And they’re doing it proudly, on campuses and capitals around the world
On Oct. 7, Hamas unleashed a savage assault on southern Israel. These marauders were equal-opportunity killers, kidnappers, and abusers. Their bloody frenzy targeted everyone in their path—babies, Thai workers, Israeli Arabs, Bedouins, the elderly, special needs children, and, of course, Israeli Jews. They particularly relished targeting women—slaughtering them, raping them, cutting babies out of pregnant women’s wombs, torturing mothers and grandmothers in front of their families—and, many fear, sexually enslaving some of the hostages. The world witnessed these perversions because the villains proudly filmed them, then inspired Palestinians and pro-Palestinian progressives to spread them across social media. This secondary, digital, GoPro assault on the victims’ dignity made this orgy of misogyny one of the bloodiest and most publicized attacks on women in history.
Nevertheless, more than three weeks later, the feminist community remains silent. In May 2021, within days of Israel counterattacking in self-defense against yet another Hamas bombardment, over 120 gender studies departments denounced the Jewish state. Declaring that “justice is indivisible,” they proclaimed that our work is “committed to an inclusive feminist vision,” as per the National Women’s Studies Association’s 2015 Solidarity Statement, “that contests violations of civil rights and international human rights law.” The call was so popular, that the Palestinian Feminist Collective asked for patience. “Please note, due to the overwhelming response we are only uploading names twice a day. Please be patient as we are stretched to capacity.”
Now, despite seeing Hamas’ rape cult, not one gender studies department has defended even one victimized woman. Feminists have long taught us to believe the accuser and not blame the victim. For years, progressives insisted, in academic papers, on T-shirts, and even on coffee mugs, that when fighting oppression, “silence is consent,” or even that “silence is violence.” On Oct. 7, the violated women shouted, shrieked, cried, begged, rape after rape, cut after cut, fighting off these assaults with their voices and their bare hands as best each could. Some hostages may still be struggling. By contrast, violating every feminist principle I’ve ever read and respected, today’s feminist movement is violently, silently, consenting to this mass crime against women and against the victims from three dozen different countries. Some even doubt the testimonials—and the staggering, bloody, heartbreaking evidence of stripped women paraded through Gaza’s streets. Robbing someone of their story is a secondary offense—but nevertheless inexcusable.
If justice is indivisible, these women deserve justice—and empathy too—whether or not you like Israel or abhor it and its policies. If rape culture is never OK, all civilized people should repudiate so many Palestinians’ and progressives’ delight in spreading these videos and cheering these crimes. In their silence, most leading feminists became complicit, aiding and abetting this mass attempt to dehumanize women just because they’re Jews—or happened to be on the Gaza border that day.
Violating every feminist principle I’ve ever read and respected, today’s feminist movement is violently, silently, consenting to this mass crime against women.
Beyond the sheer cruelty and unfathomable scale of suffering, these crimes devastated so many people, Jews and non-Jews alike, who recognized the barbarians’ perverted pedigree. President Joe Biden connected the historical dots on Oct. 18, saying that when this “sacred Jewish holiday, became the deadliest day for the Jewish people since the Holocaust,” it “brought to the surface painful memories and scars left by a millennia of antisemitism and the genocide of the Jewish people.” He added: “The world watched then, it knew, and the world did nothing. We will not stand by and do nothing again. Not today, not tomorrow, not ever.”
Indeed, these crimes echoed the mass murders and sexual assaults the Nazis perpetrated during the Holocaust, that Arabs perpetrated on their Jewish neighbors during the Hebron Massacre of 1929, that Cossacks perpetrated on so many Jews during pogroms—and so many other Jew-haters perpetrated on Jewish women, no matter how young or old over millennia.
In singling out women, those guilty of this gendered violence want to dehumanize them doubly. They seek to strip Jewish women of their dignity by abusing them in unspeakable ways. They try humiliating Jewish men, treating them as so helpless they cannot even defend their women and children.
After three weeks of hearing how this sadistic saturnalia “exhilarated” too many progressives, those justifiably appalled by these enablers of evil are now being told the worst abuses never happened. Once again, the hypocrisy is stunning. Feminists teach that denying sexual assault intensifies the trauma, erasing the victim’s personhood yet again. Nevertheless, some feminists are questioning the stories—perhaps because they don’t want to question their blind support for the Palestinian cause. They want to deny the vile photos and videos, the reports from IDF officials, pathologists, and volunteers at the overworked morgues, or testimonies from captured Hamas criminals describing “having sex with dead bodies, meaning the body of a dead young woman,” because the goal was “to dirty them, to rape them.”
The horrors of Oct. 7 were so unnerving that the characteristic gallows humor of the Israelis has been muted. The first joke I heard, however, is tragically on point: If gaslighting is denying you said what you said …. Gaza-lighting is denying you did what you did—after broadcasting it broadly to the world…..
Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons
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