Skip to main content

Ad against domestic violence in the PA – funded by Canada, produced by the UN

Nan Jacques Zilberdik  |

Are the international supporters aware
that the PA preaches the exact opposite?

  • Abbas’ advisor about PA having signed the international Convention on the ‎Elimination of Discrimination Against Women: “The PA is only ‎committed to that which is “consistent with Islamic law”‎

The Palestinian Authority is currently running a TV ad that speaks out ‎against domestic violence and informs women (and male victims as well) ‎where they can get help. The ad stresses that domestic violence is more than ‎just physical blows, and includes psychological violence, sexual coercion, ‎and also the withholding of resources. The ad is paid for by Canada and ‎produced by the UN. (See below):

Narrator: “Violence is damage that harms women, young women, ‎men, and young men. It has many forms such as physical blows, ‎psychological violence, or sex against your will.‎
Violence is not only physical, [but] also threats, coercion, and ‎withholding resources such as studies, monetary expenditures, ‎inheritance, and access to services.‎
Did you know that last year, 243 million women suffered from sexual ‎or physical violence worldwide?‎
In Palestine, 29% of the women were subjected to violence by their ‎husbands…‎
Violence is not inevitable. Violence is unacceptable. You can always ‎get help. ‎
You can find information on the protection and support services for ‎victims of violence at:‎
The gender-based guide for violence services”‎

[Official PA TV, several times since Jan. 4, 2021]‎

But do the Canadian funders and the UN offices involved in the ad know ‎that the PA often preaches a contradictory message? Palestinian Media ‎Watch has exposed that the PA’s official stand on women’s rights is quite ‎different and that the PA has even condoned domestic violence.‎

Abbas’ advisor and PA's Supreme Shari'ah Judge, Mahmoud Al-Habbash, ‎has emphasized that even though the PA signed the international ‎Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), ‎they are “not committed to it at all, except for what is consistent with ‎Islamic law" (emphasis added): ‎


Abbas’ advisor, Supreme Shari’ah Judge, and Chairman of the ‎Supreme Council for Shari'ah Justice Mahmoud Al-‎Habbash: "President [Abbas'] ratification in 2009 (sic., 2014) of the ‎CEDAW convention was a ratification conditioned on what is ‎consistent with the Palestinian constitution, with the Basic Law… We ‎have a Basic Law that says: 'Islamic law is the source of legislation' ‎‎… Truthfully, even if we signed the CEDAW convention we are not ‎committed to it at all, except for what is consistent with Islamic ‎law… We are committed to the international laws in what does not ‎contradict our national heritage, religious heritage, and our faith. The ‎president has said this, the [PA] government has said this, and we [the ‎Supreme Council for Shari’ah Justice] have said this."‎

[Facebook page of Supreme Shari’ah Judge Mahmoud Al-Habbash, Jan. 9, 2020]‎

PMW has exposed numerous statements and rulings by PA top officials that ‎uphold the discrimination against women – and even sanction domestic ‎violence. Ironically – and tragically - the same advisor of Abbas, Al-Habbash, ‎justified violence against Palestinian women at the exact same time the PA ‎ran a similar ad that taught Palestinians that it is never okay to hit women.‎

The PA’s Grand Mufti – the highest religious authority in the PA – often ‎presents “rulings” that minimize women’s rights. Recently, he instructed that ‎Palestinian women can’t travel without a male relative as chaperone. ‎Another religious official, the preacher of the Al-Aqsa Mosque and Head of ‎the Supreme Muslim Council Sheikh Ikrima Sabri, has prohibited Palestinian ‎women from submitting complaints against their spouses to Israeli police. ‎

At the end of the PA TV ad against domestic violence the following text ‎appears: ‎

‎“This video was produced by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime ‎‎(UNODC) through the joint program ‘Life’ – eradicating violence ‎against women in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.‎
The joint program ‘Life’ is for five years, and it works to put an end to ‎violence against women in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, and it is ‎funded by the Canadian government.”‎

‎“The program is being implemented in partnership with the UN Entity ‎for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women), ‎the UN fund for population (UN-Habitat), and the UN Office on Drugs ‎and Crime (UNODC), and in participation with the [PA] Ministry of ‎Women’s Affairs and [Ministry of] Social Development, along with a ‎number of relevant [PA] government ministries and civil society ‎organizations.”‎

[Official PA TV, several times daily since Jan. 4, 2021]‎

RelatedView all ❯