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October 7: Rape As an Instrument of Genocide

An Israeli soldier walks near pictures that are part of an installation at the site of the Nova festival, where people were killed and kidnapped during the Oct. 7 attack by Hamas, in Reim, southern Israel, Jan. 14, 2024. Photo: REUTERS/Tyrone Siu

JNS.orgAs the world marked International Women’s Day on March 8, the various social-media platforms lit up with posts from pro-Israel celebrities and influencers demanding the release of the female hostages who remain in the captivity of the Hamas terrorists in Gaza.

In the depths of the sewer that is social media—with X/Twitter at the head of the pack when it comes to antisemitic and anti-Zionist barbs—these posts were a welcome tonic, providing us with a glimpse of humanity amid all the hatred and dehumanization. But what they won’t achieve is the defeat of the Oct. 7 denial trend that is being actively stoked by far-leftists (and a few far-rightists, too), Islamist sympathizers and fellow travelers, assorted minor academics, virtue-signaling Gen Z’ers and many more of the sub groups encountered on these platforms.

I was struck, as I surveyed these outpourings, by a simple realization. We—the Jewish community and the non-Jewish allies we cling to—have been stuck at the first hurdle in telling the terrible story of Oct. 7. Too many people don’t believe us. Too many people won’t believe us. The atrocities—the mass rapes and decapitations, the orgy of slaughter—are, in their fevered minds, a cynical Zionist fabrication designed to do what Zionists always do: Change the subject and shift the world’s attention from the situation on the ground in Gaza.

Just as there is no point in debating Holocaust deniers—all of whom are predisposed to the belief that the Holocaust was fabricated for the purpose of winning sympathy for Jews and Israel, but who nonetheless would embrace the opportunity to finish what Hitler started (or didn’t start!)—there is no point in debating Oct. 7 deniers. These are not people who sift through evidence with an open mind. They come from an ideologically fixed position. They are unbending.

To my mind, there is a more important task than arguing with these useful idiots. And that is securing the recognition that the bestialities carried out by Hamas were war crimes and crimes against humanity. The pogrom was a necessary, integral component of its bid to destroy what the Hamas charter calls the “Zionist project” it characterizes as “the enemy of the Arab and Islamic Ummah… a danger to international security and peace and to mankind and its interests and stability.” In other words, a program of genocide.

That perhaps explains why so many commentators sympathetic to Israel hailed the recent U.N. report confirming many of the accounts of sexual violence committed by the Hamas monsters on Oct. 7. The United Nations, a thoroughly anti-Zionist body despite the fact that Israel is a member state, not only authenticated these claims but opened the door to a legal process targeting the Hamas leadership and its key operatives.

It is that latter goal that we need to focus on: The creation of an international tribunal to prosecute Hamas for its crimes in the legal tradition established by the post-World War II Nuremburg trials, as well as more recent international courts to try the atrocities committed in Bosnia, Kosovo and Rwanda.

By the United Nations own legal calculus, the foundations for such a tribunal are firm. Witnesses interviewed by the world body’s investigative team during its visit to Israel effectively described Oct. 7 as an “indiscriminate campaign to kill, inflict suffering and abduct the maximum number possible of men, women and children—soldiers and civilians alike—in the minimum possible amount of time. People were shot, often at close range; burnt alive in their homes as they tried to hide in their safe rooms; gunned down or killed by grenades in bomb shelters where they sought refuge; and hunted down at the Nova music festival site as well as in the fields and roads adjacent to the Nova music festival ground. Other violations included sexual violence, abduction of hostages and corpses, the public display of captives, both dead and alive, the mutilation of corpses, including decapitation, and the looting and destruction of civilian property.” At the Nova site, as well as on Road 232, the artery used by some festival-goers to escape the onslaught, and at the kibbutzim overran by the terrorists, the U.N. team found that there were “reasonable grounds to believe that conflict-related sexual violence occurred… including in the form of rape and gang rape, during the 7 October 2023 attacks.”

