Downing: Say their names: Israeli women and girls raped tortured, murdered, as women’s rights groups look away

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By SUZANNE DOWNING

In an era marked by women’s rights militancy, a deafening silence looms over savage atrocities experienced by Israeli women and girls at the hands of Hamas terrorists.

The United Nations commemorates the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women on Saturday, while a blatant contradiction stares 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. It’s a war crime.

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 showed 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.

The United Nations’ and UN-Women’s 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. This selective blindness undermines the credibility of these organizations and their commitment to universal women’s rights.

Michal Herzog, the First Lady of the State of Israel 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 is founder and managing editor of Must Read Alaska.

55 COMMENTS

  1. I’m constantly biting my tongue on this issue because if I say what I’m thinking, I’ll be banned. And I’m not part of any women’s rights club or the me-too thing. I’m just a human being who is sick of seeing the plight of the Jews. It’s been THOUSANDS of years, and this is STILL happening.

    • Sometimes it’s better to be ostracized from people who condone bad things.

      Eventually you will get a level of guilt by association, even if you personally don’t agree.

    • Its very telling that there are several thousand Palestinians held in captivity by Israel. hamas has captured a few hundred israelis .

      Israel holds more than 10x as many Palestinians in captivity. Many without charges.

      Israel has had a history of occupation of Palestinian territory against their will.

      Israel has a history of interfering in Palestinian society and helped hamas come to power.
      Destroying the opposition .thus to many Palestinians Hamas appears as the only option to stand for Palestinian needs.

      Israels subjugation , occupation and economic blockades of the Palestinian people has created discontent and suffering which causes Palestinians to chaff at Israels overbearing actions and turn to radical evil movements like hamas.

      The Palestinian people are lashing out against what they consider an oppressive Israeli government.
      Israel detains protesters indefinitely without charges. Or arrests them as if they were Israeli subjects without protection of standard legal rights.

      • If you wish a peaceful relationship with your neighbor, you should quit throwing bombs and rockets across the fence.
        American, I am really tired of your whitewash of Palestinians, making them out to be innocent bystanders clean as the wind-driven snow. From the beginning of the formation of the state of Israel, its neighbors sole goal was to eliminate and drive Israel into the sea. Palestinians (and no it isn’t just Hamas) have a choice, throw bombs and rockets and feel the wrath of Israel, who see this as an existential threat or focus inward and actually develop a society capable of sustaining its members and give dignity to all. The Egyptians, Saudi Arabia and other states acknowledge Israel’s right to exist, yet Palestinians blame all and everything on their neighbor. I guess it is easier to blame the outside boogie man instead of having to look at the pathetic state you have created for yourself.

      • Dave .
        There was no vote by the population to go to war . There has been no elections in over a decade. The people especially children have little choice. Children make up aprx 40.% of population. Women and dissenters get little voice as Hamas kills or attacks them . Decades ago a very small percentage of Palestinians elected hamas. Hamas was developed by Israel to interfere with the plo .
        They have been fighting each other ever since.

        A minuscule percentage of Palestinians were involved in attacking Israel.

        The people who were not involved shouldn’t be punished.

        Israel has killed/ murdered over 10,000 innocent women and children.
        Aprx 40k people are killed or injured.
        Bombing churches hospitals schools ect .

        Collective punishment is not justice. Its crime in itself. By western standards and being as they targeted schools and hospitals its war crime.

        Using the horrific murder
        And torture of 1500+ Israelis to justify murder of 10s of thousands of innocent civilians is sick and twisted.

          • Masked your vicious radicalism is blinding your rational analysis.
            Read my note to steve to get clarity.

            I should note . Collective punishment is neither ethical nor moral.
            Its also a technical war crime.

            All the information is publicly available for you to study.
            Im not going to be able to change your mind but doing a deep dive with an open mind might might get you started.
            I think there is hope for you to at least moderate and reconsider accepting the deaths of innocents as acceptable.

            The century+ long poor treatment of the Palestinians by world powers is driving a wedge between Israel and Palestinians.

            The bottom line is regardless of who’s at fault ( in this case Hamas)

            If you proceed with violence like has been done for centuries you will not get peaceful results.
            Read up on what many prominent jews have said.
            Read up on what various dissenting israeli generals have said regarding regret around helping to develop hamas.
            Any way masked – I understand your frustration and opinion regarding the suffering of Israelis and everyone who hamas injured in such unacceptable manner. Revolting in all ways.
            Now can you relax enough to revisit and carefully consider the situation? If you looked into my mind you would see im on your side.
            But it doesn’t benefit humanity for me to just jump on a bandwagon of hate .
            Balanced analysis is necessary to understand and eventually resolve the situation even if its not me and you .
            Have a wonderful evening.
            Btw I don’t get points from despicable hamas . But you did make me laugh.

