Silence and Denial: Global Response to Hamas Sex Crimes


Women’s rights and achievements were just celebrated on International Women’s Day, while many still refuse to acknowledge the sexual assaults of Israeli girls and women by Iran-backed Hamas terrorists. The terrifying acts committed by Hamas are continuing against 19 Israeli female hostages who remain in captivity. There also are six Americans among a total of 134 hostages. After an agonizing delay, the United Nations finally confirmed what was clear from the graphic evidence filmed by Hamas: women and girls were brutally raped, mutilated and murdered during the Oct. 7 massacre. The deafening silence until now left by UN officials, human rights activists and women’s organizations undermines their stated commitment to all women’s rights – especially Jews.

‘We are okay to be raped, to be murdered’

More than 200 women marked International Women’s Day by demonstrating outside the headquarters of the UN Women’s Agency for Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment in NY, chanting “Shame” and “Bring Them Home Now!” The protest organizer told the crowd: “UN Women does not see it as their job to keep Israeli women safe. We are okay to be raped, to be murdered. Not one word from the chief of UN Women about what happened to our sisters. ‘Believe all women’ is a feminist promise for all women.”

UN Women and its president waited nearly two months before condemning Hamas and calling for the release of the hostages on Instagram before deleting the post; its new post removed the condemnation of Hamas. The UN agency touts itself as “a global champion for women and girls.” This includes “a woman’s right to live free from violence.” Apparently, this does not apply to Jewish victims of rape.

Marisa Shemi, whose relative Na’ama Levy was taken captive on 10/7 in bloodstained pants and remains captive in Gaza, read a statement at the rally from Na’ama’s mother: “These horrific moments turned her into the daughter of all of us. We must be her voice – the banished voice of a young woman being held by Hamas for five months.”

The UN finally released a substantive report confirming “clear and convincing information that sexual violence, including rape, sexualized torture, cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment was committed against hostages. There is reasonable ground to believe it is ongoing. Rape and gang rape occurred. There were victims first subjected to rape and then killed. Music festival victims were found fully or partially undressed, bound and shot.”

The UN Security Council met on March 11 to review the report. However, the UN has a long history of anti-Israel bias. Exhibiting the ‘impartiality’ required of her position as a UN special rapporteur, Francesca Albanese tweeted that “Israeli women, especially the soldiers, will be haunted forever” for attempting to defeat Hamas and rescue the hostages. Only days later did the UN leader state that she hopes the hostages will be released soon.

Political cartoons depicting the moral depravity and indifference of the UN, women’s rights groups and the international community in acknowledging Hamas sex crimes committed against Israeli girls and women, and ignoring the trauma of the hostages. (Guy Morad on X and Moshik Gulst for UN Watch.)

Rape Denial: ‘Believe Women’ Became ‘Believe Hamas’

Too many have ignored the rape and violence committed by Hamas against girls, pregnant women and even grandmothers, including feminists. Global women’s rights groups remained silent as Israeli women testified. The executive director of an Israeli crisis center stated: “champions of human rights, feminism and social justice have been bending over backwards to justify atrocities and rationalize rape.” The selected advocacy of so-called women’s rights organizations led to the ‘Me Too Unless You Are a Jew’ campaign.

Bret Stephens recently wrote a column in the NY Times called, “The New Rape Denialism.” He points out that most of the Israeli women who were raped cannot testify because they were murdered. The journalist also describes the history of anti-Jewish denialism: criticisms, inversions and rhetoric designed to confuse and deny crimes committed against Jews. This led groups to change their tune from “believe women” to “believe Hamas.”

Hamas continues to deny that its terrorists raped Israelis despite its video recordings and captured terrorists admitting what they perpetrated: “We had our way with them, to dirty them, to rape them” and “we had sex with dead bodies.”

‘Hamas sexual abuse was a clear operational strategy’

The Association of Rape Crisis Centers in Israel documented in its “Silent Cry: Sexual Crimes in the 10/7 War” report:  “As the scar in our hearts refuses to heal, and the souls of our sisters and brothers cry out to us from the ground, many of those we thought were partners and allies remain silent and deny the horrors. We urge you to amplify their voices and not allow these victims to be silenced.”

The report concludes that the Hamas sexual assaults “were carried out systematically and deliberately. Sexual assault occurred in front of family members. Terrorists ‘hunted’ women who escaped at the Nova music festival, dragging them by their hair after being captured. Hamas terrorists mutilated girls, women and men. The terrorists practiced brutality and sadism. These were systematic sexual assaults perpetrated by Hamas terrorists.”

Released hostage Aviva Siegel described how Hamas terrorists treated captive girls and boys: “The terrorists bring inappropriate clothes for the girls, the clothes of dolls. They turned the girls into their dolls, that they can do whatever they want with. I want to tell you that the boys go through these things, too. They can’t get pregnant, but they also go through it. I can’t understand how the world is silent.”

‘The bond between Israel and America’

Sixteen U.S. Representatives and Senators – Democrats and Republicans – invited relatives of American and Israeli hostages to President Biden’s State of the Union address. House Speaker Mike Johnson invited released hostage Mia Schem.