When it comes to prosecuting these horrors, there is a clear precedent set by the 1994 genocide in Rwanda, when 850,000 Tutsis and politically moderate Hutus were slaughtered by the loathed Interahamwe militias. One of the perpetrators, a former schoolteacher named Jean-Paul Akayesu, was prosecuted by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) on 15 counts that included rape. Through its deliberations, the tribunal determined that rape and sexual violence “constitute acts of genocide insofar as they were committed with the intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a targeted group, as such. It found that sexual assault formed an integral part of the process of destroying the Tutsi ethnic group and that the rape was systematic and had been perpetrated against Tutsi women only, manifesting the specific intent required for those acts to constitute genocide.”

These words apply to the Oct. 7 atrocities with the same degree of legitimacy. Hamas is dedicated not just to the destruction of Israel as a sovereign state, but the physical destruction of its Jewish citizens as well. The rapes on Oct. 7 cannot be explained as the consequence of high spirits, ease of access to young, defenseless women by armed men or the effect of the amphetamines ingested by some of the terrorists. Rape was a predetermined part of their genocidal strategy, as necessary for the fulfilment of their aims as the murders and other atrocities.

Not surprisingly, the United Nations has given little indication that it intends to act on the findings of its own report. Both the Israeli government and the Jewish organizations present at the United Nations in both New York and Geneva need to hold the organization to account. The global agency now recognizes that the accounts of mass rape were genuine, and it recognizes, too, that rape is a key instrument for the execution of a genocide. We learned that in the Balkans and in East Africa, and now we’ve seen the same phenomenon in Israel as well. So, let’s worry less about what the deniers think and more about securing justice for the victims.

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Assault charge laid, arrest made related to incident near the University of Toronto encampment—while its president speaks in Ottawa on antisemitism, and the school seeks a removal injunction

Toronto Police have arrested and charged a man for assault over an incident May 9 near the protest encampment at the University of Toronto’s King’s College Circle on its downtown campus.  Toronto Police Services (TPS) say they responded at 3:45 p.m. that day to a call for assault in the area of the road around […]

The post Assault charge laid, arrest made related to incident near the University of Toronto encampment—while its president speaks in Ottawa on antisemitism, and the school seeks a removal injunction appeared first on The Canadian Jewish News.

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‘Any Chance the Media Would Cover This?’ New Video Shows Terrorists in Gaza Using Humanitarian Aid to Help Prepare Rockets

Terrorists in Gaza using humanitarian aid bags to prop up rockets. Photo: Screenshot

Terrorists in Gaza have been using humanitarian aid bags to prop up rockets they were preparing to shoot at Israelis, new video circulating on social media reveals, underscoring the challenges of delivering aid to Palestinian civilians in the Hamas-ruled enclave without it being stolen.

The Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade — which is the armed wing of Fatah, the political party of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbasused bags from Turkey and UNRWA — the UN agency responsible for the Palestinians — to prop up the rockets, according to the video.

At least three of the bags say they contain “wheat flour,” and the bag from Turkey specifically says it is supposed to go “to the Palestinian people.” It is unclear whether the bags had previously been opened to extract the food and then refilled with sand, for example, or if it still contained the food that was intended to feed Palestinian civilians.

“Any chance the media would cover this, yet another violation of international humanitarian law?” pro-Israel commentator Hen Mazzig wrote on X/Twitter while sharing the video.

Rafah, Gaza: Hamas is using UN humanitarian aid bags as rocket launchers today.

Any chance the media would cover this, yet another, violation of International Humanitarian Law?

— Hen Mazzig (@HenMazzig) May 29, 2024

Almost every day for the past seven months, Hamas and other Gaza-based terrorist organizations have been shooting rockets into Israel from civilian areas, which is a war crime. Tens of thousands of Israelis are internally displaced and unable to return to their homes as a result.

There is mounting evidence that Hamas has also operated in civilian clothing and in civilian infrastructure such as hospitals. However, these violations of international law are rarely noted by much of the media.

The latest video of terrorists using humanitarian aid for military purposes underscores the issue of making sure such aid gets to Palestinian civilians. 

The US built a pier to deliver 2,000,000 meals daily to Palestinian civilians, but after a few weeks of operation, the Pentagon said none of the aid unloaded from the pier had made it to those who needed it. On one occasion, about 70 percent of the aid has been stolen while en route to a UN warehouse. In other cases, it just never showed up.