          • Masked i did a typo.
            In note to you. Please replace the words acceptable with unacceptable!
            Recognize the deaths of innocents on both sides as ( unacceptable!!!)

            Thx

        • You really didn’t answer Jody’s assertion or Dave’s.
          Do you believe Hamas should be eliminated and should their punishment fit their crimes?
          While you apparently have no real sympathy for those Israeli civilians deliberately targeted in the terror of Hamas and you do NOT address the heinous atrocities committed against them, you decry the public outrage and demand “care that Palestinian civilians be spared”.
          The other inconvenient fact you ignore is that many Palestinians are not only Hamas sympathizers, but active participants. Unlike the IDF they don’t wear a uniform and are not a state sponsored standing army. They are terrorists, who blend into the civilian population not only because of their militia status, but also for protection from reprisals. Hamas knows full-well how to shape the narrative. That they endanger their own civilian population by putting ammunition and head quarters in hospital and daycare centers, is clearly a factor in choosing those sites. That is truly sick and twisted.

          • Taxpayer, apparently you are illiterate.
            Jody didn’t ask a question she made a statement.
            I agreed with her statement.

            I agreed:
            Hamas need’s eliminated.

            Regarding punishment fitting crimes ,
            Yes as long as it meets current legal standards.

            Your other statements tried to twist my words or you are a liar.
            I have extreme sympathy for the israeli victims. If you portray my comments as anything else then consider yourself a liar. Your choice.

            Your other statements are so distorted they don’t deserve a reply.

          • When you have to revert to name calling, you already lost the argument, American.
            As an observation, it is interesting that you wish to tie one party’s hands with your “legal standards” while giving the opposition a pass. Clearly deliberately attacking soft civilian targets in a gruesome manner is against the Geneva conventions and a war crime…oh I forgot Hamas didn’t sign that accord because they are terrorist not a nation state!

            So the question we all seem to agree is that Hamas needs to leave the face of this earth.

            How do you suppose we do that?
            The structure of Hamas is in essence like a gang, with leaders, enforcers, members and hangers-on, living amongst the regular population and controlling all. There isn’t a official roster you can rely on to arrest only those on the list and UN peace keepers would fail miserably at that task.
            After WWII the Allies at least had a party roster and membership lists to conduct interviews and make arrests and still many high level Nazi party members slipped through their fingers to live a long and well off life in other parts of the world. Speaking of WWII how did the Allies win? By destroying key infrastructure some of which was located in residential areas via bombing runs and diminishing German troops and Air force personnel and machinery. By early 1945 the Germans fought back with old men and boys, but most of them knew the war was lost.
            Hamas understand one language:
            Power!
            You have to hit them hard to destroy their network. After Hamas heinous attacks and atrocities Israel has taken a stand to stop them.

          • Taxpayer- when you develop the ability to discern that a statement doesn’t need an answer as its not a question I won’t consider you illiterate.
            I agreed with what dave and jody said as long as it’s legal.

            Taxpayer Make an effort or quit being completely inaccurate

            Only in your mind did i loose the argument by accurately asserting you were illiterate.

            If you are not illiterate then why did you confuse statements with questions?

            For the 51k time ! I do not agree with what hamas is doing in any shape or form!
            They deserve full punishment under the law .
            Can you comprehend English? I condemn Hamas 100% !!

            Question for taxpayer , how do you know hamas only understands power ? You could be right im not denying.
            Yet has Israel treated the Palestinians like Christ recommended? Does Israel treat Palestinians as they want treated ?

            I think not .

            Israel has taken their land

            Imprisoned their women and children without legal charges for extended periods of time

            Occupied their cities

            Killed and maimed their citizens disproportionately

            Interfered in their politics by helping to develop hamas

            Blockaded their movement and trade routes

            Bombed their cities and declared war on civilians.

            Treated them as second class and held them down economically

            Does this justify hamas ? Absolutely not.
            Yet Israel should be treating Palestinians as friends and brothers if they want peace in Palestine.
            If they want to continue a history of chaos death and war then they should continue their methods.

