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25 July, 2024
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Women siding with rapists and murderers?

A reflection on the injustice faced by Israeli women and the Indifference surrounding post-attack trauma



By Costas Constantinou

Today is International Women's Day.

Yesterday marked five months since the October 7 massacres in Israel.

Interestingly this same week has had another important highlight: last Tuesday, 5 March, Pramila Patten, the UN Special Envoy on Sexual Violence in Conflict, vindicated after a long and doubly torturous experience the Israeli women who suffered such violence during the Hamas terrorist attack, including those who did not live to testify to it but whose bodies bore witness to what had happened.

Injustice however persists for many women whose bodies were dismembered and burnt so that several of them or parts of them could not even be identified.

Five months later, they are ‘missing'.

But why was the experience doubly harrowing?

Mainly because these women, the ones who survived at least, were confronted with something unprecedented at least in the post-World War II era: a shocking indifference in the best case and mockery at worst from a large part of the - mostly left-leaning - feminist movements and from the UN Women itself. That is the part of the UN that is solely concerned, at least according to its claims, with equality and women's rights.

For these Israeli women both adult and minor, there was no MeToo. There was public questioning of what they testified to from the start and indeed the only "argument" put forward was that these women simply... did not exist because they did not come out publicly to speak out!

Unfortunately here in Cyprus, this was also said by women “activists” who in all other cases would have stated the obvious; what it takes for a woman who has been raped -watching family members and loved ones being murdered on top of everything else if we are talking about 7 October- to finally be able to talk about the experience.

Here, like elsewhere, even cases such as that of the still missing young girl Naama Levi who was shown being dragged by Hamas terrorists in a jeep with visible bleeding at the site of her genitals became the subject of even ironic comments in social media.

Of course, one could hardly expect anything better when even the posters with the names and photos of the abductees, including toddlers, were denounced as ... “zionist propaganda” even after some of the hostages were released and were shown on TV footage.

The otherwise always vocal "activists" in the West suddenly became the best allies of the rapists and murderers for political reasons, mainly due to the long-standing anti-Semitism of their political sphere.

This is after all how the very suitably named hashtag #MeTooUnlessYouAreAJew, which no one could have imagined after 1945 and the defeat of the Nazis, was created. This time around not for the usual Nazis but to describe the exact opposite political extreme, the far left, which usually claims to be struggling for rights and freedoms.

The UN special envoy who visited Israel and the West Bank from 29 January to 14 February with a nine-member team of experts says in her mission's conclusion that there are reasonable grounds to believe that Hamas committed rape, sexual torture and other cruel and inhuman treatment of women on 7 October and that the same grounds lead to the conclusion that "such violence may continue", meaning women and girls still being held hostage by Hamas.

The UN team spoke of "clear and convincing evidence" that some women and children during their captivity were subjected to the same sexual violence. The Patten team found "that several completely naked or partially naked bodies were recovered from the waist down - mostly women - with their hands tied and shot several times, often in the head."

At the site of the Nova music festival and the surrounding area, as the UN Special Envoy said, "There are reasonable grounds to believe that multiple incidents of sexual violence took place with victims who were raped and/or gang-raped and then killed or killed while being raped. There are additional testimonies of individuals who witnessed at least two incidents of rape of female corpses," she added as she went on to say: "Other reliable sources at the Nova music festival site described seeing multiple murdered persons, mostly women, whose bodies were found naked from the waist down, some completely naked, some shot in the head, some tied to trees or poles with their hands tied."

On Road 232 leading to the Festival Nova site Patten added, "several bodies were found with wounds to the genitals, along with wounds to other parts of the body."

The UN special envoy explained that the true extent of sexual violence during the October 7 attacks may take months or years to become apparent and may never be fully known.

This is sadly the only certain prediction one can make apart from the expected hypocrisy and indifference of such “activists” in the West.

Cyprus  |  Israel  |  Hamas

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