Mia was “deeply honored and grateful to the Speaker for allowing me to show my gratitude for the U.S. government. My thoughts and prayers are constantly with my friends who are still being held hostage by Hamas terrorists. The bond between our countries is more important than ever and cannot be broken. As believers in God, we continue to pray together for peace.”

19-year-old Na’ama Levy was abducted by Hamas terrorists on 10/7 and is still held in captivity. The photo of her blood-stained pants is one of the most recognizable pictures from the attacks and likely is a sign of sexual assault. Protestors dressed like Na’ama hold signs: “Rape is not resistance.” “Me too unless you are a Jew” is written on the back of the women wearing white shirts. (New York Post on X)


1. Jewish victims should never bear the burden of proving their trauma

There is an additional burden of proof demanded of Israeli women to prove that Hamas terrorists raped them. Israeli evidence is met with skepticism or outright denied. Jewish social media influencer and former Real Housewives of NY cast member Lizzy Savetsky: “It’s been 154 days of silence, denial, hypocrisy and cowardice. It’s disgusting. I have never been more outraged.” Israeli girls and women must be believed. Placing the burden of proof on the victims only serves to further victimize and marginalize them, perpetuating their trauma. Victims of any form of violence – including Jews – should never be worried about proving the validity of their experiences.

2. The evidence of Hamas sex crimes is undeniable

If the forensic evidence and detailed survivor testimony is not enough – Hamas terrorists admitted to raping Israelis and recorded their atrocities. Other rape victims cannot share their stories because they were murdered. Despite the irrefutable evidence, Hamas officials, sympathetic groups including some Americans, deny the brutality perpetrated by Hamas terrorists. Attempts to bring attention to their crimes are met with opposition, with some dismissing the evidence as fabricated or exaggerated. This widespread denial creates a challenging environment for the victims to seek justice or even empathy. It also prevents efforts to hold the perpetrators accountable and prevent further abuses.

3. Hamas sexual assaults against Israeli hostages are still happening

Released Israeli hostages have testified that they were abused and witnessed abuse of other Israeli girls, boys, women and men in Hamas captivity. This is a grave violation of both human rights and international law. The persistence of such heinous acts underscores the urgent need to free the hostages and hold the Iran-backed Hamas terrorists responsible. The inaction to address the suffering of the hostages by the UN, human rights groups and women’s organizations only emboldens the perpetrators. Significant pressure must be applied to Hamas to release the remaining hostages and bring the terrorists to justice.

4. There is NO context that justifies rape

Hamas apologists describe rape as ‘justified.’ Protestors across America and around the world have rallied to “Free Palestine from the River to the Sea, by any means necessary” and chanted to “Globalize the intifada.” These are open calls to destroy Israel and violently attack Jews. Posters and stickers found in NY justify the rape of Israelis and the murder of babies. Hamas and its supporters believe the existence of any Jewish state in the ancestral homeland of Jews as ‘occupied.’ The abhorrent acts committed by Palestinian terrorists are egregious violations of human rights and must be unequivocally condemned. No war justifies rape no matter which side you support. Any attempt to rationalize sex crimes will only give the perpetrators more legitimacy and license.

5. Hamas terrorists vow to rape and murder Israelis again and again

A Hamas official stated that the Iran-backed terrorist group is “prepared to repeat the 10/7 attacks time and again until Israel is annihilated. Everything we do is justified.” Hamas is part of Iran’s nucleus of terror – a network of terrorists dedicated to wiping the Jewish state off the map. Hamas proved to be a threat to Israel’s existence. Its continuing attacks justify Israeli military action aimed at eliminating Hamas and its lethal capabilities while protecting Israeli lives and seeking to minimize civilian casualties.


A. We must be the voice of those silenced and speak up for those who cannot

The Israelis who no longer can speak up, those who were brutally tortured and murdered, those who were left to die – only silence speaks for them. Those who suffered the unspeakable horror of rape followed by mutilation and murder didn’t live to provide testimonies. We must be the voices that now tell their stories and share their pain with the world. They must never be forgotten. Their truth must never be called into question or shrugged off as a myth. They no longer have a voice, so the solemn responsibility to speak for those who cannot is now ours.

B. End the Silence – Speak out against rape as a weapon of war

Hadassah – The Women’s Zionist Organization of America – and the National Council of Jewish Women are tirelessly working to highlight the plight of the hostages. Hadassah is asking concerned individuals to sign a petition to the UN’s secretary general to “End The Silence and speak out against rape as a weapon of war!” Recently, Hadassah delivered a petition signed by 130,000 Hadassah supporters from 118 countries and a letter signed by 116 organizations to the UN chief. The NCJW is urging supporters to “add your voice” to a “heartfelt plea to global women’s leaders” and ask your U.S. Senators to support Resolution 408.

C. Support those who amplify the voices of Jewish victims

In April, Former Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg will release her documentary, “Screams Before Silence,” which tells the horror stories of sexual abuse suffered by Jewish women at the hands of Hamas terrorists. Sandberg stated that “for the victims and eyewitnesses who survived, we must demand justice and hold their tormentors and rapists accountable for these crimes against humanity. And for those who did not survive, we must raise our voices because they cannot.” Visit the documentary website to learn more.


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