As you may have seen already, there have been a series of stories coming out in the past week about the sexual assault of Israeli women by Hamas during the 10/7 attack. Most of these recent stories are based around an event hosted at the UN headquarters in New York on Monday:
On Monday, some 800 people, including women’s activists and diplomats representing about 40 countries, crowded into a chamber at U.N. headquarters in New York for a presentation laying out the evidence of large-scale sexual violence, with testimony from witnesses like Ms. Mendes and Mr. Greinman.
“Silence is complicity,” Sheryl Sandberg, the former Meta executive, told those assembled. She, along with Gilad Erdan, Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations, was among the event’s primary organizers. “On Oct. 7, Hamas brutally murdered 1,200 souls and in some cases, they first raped their victims,” Ms. Sandberg added. “We know this from eyewitnesses, we know this from combat paramedics, we would know this from some victims if more had been allowed to live.”
Hamas has denied that its fighters committed sex crimes, which it said would violate Islamic principles.
But ample evidence has been collected, like the bodies of women found partially or fully naked, women with their pelvic bones broken, the accounts of medical examiners and first responders, videos taken by Hamas fighters themselves, and even a few firsthand witnesses like a woman, in a video made public last month by police officials, who said she had watched Hamas terrorists take turns raping a young woman they had captured at a music festival, mutilate her and then shoot her in the head.
The fact that most of these abused women are dead is horrible but for a certain breed of “anti-Zionist”/Hamas apologists, it creates an opportunity. Case in point, Briahna Joy Gray, a former Bernie Sanders press secretary who now co-hosts a show for the Hill. She not only wants more evidence, she claims no female victims have offered testimony.
Zionists are asking that we believe the uncorroborated eyewitness account of *men* who describe alleged rape victims in odd, fetishistic terms.
Shame on Israel for not seriously investigating claims of rape and collecting rape kits. pic.twitter.com/zbHfduQnev
— Briahna Joy Gray (@briebriejoy) December 5, 2023
Later last night she also lashed out at Hillary Clinton who posted a message condemning “weaponized sexual violence.”
Rarely have a seen a more coordinated messaging push.
— Briahna Joy Gray (@briebriejoy) December 5, 2023
Again, all of this seems like an opportunity being exploited by someone who knows most of the witnesses are dead. I don’t usually agree with Jill Filipovic but she nails it here.
Yes it is generally the case that if you kill your victims, they can’t testify against you.
— Jill Filipovic (@JillFilipovic) December 5, 2023
I like this one too.
“Where are all the corroborated witness statements from the murdered rape victims?” Asks a wicked dunce trying to humanise savages and dehumanise Jews.
— Saul Sadka (@Saul_Sadka) December 5, 2023
Prior to this month seems to have had a much more conventional progressive view of sexual assault, at least when it could be leveraged in some way against conservatives or moderate Dems like Joe Biden.
— Noam Blum 🚡 (@neontaster) December 5, 2023
— Chaya Raichik (@ChayaRaichik10) December 5, 2023
To be fair. Gray has said in the past that evidence is needed, not just belief.
“#metoo was flawed in this obvious way—it was too reductive. Saying…women are not often believed & therefore we should have a rebuttable presumption of belief…is one thing. Saying “believe all women” & also…“trust black women,”…is quite superficially overly reductive.” pic.twitter.com/im8mONAXZk
— Briahna Joy Gray (@briebriejoy) June 20, 2022
She had more to say in this 2nd tweet below about #metoo proponents adopting an interest in “due process.” Note this is from back in 2018.
And that even if it’s no fault of the majority of women, #metoo proponents (whatever that means) would be well served by adopting the interest in “due process” that folks hand-wring about (often disingenuously) rather than dismissing the concern as exclusively disingenuous.
— Briahna Joy Gray (@briebriejoy) February 7, 2018
I’d just say its Gray’s own hand-wringing that now seems disingenuous. She has a clear anti-Zionist bent and so she’s casting doubt on the evidence of sexual assault against Israeli women rather than take seriously the accounts of recovery workers and those who survived the massacre. Much easier to demand eyewitness testimony from the dead and pretend their failure to respond puts the issue in doubt.
Update: A BBC article on this topic that’s worth a look. [emphasis added]
Several people involved in collecting and identifying the bodies of those killed in the attack told us they had seen multiple signs of sexual assault, including broken pelvises, bruises, cuts and tears, and that the victims ranged from children and teenagers to pensioners.
Video testimony of an eyewitness at the Nova music festival, shown to journalists by Israeli police, detailed the gang rape, mutilation and execution of one victim.
Videos of naked and bloodied women filmed by Hamas on the day of the attack, and photographs of bodies taken at the sites afterwards, suggest that women were sexually targeted by their attackers.
Few victims are thought to have survived to tell their own stories.
Their last moments are being pieced together from survivors, body-collectors, morgue staff and footage from the attack sites.