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Rebeca Permuth de Sabbagh

Feminists, where are you? Your silence is deafening

To those of us who saw the sadism and brutality of the sexual violence committed against Israeli women on 7/10 by Hamas terrorists, we will never be able to erase those images. After those traumatic acts came another one: the complicit silence precisely from the organizations called to safeguard the life and integrity of women. I exclude UN Women, an organization that has designated November 25th as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. They did speak up, but without any solidarity or empathy with the Israeli women murdered, raped, kidnapped, mutilated, profaned, and spat upon as they were paraded lifeless through the streets of Gaza.

Harmful rhetoric is starting to evolve, demanding Israel to prove compellingly the acts of sexual brutality suffered by its women. Of course, the evidence will come: the terrorists proudly filmed themselves and documented their barbaric acts. I wonder, would these organizations dare to ask for more evidence from the mothers of the girls – yes, girls – who were raped until their pelvic bones were crushed? To those who had to bury their daughters with broken legs after being gang raped? To the ones that had to identify them by comparing DNA samples with what remained of them because they were burned alive? Are the testimonies of the terrorists themselves saying that they had instructions to rape women not enough?

Heartbreakingly, we will not have direct testimonies from many of the victims because so many of them were murdered; it is not defined yet whether before, during, or after being brutally raped. I wonder if they expected Israel to have rape kits ready to verify the atrocity. When the naked, profaned, and mutilated bodies of women are found, feminist organizations know better than anyone else that additional proof of rape is no longer necessary. Still, it is now clear: #MeToo, Unless You are a Jew.

This type of sexual violence amounts to more than just rape: it constitutes war crimes, crimes against humanity. However, from UN Women and other organizations that remain voiceless when it comes to Israeli women, we expect nothing more than hatred and biased publications, if any. Israel must fight not only against the atrocities but also against the complicit silence and the double standard that demands they comply with parameters not required from other groups or nationalities.

This past November 20th was World Children’s Day, also decreed as such by the United Nations. Of course, there was no explicit condemnation of the horrific acts of burning Jewish babies alive and slitting their throats in front of their parents. UNICEF and its selective protections are only awarded to some children; they are not for the Jewish ones.

To the United Nations in its various branches with allegorical names for functions they do not fulfill: your organization has no soul. What can we expect of an organization that appoints Iran to chair its Human Rights Forum but for years fails to designate Hamas as a terrorist organization?

My message today to all these high-level international feminist bureaucrats who have chosen to remain silent in the face of evil: someday, you will regret it with your mothers, wives, daughters, and granddaughters. The hatred that starts against the Jews does not end with the Jews. Your international days are not worth the paper they are written on.

About the Author
Attorney at Law in Guatemala, Harvard Law School LLM, Honorary President of the Jewish Community of Guatemala.
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