Canada Asked to Try to Block Politization of Women’s Conclave

Six major Canadian women’s organizations — five of them Jewish — have urged the government to try to block the politization of the United Nations Decode for Women Conference opening in Copenhagen this month which is due to introduce the Arab-Israeli conflict on the agenda. A delegation representing the organizations met with Mark Mac Guigan, the Minister of External Affairs, to apprise him of their concern.

Dorothy Reitman, vice president of the International Council of Jewish Women, who headed the delegation, expressed satisfaction afterwards with Mac Guiran’s “clearly sympathetic” response. Reitman, who is also an officer of the Canadian Jewish Congress, drew the Minister’s attention to a 66-page document officially approved for the conference agenda which covers the “plight” of Palestinian women in Israel and the territories occupied by Israel.

The document is “a blatant attempt to skewer Israel politically,” Reitman said, noting that over half of the text does not address women’s issues at all. “Rather it presents a distorted historical account of the Arab-Israel conflict and never refers to Israel as other than a ‘Zionist entity,” she said.

According to Reitman, MacGuigan promised that his Ministry would be “monitoring all resolutions very closely.” He said each resolution would be examined for its political implications and he spoke of his own concerns over the political orientation and extraneous discussion which seem to afflict so many United Nations-sponsored conferences, she reported.

The organizations represented by the delegation were ORT, Hadassah-WIZO of Canada, National Council of Jewish Women of Canada, Pioneer Women of Canada, and “Match,” which is concerned with Third World needs.

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