The Mada poster: Not rape but maybe worse
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"The story suggests — and Mada outright claims — that the Canadians pulled the funds after a campaign against the group by NGO Monitor. The International Development Research Center denies such pressure, and says it only now figured out that Israel was not a developing country, and that IDRC only funds programs in developing countries. (Note: My tone here is skeptical.) The story’s writer, Patrick Martin, is a little credulous, I think, of Mada’s claims, but first let me back up and explain: NGO Monitor’s complaint had to do with this poster, which was distributed as part of a one-day campaign against sexual violence in Muslim societies: So, back to the Globe and Mail’s Martin, and why I think he’s a little credulous. Here’s what he had to say: “Mada al-Carmel publishes crude posters with images of an Israeli soldier touching the breasts of an Arab woman,” wrote NGO Monitor’s president, Gerald Steinberg. The poster, however, clearly does not depict the soldier touching the woman’s breasts. Furthermore, Mada didn’t publish the poster. Another organization did. But NGO Monitor persisted in its criticism. “Even if Mada is not responsible for the poster itself, it still is part of a whole network of organizations that accuse Israel of sexually abusing Arab women, and that’s false,” Mr. Steinberg said…I’ve critiqued NGO Monitor in the past for overstating its case, but in this case the Globe and Mail is giving the group a raw deal. First, yes, the poster does not depict the soldier as touching the woman’s breast, and based on a reading of the release accompanying it, I don’t think the intention is even to suggest that he is about to. But it is a poorly staged picture, and one could be forgiven for inferring that he is about to touch her breasts. Gerald’s slight leap here is understandable." "The text of the release shamefully ellides from Israel’s citizenship law to rape, child marriage and unsafe abortions. Is this intentional? It’s hard to conclude it is not, and at the very least, the writers are equating the two. This is an outrage, and certainly detracts — if not negates — what one would think would be the most important message of such activism: Keeping women physically safe."