            Einstein said . If you continue the same method but expect different results that is an insanity .
            Israel is following a pattern that always leads to more deaths more war .
            An eye for an eye and we will all be blind.
            Taxpayer keep pushing for israel to take an immoral path and you my friend will be associated with the deaths of the innocent victims on both sides.

          • “Yet has Israel treated the Palestinians like Christ recommended? Does Israel treat Palestinians as they want treated ? ”

            American, the Jewish Faith does NOT acknowledge Jesus Christ. That would be Christianity and while both religions are based on the Old Testament, Jewish faith does not recognize or believe in the New Testament.
            Again you demand that Israel restrain its self and treat people, who wish them ill and want them gone, by doing nothing. You only see the “ills” Israel inflicts on the Palestinians (and I am not sure how accurate your claims are), while blaming all negative aspects on “Hamas” as if they are some isolated entity separated from the regular population, when in truth there is great sympathy among the Palestinians for Hamas and many support and actively participate in what they do. Nuance is important in this instance.

        • American
          The Palestinians voted for their government, so they have Hamas they get what they deserved just like California.

          • Mark
            Hypothetically speaking if the democrats counted the vote and we got Biden, do we deserve him?

            There has been no election in gaza for more than a decade. Hamas killed the opposition in battles. Only a small percentage of Palestinians voted and due to violence there is significant voter suppression.

            40% of population was to young to vote
            Most women dont vote . It wasn’t safe for non hamas to vote

            This means its a small percentage who makes the choices .
            Hamas rulers at the point of a rifle.
            You over simplify when you condemn 10,000 women and children to a horrible death being torn apart by bombs .

        • You did hear a Hamas leader say on a televised interview that they will continue with an Oct 7th over and over and over again? They want Israel wiped off the earth. So Israel should just let them exist so they can be wiped out? I’m not minimizing the suffering of so many innocent people, on both sides. But allowing Hamas to continue their terrorizing and murdering of a small nation is not the answer.

    • Jody ,Yes I agree regarding hamas.

      Did you know israel was a primary creator of hamas ? Funded and supported some fringe islamist leaders to coalesce a counter balance against the PLO who wanted a two state solution and have now moved away from violence?
      Israel military advisers consider it a mistake to have created Hamas . ( turkey and the islamic brotherhood helped also)
      Israel has hundreds and hundreds of Palestinian women and children prisoners.
      Many held under administrative state capture and charged with nothing.
      Israels long many decade history of treating Palestinians unfairly and abusively – captive people, blockades ,sanctions unjust imprisonment and nearly endless intrusions is causing heartache between the peoples.
      Yes Israels creation “hamas” needs elimination but its a technical “war crime” to punish the Palestinian people for a few hamas members absolutely condemned actions. Israel murdering 10,000 innocent children and women in a collective punishment is a war crime.

      • Claiming that Israel was a primary creator of Hamas as a way to dismiss the terrorist attacks by Hamas as if Israel was deserving of such atrocities is beyond absurd.

        Before Hamas turned into the terrorist organization that it is, did Israel help fund the charity of the founder of Hamas when he set up a network of schools, clinics, a library and kindergartens benefiting the people of Gaza…yes. Was Israel a primary creator of the terrorists organization sworn to annihilate Israel itself and all Jews? Get real.

        • Steve, trying to twist my words is plain bs . You are unable to read.

          For the 50k time- no one can dismiss hamas atrocities. No one on this site is .

          Note 👆 im agreeing with jody to eliminate hamas .

          Steve don’t be a moron and a liar. You have better education than that .
          Just because you don’t like factual history and it offends your feelings doesn’t give you the right to twist my words.

          Get this idiot steve – hamas deserves to die . Israel did not ever deserve their atrocious attack . Not ever ! You deaf word twister.

          • So, once again you find yourself incapable of providing anything of relevance to the conversation because your talking point has been proven false and you resort to childish name calling.

            Israel was not a primary creator of Hamas, as you claim. In fact Israel supported a Muslim charity (Mujama al-Islamiya, which later became Hamas) that built a network of schools, clinics, a library and kindergartens benefiting the people of Gaza run by a paraplegic cleric who later radicalized and founded Hamas only after Arafat and the PLO sought peace with Israel. Mujama al-Islamiya and the quadriplegic cleric were considered “collaborators” with Israel by the PLO before they radicalized and became Hamas.

        • Steve,
          yes its well documented that israel helped create and fund hamas a terrorist organization to create discord in palestine being a counter balance to the PLO .
          Israel was trying to block PLO power with hamas and then hamas grew out of hand . Becoming an absolute horrible organization.
          Israeli generals are documented expressing support and building of hamas .

