Why won’t so-called “women’s groups” condemn Hamas terrorists for raping Israeli women on October 7? This is what a growing number of people are asking, including Former Miss World and Miss Israel 1998, Linor Abargil, who gave a very moving and emotional speech before the United Nations on December 4.
Abargil appeared on Fox News’s “America’s Newsroom” on Thursday. She said, “It’s ‘Me Too’ unless you are a Jew.” She observed, “It’s not about political, it’s not about ‘Free Palestine, it’s not about which side you’re on on the map: to use rape as an act of war is unbearable. I mean, what happened to humanity?” She then became very emotional and had to take a moment to compose herself before she shared:
“One of my friends… told me a story about this young woman — that he saw a video of her — she was raped by three Hamas people, one after another raped her. . .Screaming they beat her, spit at her, they then butchered her, and one of them took her cell phone and just send everything to her mother. Her scream just haunts my friend every night he’s tried to sleep. And her screaming should be out there for all the world to shout out for this girl that is not here to shout herself. But instead, all of the organizations are just silent. …I mean, I’m telling you, I’m just speechless.”
In the second hour of Thursday’s program, Dana Perino interviewed Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) who also called out the women’s groups that are usually her political allies. They include Emily’s List, Democratic Women’s Caucus, Women’s March, I Stand With Her, and American Association of University Women.
Gillibrand said, “When I saw the list at the U.N., I couldn’t believe it. I was so aghast, I was so furious. I don’t understand how we cannot have solidarity amongst all women in the United States and globally — that using rape as a weapon of war is unacceptable. It has to be condemned. The fact that the U.N. has not called Hamas a terrorist organization and condemn[ed] the horrific violence on October 7 is unacceptable. And they’re not even enforcing international law.”
She went on to say, “I think women’s rights groups in the United States should care deeply about women around the globe and should not turn a blind eye. They should not keep their head in the sand. They have a moral responsibility to have moral clarity…”
Perino asked Gillibrand if she watched the video of the October 7 massacre that the Israeli government provided for Congress to watch. She responded, “I did. It’s unspeakable. The horrific acts that were committed in the most heinous and evil ways you can imagine: beheadings, dismemberments, mass rapes, shooting of babies and children. It’s something that should never, ever happen. And it has to be called out not only by the U.N. but by the world community. … They did not show us the victims of rape, and they did not show us the videos of rapes happening because they thought it was too horrific for Congress to see, but we should see it. And these films and these photographs should be made public because the world has to condemn this…”
Abargil’s and Gillibrand’s emotional pleas stand in stark contrast to the cold words of Congressional Progressive Caucus Chairwoman Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) on CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday, December 3. When CNN host, Dana Bash, asked her why women’s groups are “downright silent” about Hamas raping and mutilating Jewish women on October 7, Jayapal shockingly downplayed Hamas’s evil acts, continually trying to compare those acts to Israel’s justifiable right to defend itself.
Bash said, “With respect, I was just trying to talk about the women, and you turned it back to Israel. I’m asking you about Hamas…”
Jayapal interrupted, “I already answered your question, Dana, I said it’s horrific. I think that rape is horrific — sexual assault is horrific. I think it’s horrific. I think that it happens in war situations. Terrorist organizations like Hamas obviously are using these as tools. However, I think we have to be balanced about bringing in the outrages against Palestinians…”
Bash pointed out, “And it’s horrible, but you don’t see Israeli soldiers raping Palestinian women.” To which Jayapal responded, “Well, Dana, I don’t want this to be the hierarchy of oppressions…”
Although U.N. Women finally condemned Hamas on December 1 (almost two months after the October 7 attack), Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is still pleading with groups such as the United Nation’s own World Health Organization and women’s groups around the world to be vocal advocates for the many Israeli women and girls that were raped on October 7 (and for the hostages that likely continue to be abused). He said, “I heard heartbreaking stories of abuse. I heard, as you have heard, about sexual abuse and unprecedented cases of cruel rape.”
He then asked, “Did you remain silent because it was Jewish women? … I say to the women’s rights organizations, to the human rights organizations, you’ve heard of the rape of Israeli women, horrible atrocities, sexual mutilation? Where the hell are you? I expect all civilized leaders, governments, nations to speak up against this atrocity.”
Family Research Council’s Senior Fellow for Education Studies, Meg Kilgannon, is not surprised by women’s groups’ lack of attention to this horrific issue. She told The Washington Stand, “National women’s groups have been part and parcel of the Democratic Party for years. For women who pay attention, we know that these groups will never represent our values or the real interests of women. The example of excusing depraved behaviors of terrorists is just another of many ways the leaders of women’s groups serve the interest of progressive and authoritarian men.”
FRC’s Director of the Center for Human Dignity, Mary Szoch, agreed and added, “The terroristic actions of Hamas are pure evil and should be denounced by everyone — especially those claiming to speak for women. Failure to speak out against members of Hamas raping Jewish women is inexcusable.”
RELATED VIDEO: Hostility to Mother Mary – and the Role of Feminism
EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. ©2023 Family Research Council.
The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.