Hamas Attacks on Israeli Women: An Uphill Battle Against Antisemitism & Gender-Based Violence

Israel – In a recent string of attacks by Hamas, Israeli women and girls were subjected to gang-rape and humiliating sexual assaults, with some of their corpses being violated. However, there has been a slow response from international organizations, governments, and civil society, which has raised concerns among human rights advocates. The lack of condemnation of these appalling crimes is not only unjust but is also indicative of deeper biases that need to be addressed.

The delayed response and initial reluctance of some groups to speak out against these atrocities stand in stark contrast to the swift actions taken in other cases of gender-based violence. This raises questions about the perceived value of the lives of the victims and the influence of biases on the response to the attacks.

While President Biden and his administration have condemned the use of sexual violence by Hamas, many others, particularly those mandated to fight gender-based violence, have remained silent or only belatedly spoken out. This disparity in response underscores the need to acknowledge and address the deeper biases at play, particularly those related to antisemitism.

It is important to recognize that the use of sexual violence as a tool of war is on the rise, and ignoring or delaying a response to such horrific acts effectively validates the perpetrators. The fight against gender-based violence transcends borders and cultural divides, demanding a collective effort to confront and challenge the underlying and often unconscious prejudices that hinder the pursuit of justice and equality.

In conclusion, the voices of all women must be heard and believed, and any woman’s experience of gender-based violence should not be sidelined or discredited. The silence and discrediting of accounts are not just a failure of justice, but also indicative of deeper biases that must be collectively addressed. It’s a matter of urgent necessity to reaffirm our commitment to all survivors and victims of gender-based violence and to challenge the prejudices that hinder the pursuit of justice and equality.