Dear Lourdes –

I have waited a week whist trying to maintain a modicum of decorum but apparently the universe is out of it so I will try to restrain the tide of righteous indignation that washed over me with your press release cancelling your visit to Israel. I applaud you for putting principles above profit but I would like to explain to you who will benefit from your stand. Israel is the only country in the Middle East in which women in general and Arab women in particular have safeguarded human rights. The right to learn (free), the right to drive, the right not be a child bride, have genital mutilation, to receive legal representation after being raped or suffer from domestic violence (free) and last but not least the right to not be murdered under the umbrella of (honor killings). Israel has affirmative action in academic academies which ensures fair representation of Arab women in universities. THE ONLY COUNTRY. If these women have to suffer from living under the rule of Hamas all of these rights will disappear. Should people have the right to self-govern? of course but until the Palestinians manage to free themselves from the mantle of the tyrannical Hamas this is their best option. Playing into the hands of Hamas (who make ISIS look like the care bears) has done the sisterhood of women an enormous disservice. Thank you for listening- Please demand a mixed audience when you come.

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