UN partners in Arab campaign
presenting female terrorist as role model to the Arab world
by Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik
As part of a TV campaign to "support women's issues" in the Arab world, a TV clip presenting several "model women" was broadcast on more than 50 Arab TV stations including Palestinian Authority TV. One of the women promoted as role models for Arab women today is famous for her terrorist attack that killed dozens, and another is famous for celebrating the Martyrdom deaths of her children.
The clip was broadcast as part of the "White Hands Campaign - The largest media campaign to support women's issues," which is organized "by the Arab Producers Union for TV (APUTV) in cooperation with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)," according to the campaign's English website.
[accessed Feb. 9, 2011, http://www.whitehandsc.com/en/component/content/72.html?task=view ]
Entitled The Model Woman, the clip honors different Arab women of the past, assigning to them various virtues and accomplishments. Dalal Mughrabi, who in 1978 led the most lethal terror attack against Israel, in which 37 civilians were killed, was venerated in the clip as a role model for "Martyrdom" and "victory over enmity". Al Khansa, a 7th century Arab poet, who celebrated her four sons' Martyrdom deaths in battle was praised as an example of "resolve" and "Martyrdom and giving".
|The UNFPA logo as it appears on the White Hands Campaign's website,
[accessed Feb. 9, 2011]
The campaign's English website also states that "APUTV works under the umbrella of the Arab League, and through the Arab Ministers Information Council." And that "APUTV's official headquarters are in Cairo- Egypt."
The website explains that "women are essential partners and important actors for the development of society," and mentions that one of the campaign's objectives is "to bring about distinguished women samples that have offered great services to society."
It further states that "societies signal distinguished samples of personalities with pride, and reflect the spot lights on them in order for them [Arab women] to take an inspirational course for generations to come. Arabic societies like other societies, highly appreciate figures where great virtues of giving transcend in different fields, and there is nothing greater than distinguished women in our societies, as they are great models to be followed by the old or the young, these women can be the working farmers, the teachers, the doctors, the engineers, the scientists, the lawyers, the activists in all fields whether social or political, they are the ones to sacrifice, and in all of their cases, they are the mothers!" [http://www.whitehandsc.com/en/component/content/51.html?task=view ]
The following is the transcript of the campaign video presenting women famous for terror and Martyrdom as role models:
Text on screen:
"The Model Woman"
Host of TV program:
"Woman is the foundation of existence.
Love - Ishtar - the symbol of fertility and altruism.
(Ishtar - Babylonian goddess)
Willpower - Cleopatra - wit and wisdom.
(Cleopatra - Queen of Egypt)
Intelligence - Balqis [and] Zenobia - fighting.
(Queens of Sheba and Palmyra)
Resolve - Al Khansa - Martyrdom and giving.
(7th cent. poet who celebrated her four sons' deaths in battle)
Courage - Bint Al-Azwar - strong faith.
(7th cent. Arab poet who fought against the Byzantine Empire)
Martyrdom - Dalal Mughrabi - victory over enmity.
(led terror attack in which 37 Israeli civilians were killed)
Struggle - Djamila Bouhired - human freedom.
(Algerian terrorist who became a political activist)
Freedom, giving, patience, sacrifice, life, loyalty - "White Hands."
For her sake, for our sake, for the sake of a society aspiring towards giving - "White Hands" Campaign."
Text on screen:
"The largest media campaign to support women's issues."
[PA TV (Fatah), broadcast weekly Nov. - Dec., 2010]