SHMULEY BOTEACH COLUMN
Oh, Naomi! Why turn on Israel and praise Hamas?

LAST night, Naomi Wolf and I were debating the question "Is Israel guilty of genocide in its war against Hamas?"

Naomi is a friend of mine. We both have history at Oxford - she earned her degree as a Rhodes scholar there and I served as rabbi to the students for 11 years.

Naomi reached out to me for a book she was writing. She subsequently attended Shabbat dinner with my family.

Her books have raised important issues, particularly in the realm of women's rights and social justice.

Which is why I was shocked when I learned that Naomi was involved in a blood libel against the State of Israel with false and shocking allegations of a Palestinian genocide.

In The New York Observer, I pointed out that genocide is the targeting of a distinct ethnic group for mass murder and extermination.

Describing Israel's righteous and defensive war against the Hamas terrorists death cult as a genocide is itself an abomination.

Naomi responded to my article by asking whether the war in Gaza is what God truly wants from the Jewish people and mused on whether it is worth having a Jewish state if it means we must ferociously fight enemies and become hardened as a result.

I, in turn, responded that in all her condemnations of Israel Naomi manages to virtually omit all mention of the brutal attacks and true genocidal ambitions that Hamas has towards the Jewish state and the Jews.

Naomi later said that she never meant that the Jews didn't need a Jewish state. I challenged her to a public debate and she graciously accepted.

Now, a little about her. Apart from being an author, she is a social critic and political activist. She encourages people to take charge of their lives, voice their concerns and enact change.

Her landmark international bestseller, The Beauty Myth, challenged the cosmetics industry and the marketing of unrealistic standards of beauty, launching a new wave of feminism in the early 1990s.

Naomi asserts that she tries her very best to "be always nonpartisan" and endorses "a two-state solution as supported by Jimmy Carter".

But a brief perusal of her Facebook posts calls into question these claims and exhibits a convoluted logic and naivete that leads to dangerous results when broadcast to a wide audience. The first red flag is that despite Naomi being a world-renowned feminist, she at times seems to betray her own beliefs.

In 2008, she wrote an article lauding the dress code for women in the Muslim world.

She says that while travelling in Morocco, Jordan and Egypt, she came to the conclusion that "the West interprets veiling as repression of women and suppression of their sexuality".

Now I am all for extolling the virtues of women who choose to dress modestly, but only when it is the product of choice and not coercion.

In many countries, like Iran, women face prosecution for dressing immodestly and in countries like Afghanistan they face violent reprisals.

Naomi also omits mention of the approximately 100 million Muslim women who have experienced some form of female genital mutilation.

Naomi adds a small caveat at the end of her whitewash that says choice is important when it comes to dressing modestly.

But this does nothing to correct the damage caused by her failure to call out and condemn the oppressive Middle Eastern cultural norms that many women endure on a daily basis.

Naomi has no issue in falsely condemning Israel for genocidal mass murder while simultaneously acting as an apologist for the suffering of far too many women at the hands of radical Islamists.

While she has the strongest distrust in every statement stemming from Israeli leaders, she seems only too ready to believe almost anything coming from the mouth of Hamas terror leader Khaled Mashaal.

But she manages to somehow miss the dozens of recent videos in which Hamas leaders, including Mashaal, call for the total annihilation of Israel and the genocide of all its Jews.

Naomi repeatedly questions what solid evidence exists that the tunnels leading into Israel were actually meant to be used to murder and kidnap civilians.

She ignores the thousands of rockets fired into Israel by Hamas, whose only intention is the mass murder of her own people.

Her dedication to defending Hamas seems to be something of an irrational addiction.

But not content to demonise Israel, Naomi is so enmeshed with conspiracy theories that she even questions whether ISIS is a true threat.

Last week, she posted, "And I am sorry to report that Obama has put together a coalition of nine moneygrubbing War Inc oligarchs, sorry, allied nations, to hunt ISIS creating pretext for all kinds of metanational heavy breathing mayhem."

One can only assume that by "creating pretext" she is referring to the thousands of innocent Arabs that ISIS has shot in the head and crucified.

It seems that if Arabs murder other Arabs, Naomi has no real objection - just as long as they are not Palestinian terrorists killed by Israel.

Sadly, her decision to side with radical left-wing propaganda has utterly undermined her credentials as a champion of women the world so sorely needs.


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