Benjamin Folkinshteyn

#FeministsforRape and Other Observations

In the current Through-the-Looking-Glass world, absurdity has become the norm. Israel has been accused of the unspeakable crimes of . . . protecting LGBTQ rights (you can’t do that – that’s #pinkwashing!), substantial participation by Arab citizens in all walks of civil life (you can’t do that – that’s #democracy), and protecting the environment by being a leader in environmental sustainability (you can’t do that – that’s #greenwashing!), all to cover up its alleged crimes perpetrated against the Palestinians.

The absurdity has reached peak levels since October 7 with the timely re-emergence of the Queers for Palestine bloc, marching alongside Hamas supporters who justify terrorist atrocities as a response to the “occupation.” Putting aside the fact that Gaza has been Judenfrei with Israel’s withdrawal in 2005, the lack of self-awareness is staggering. 

It is, of course, a well-known fact that Arab countries, and the Hamas-run Gaza Strip in particular, are Edenic paradises to LGBTQ-identifying individuals and other minorities compared to Israel. Examples abound. Thus, in 2016, Hamas executed one of its own high-ranking leaders, Mahmoud Ishtiwi for being gay. Just last year, Ahmed Abu Marhia was beheaded for being gay – his head was found on the side of a road. Many Palestinian LGBTQ individuals seek asylum in Israel due to their being persecuted in Gaza and the West Bank, not only by the authorities but even by their own families.

But that’s not all, folks. Even before bodies of the victims of Al Aqsa Flood pogroms were cold, “from the river to the sea” chants pierced the air in many US metropolitan areas in celebration of the surprising success of Hamas’s efforts at harmonious coexistence, which featured peaceful activities such as rape, beheading, mutilation, torture, and kidnapping.

Yet, to date, not a single prominent women’s rights organization in the US has decried these unspeakable brutalities against women. Where are the #IamShaniLouk posts? Where is former First Lady Michelle Obama with her #BringBackOurGirls hashtag diplomacy for the kidnapped women and children of Israeli, Arab and other communities? So much for #silenceiscomplicity!

Instead, we have contemporaneous statements like this gem from Professor Anne Norton, Stacey and Henry Jackson President’s Distinguished Professor of Political Science at the University of Pennsylvania dated October 7, 2023: “Palestinians have the right to defend themselves. I ‘utterly condemn’ the occupation and structures of discrimination. ‘There’s no justification.’”

And I will leave you with this recent stock letter from President Biden in response to a writer’s concern about the drastic increase in the incidences (already high in number) of anti-Jewish hate on college campuses as well as in the US in general and beyond in the wake of the October 7 terrorist attacks.

Nota bene: In 2022, Jews comprised less than 2% of the US population, but faced 9.6% of all reported hate crimes. In fact, out of 2,042 reported incidents based on religion, more than half (1,122) were driven by anti-Jewish bias. Incidents involving anti-Muslim (158) and anti-Sikh (181) sentiments remained similar to 2021 levels.

I wish I were making this up…

About the Author
Benjamin Folkinshteyn is an attorney in private practice in the Greater New York area. He is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Pennsylvania Law School.
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