Israeli estimates suggest approximately 60 percent of the aid that has gone into Gaza has been stolen — either by Hamas or other groups and individuals. Oftentimes, that aid is then sold to the population at high prices, making it difficult to impossible for most Gazans to gain access to it. 

According to Ehud Yaari, an expert at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, Hamas has made more than $500 million in profit from selling humanitarian aid since Oct. 7.

The terror group began the war last October by massacring 1,200 people in Israel and taking more than 250 people hostage, about half of whom have still not been released.

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Columbia University Anti-Zionist Group Endorses Hamas

Demonstrators take part in an anti-Israel demonstration at the Columbia University campus, in New York City, US, Feb. 2, 2024. REUTERS/David Dee Delgado

Columbia University’s chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) has endorsed Hamas, a US-designated terrorist organization, the latest sign of its growing extremism and willingness to embrace antisemitic violence.

“The Palestinian resistance is the only force materially fighting back against isr*el [sic],” the group said in a series of posts shared by Documenting Jew Hatred on Campus, a social media account which exposes antisemitism on college campuses. “There is no way to eliminate the resistance without ending the occupation. When you see a video of a young palestinian [sic] boy traumatized in a hospital talking about how iof [the Israel Defense Forces, or IDF] shot his pregnant mother in cold blood in front of his own eyes, do not question how he chooses to resist years later.”

.@Columbia and @BarnardCollege, @ColumbiaSJP is actively promoting terrorism and anti-Israel rhetoric on their social media channels. They are sounding more and more like Hamas spokespeople every day. When is the university going to permanently ban this “student group”?

— Documenting Jew Hatred on Campus (@CampusJewHate) May 26, 2024

Campus Reform, a higher education watchdog which first reported Documenting Jew Hatred on Campus’ posts, noted that Columbia SJP has added an “inverted red triangle” to its social media biography, further indicating its support for Hamas. The Palestinian terrorist group has used an inverted red triangle in its propaganda videos to indicate an Israeli target about to be attacked, and anti-Israel protesters on university campuses have been using the symbol in their demonstrations.

Columbia SJP, a group that has reformed under multiple organizations since being suspended by school administrators during the fall semester, has been central in staging a slew of riotous demonstrations in which anti-Zionist activists verbally assaulted Jewish students with antisemitic epithets, clamorously expressed support for terrorism and Hamas, and caused thousands of dollars in damages to school property.

The group’s behavior after Hamas’ Oct. 7 massacre across southern Israel is the subject of a lawsuit filed by the StandWithUs Center for League Justice (SCLJ).

The complaint alleges that after bullying Jewish students and rubbing their noses in the carnage Hamas wrought on their people, the pro-Hamas students were still unsatisfied and resulted to violence. They beat up five Jewish students in Columbia’s Butler Library, according to the lawsuit. Another attacked a Jewish students with a stick, lacerating his head and breaking his finger, after being asked to return missing persons posters she had stolen.

Following the incidents, pleas for help allegedly went unanswered and administrators told Jewish students they could not guarantee their safety while SJP held its demonstrations. The school’s apparent powerlessness to prevent anti-Jewish violence was cited as the reason why Students Supporting Israel (SSI), a recognized school club, was denied permission to hold an event on self-defense. Events with “buzzwords” such as “Israel” and “Palestine” were forbidden, administrators allegedly said, but SJP continued to host events while no one explained the inconsistency.

The explosion of end-of-year protests held by the group forced Columbia officials to shutter the campus in April and institute virtual learning. Later, the group occupied Hamilton Hall, forcing President Minouche Shafik to call on the New York City Police Department (NYPD) for help, a decision she hesitated to make. According to The Columbia Spectator, over 108 arrests were made.

“Yes, we’re all Hamas, pig!” one protester was filmed screaming during the fracas, which saw some verbal skirmishes between pro-Zionist and anti-Zionist partisans. “Long live Hamas!” said others who filmed themselves dancing and praising the al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of the Hamas terrorist organization. “Kill another solider!”

Amid the chaos, a prominent rabbi at the school urged Jewish students to leave the campus for the sake of their safety. Ultimately, the university cancelled its main commencement ceremony.

Follow Dion J. Pierre @DionJPierre.

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