          ( yes of course their support was years ago but its well documented. )
          America just finally shut down a hamas office they helped support in quatar .

          • You are incorrect regarding Israel creating and funding the Hamas terrorist organization, see the comment above this one.

            As far as the office in Qatar that was shutdown, it was set up by and during the Obama Administration. At this point anyone who thinks Obama, Biden, or Democrats as a whole support Israel or Jews will never accept the obvious facts. Biden recently apologized to American Muslims for daring to even question the Hamas terrorists narrative that they lied about regarding the deaths cause by Palestinian Islamic Jihad at the Al-Ahli al-Arabi Hospital when they lied about it being and Israeli attack.

      • Funny thing. I did a lot of digging and am finding zero reputable sources supporting your claim.

        Care to share your sources with the class?

        • Masked
          Check the intercept, blowback article
          How israel went from supporting hamas to bombing it
          The times of Israel also has brief article
          If you dig you will find .
          Even yasser arafat said hamas was a creation of Israel even though that’s only part of story.
          Decade ago ron Paul warned about Israel supporting hamas in a speech.
          Much of what israel did was to suppress the plo who was trying to bring stability.
          Israel backed the more violent insane group of hamas to try and get more control of palestine and it backfired terribly.

      • I’ll try again:

        Let’s play a game. I’ll make it easy on you.

        Please cite legitimate examples of Israel or the IDF deliberately:

        -using women and children as human shields.
        -shooting their own people who were trying to get away from Hamas.
        -calling for genocide of Palestinians as a structural part of their platform.
        -setting up command and control, as well as munitions storage under hospitals and schools.
        -cooking babies alive while making the mother watch.
        -planning and committing mass terror on non combatants SPECIFICALLY because they were non combatants.

        The list is near endless.

        People who excuse and rationalize this level of sub human barbarity are as beneath contempt as the people who commit it.

      • You should move to Gaza for a few months, then return and provide a perspective of living in a terrorist population for several months.

    • Israhell CREATED AND FUNDED Hamas as their excuse to do EXACTLY what they are doing in their GENOCIDE OF THE PALESTINIANS! Learn the truth !

  2. Cochav Elkayam-Levy, a human rights law expert at Hebrew University, said in part “We’ll never know everything that has happened to them,” “We know that most women who were raped and who were sexually assaulted were also murdered.” “It’s much worse than just silence or an insult to us as Israeli women and to our children and to our people,” she said of the UN. “When they are failing to acknowledge us, to acknowledge what happened here, they are failing humanity.”

    A combat paramedic who responded to Kibbutz Be’eri recallled a scene in which two young teen girls were found, “Her pants are pulled down toward her knees and there’s a bullet wound on the back side of her neck near her head,” he recounted.“There’s a puddle of blood around her head and there’s remains of semen on the lower part of her back.”

    Rami Shmuel and organizer of the music festival that was attacked said he saw female victims with no clothes, “Their legs were spread out and some of them were butchered,”

    A witness to the atrocities at the festival said, “They bent someone over and I understood he was raping her, and then he was passing her on to someone else,” “She was alive, she stood on her feet and she was bleeding from her back. I saw that he was pulling her hair. She had long brown hair. I saw him chop off her breast and then he was throwing it toward the road, tossed it to someone else and they started playing with it.” “I remember seeing another person raping her, and while he was still inside her he shot her in the head.”

    There were also cases of sexual abuse against some of the men found. In some cases, intimate body parts of the victims were violated. One member of a group who of rescue paramedics told investigators in a trembling voice that in many cases, “it was hard to tell whether it was a man or a woman.”

    I was recently excoriated by a commentator here asking “Why would anyone who is NOT a self-aggrieved Jew respond as you have to the many (antisemitic) comments here.” Because that’s what decent people do, they stand up in the face of atrocities and they speak out against them.

    • Thank you Suzanne Downing and Steve-O for speaking out against the barbaric crimes Hamas committed against women, children and men on Oct. 7 in Israel. It is alarming the silence and lack of support Cochav Elkayam-Levy and her colleagues received as they brought this horrific information to organizations who declare their missions are aligned with the support of women and children regardless of race, creed or religion. Hamas live-streamed mass murder, kidnappings, rapes, torture, mutilation and desecration of the dead. What more proof is needed? The silence and/or blaming victims for these heinous brutal crimes gives Hamas and other terrorist organizations the message that the world condones the use of women and children as weapons of war. My hope is that the people of Palestine will continue to bravely speak out against the crimes Hamas has also committed against them. It is time for all of us to stand up in the face of atrocities and speak out against them.

