its Judaization and annexation, and it will not [only] be pleased, but also find it a golden opportunity to pass the annexation of the Jordan Valley in particular. And there is also Hamas that has more than one interest, the first being to cover its involvement in the deal of the century (i.e., US President Donald Trump's as yet unpublished Middle East peace plan) and making deals with Netanyahu for a long-term ceasefire and splitting the Gaza Strip [from the West Bank]."

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sept. 10, 2019: “Today, I announce my intention, after the establishment of a new government, to apply Israeli sovereignty to the Jordan Valley and the northern Dead Sea." He also said: "There will be no more uprooting [of Jewish settlements]. With God’s help we will apply Jewish sovereignty over all communities as part of the land of Israel and the State of Israel,” while visiting Elkana, in the West Bank, east of Tel Aviv, on Sept. 1, 2019, and: “Our mission is to establish the Jewish people in its land and to ensure our sovereignty in our historical homeland,” while visiting Beit El, in the West Bank, north of Jerusalem, on Aug. 8, 2019.

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