In an era marked by women’s rights militancy, a deafening silence looms over the savage atrocities experienced by Jewish women and girls at the hands of Hamas terrorists.
The United Nations commemorated the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women on Saturday, while a blatant contradiction stared the world right in the face: The systemic rape and murder of Israeli women and children by Hamas terrorists, in what appears to have been a preplanned part of the terror campaign launched by Hamas on Oct. 7.
The systematic dehumanization of Jewish women and children challenges the selective activism that plagues the global women’s rights network. The failure to even acknowledge these war crimes contrasts with the movement’s relentlessly shrill stance on other women’s issues. Whatever happened to “Believe All Women”?
Do the women’s organizations not believe the account of a survivor, who hid during the Oct. 7 raid on Israel, but could see from her hiding place a girl who had been captured and was being passed from Palestinian to Palestinian terrorist, who took turns defiling her?
“As I am hiding, I see in the corner of my eye that [a terrorist] is raping her,” the witness recounted to Times of Israel. “They bent her over and I realized they were raping her and simply passing her on to the next [terrorist],” the woman recounted. Her story is not isolated.
Such accounts should catalyze immediate outrage and action, from the White House to the United Nations, yet there remains a baffling silence, a betrayal of the very principles that women’s rights movements say they believe.
On Oct. 13, even though the torture of Jewish women had already been documented, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres equated Hamas’s brutalities with Israel’s self-defense.
Guterres said of the situation in Gaza that Hamas had killed more than 1,200 people and injured thousands, but, on the other hand, Israel had killed 1,800 people in response and injured thousands. He went on to say that Israel was being unreasonable to call on Palestinians in Gaza City to move to the south of the territory within 24 hours.
“Moving more than one million people across a densely populated warzone to a place with no food, water, or accommodation, when the entire territory is under siege, is extremely dangerous – and in some cases, simply not possible,” he said. Again, the UN shows little concern shown for the war crimes being committed by Hamas against women and children.
UN-Women’s statement of Oct. 20 also ignored the atrocities, and instead focused on Gaza women’s suffering as they became the new heads of households, their husbands having been killed in the fighting on behalf of Hamas.
Meanwhile, a Hamas video recording showed its terrorists torturing a pregnant woman at a kibbutz, and removing and killing her unborn child, according to Michal Herzog, the First Lady of the State of Israel.
The United Nations’ and UN-Women’s tepid response, or lack thereof, further underscores this disparity. While the suffering of women and children in Gaza rightly receives attention, the atrocities committed against Israeli women and girls are seemingly sidelined.
Selective outrage undermines the credibility of these organizations and their commitment to universal women’s rights.
Herzog made an appeal, explaining that women and girls have been so violently raped that their pelvic bones were broken.
Those of us unlucky enough to have seen video evidence broadcast by the terrorists themselves witnessed the body of a naked woman paraded through Gaza, and another, still alive, in bloodied pants held captive at gunpoint being pulled into a jeep by her hair. This evidence, along with the explicit recorded confessions of captured terrorists, makes abundantly clear that mass rape was a premeditated part of Hamas’s plan,” Herzog wrote.
Israeli Police Superintendent Dudi Katz said officers have documented more than 1,000 statements and more than 60,000 video clips related to the attacks that include accounts from people who reported seeing women raped. Although investigators did not have firsthand testimony, it is still not clear whether any rape victims survived.
This is not just an Israeli issue; it’s a global human rights crisis. If the rape of Israeli women and girls at the hands of Hamas terrorists is not a wake-up for women’s rights advocates, then they have willfully abandoned their mission, and lost all credibility.
Suzanne Downing on November 26, 2023