    • The US and national women’s advocacy groups have supported the atrocities by Hamas, as well as supporting the “trans” movement, thereby diminishing women’s current and future legal rights and status – nationally and worldwide. The proponents of these “liberal” advocacy groups are led by by the ignorant products of our public school and university education systems. Those idiotic, idealistic, ignorant fools are stealing the women’s rights real women fought for decades to achieve. If this isn’t evidence of a world poised on the brink of choosing between civilization and violent, physical snd cultural revolution, then the US and world are blind!

  3. There never was a true womens’ movement. There was a fabricated, temporary movement devised to attack male Republicans. The #MeToo movement was started and popped up everywhere when the attack on Trump and Kavanaugh were in full swing. After that, it was disbanded and quickly disappeaed. Soon men were participating in women’s sports and the #MeToo never appeared again.

    • Jim, sadly you ignore history.
      Have you heard of the suffragettes in Britain and the US? That was back in 1848. That movement culminated in the 19th amendment here in the US giving women the right to vote. Women continued to fight for equal access and rights under the law. Then back in the 60’s early 70’s the feminist movement picked up steam demanding equal pay for equal work. Sadly it at some point lost its way when they made men the scourge of everything and claimed all sex was rape…(probably because women had made great strides and so the initial activism had achieve the goals set, but certain radical elements within the movement sought a way to stay relevant).
      I agree with you that most of the #Metoo movement was artificially generated, as every Hollywood starlet all of a sudden had a tale of woe, doing great damage to the real victims of rape and domestic violence as they got lumped into this and forgotten.
      That the so-called feminists are silent on men usurping women sports is pathetic and proves that it is all about liberal twisted ideology instead of defending women. That there is NO discernible outrage from NOW etc. regarding the rape and abuse of these women and children is despicable, again speaks to their slave-like obeisance to the liberal cause, and should be condemned by EVERY woman with an ounce of humanity flowing through her veins.

  4. I find it hard to belive our humanity is still in the caveman era at this time and place I am watching the TV and not believing what my eyes are seeing with this torture, rape and degrading of young women not even grown women yet just children
    And children, being killed tortured my mind cannot comprehend this, but my eyes tell me it’s true

  5. Oh you mean just like they look the other way when a man who thinks he’s not a man tries to take a woman’s podium or the security of their own bathrooms? Women’s rights activists are a wolf in sheep’s clothing. I’m a woman and there’s absolutely no way I’d ever trust my body or life with a women’s rights activist.

  6. Israel was stupid to agree to this cease fire. Military initiative, once lost, is damn hard to recover.

    Instead of Grandpa Bloodstains pushing Israel to stand down, he should have had Delta and the Seals raging hell across Gaza to get our people back.

    But the one thing Grandpa Bloodstains excels at is causing innocents to die while capitulating to the worst kinds of human debris.

    • Masked , I think I agree about special forces being sent in but a lot of them would have been killed.

      Fighting crazy people in buildings and tunnels is huge risk.

      There would have been a lot of coffins sent back.
      Honorable death I guess.
      Sad American families.

  7. Amist all the chaos. Stirred up by whomever. There stands humanity. Monitoring the news.
    Now when they get tired of it, welp. Good luck.
    They are going to show up in mass forces, making military look mini. Think about that…

    • Okay, I am bored….what in all the world are you talking about?
      Who is “they” and what “mass forces”.
      If you are trying out for oracle status; Delphi is closed, Nostradamus has most of it covered anyway and Armageddon is already covered in the Good Book….

  8. And would not the names of the murderers, rapists, kidnappers, and torturers be a fine thing to read aloud over their mass grave?

  9. Just out of curiosity, how many of you have actually been to Israel, Jerusalem, the W Bank or Gaza? For that matter, how many have even been outside the US other than to sow your wild oats in hotbeds like Cabo, Thailand or Costa Rica?

    How many of you have actually been to a war zone? (SF, Portland, Chicago, Baltimore and Seattle don’t count) and witnessed atrocities like this?

    If you feel so strongly about it, then why aren’t you over there now fighting for ‘the cause’ (doesn’t matter which side)?

    How would you feel about it if your family member was killed, raped, tortured or taken from a music festival and is being held in Gaza?

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