Over the past several weeks, several women active in various women’s rights issues wrote compelling op-ed pieces bemoaning that, despite overwhelming evidence of brutality, dismemberment and rape of Israeli women by Hamas terrorists during their attacks on Oct. 7, worldwide organizations dedicated to women’s rights and human rights have stayed largely silent.
This is so despite the extensive video evidence of the atrocities created and circulated by Hamas itself, which is supported by instructional materials and testimonies obtained from several of the captured terrorists that women and children were targeted in the attack. Indeed, captured terrorists reported that they were provided special religious dispensation to abuse women, “in order to instill fear in the Israeli population.”
Nonetheless, organizations like the Global Fund for Women, which “condemned the violence of Israel and Hamas against citizens,” focused upon the plight of Palestinian women and made no mention of Israeli victims of Hamas in its call for a cease-fire. Similarly, UN Women issued two reports on girls and women in Gaza but did not mention the Israeli victims of the Hamas attacks. And the NGO Working Group on Women, Peace and Security issued a statement on the plight of Palestinian women and did not mention anything about Hamas, Israeli women, hostages or sexual assault attacks by terrorists.
Jewish women’s rights activists feel the same loneliness and disappointment of other Jewish social activists. They figuratively reach for their allies — people with whom they’ve worked for racial equality, gay rights and a host of other social causes including women’s rights — and there is no one there to back them up. They refer with disappointment to the deafening silence of their supposed “allies” and their newfound sense of being alone.
In response, an organization called the Civil Commission on October 7th Crimes by Hamas Against Women is working to document cases of Hamas’ use of sexual violence as a weapon against Israelis. According to Cochav Elkayam-Levy of Hebrew University, who founded the Civil Commission, “We need to start treating this as one of the largest attacks on women in history.”
The commission’s initial aim was to send a report to U.N. agencies about the atrocities. But after offering to provide their research and findings to several U.N. agencies and commissions that focus on women’s issues, the Civil Commission received no responses. Elkayam-Levy then wrote a more extensive report, signed by more than 160 international law professors, including former members and chairs of U.N. committees. They described the war crimes of Oct. 7 — the brutality and mayhem in the killing of 1,200 Israelis. Once again, not a single response was received.
So, the Civil Commission joined with Israel’s cybercrimes unit to sift through images and videos from GoPro cameras worn by Hamas terrorists, security cameras, drones, police body cams, phone and computers used by Hamas, social media posts and more, to create a detailed timeline of what took place on Oct. 7, and to use it to prosecute the terrorists for their crimes, including rape.
The day of reckoning for the terrorist marauders will come. They will pay a price for their brutal atrocities. But what is the punishment for those who have chosen to ignore the unspeakable but fully documented crimes against innocent Israelis?