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Rape Deniers: Evidence of Hamas Sexual Assault Ignored Despite Proof (Part Three)

Partygoers at the Supernova Psy-Trance Festival running to safety during the Hamas attack on Oct. 7, 2023, as seen in the documentary “Supernova: The Music Festival Massacre.” Photo: Screenshot

Where there are anti-Jewish atrocities, there are deniers. And on Oct 7, there were atrocities, including countless acts of murder and mutilation, as well as brutal acts of sexual violence by the Palestinian attackers.

In this three part series, CAMERA will expose some of these deniers, and offer irrefutable proof of the sexual abuse of Israeli women by the Palestinian attackers both during and after the October 7 atrocities.

Part One of this story laid out the facts about Hamas’ sexual violence, proof it happened, and some information about the critics who are disputing these facts. Part Two laid out more evidence of sexual violence against Israelis, and debunked claims that the assaults didn’t happen.

Part Three follows below.

Claim: Gal Abdush’s Family Disproves Rape. (It does not.)

A horrifying video of Gal Abdush’s corpse, recorded not long after she was murdered, shows the condition of her remains: dress hiked up to her waist, no underwear, legs splayed, and face seriously burned. The video led Israeli police and some members of her family to conclude she was raped, the New York Times reported.

But The Intercept charges that this report contained “serious mistakes,” noting that “subsequent public comments from the family” show they reject this conclusion and linking to a piece on Mondoweiss that raises the same point. Others, too, latched on to this argument.

It is true that some family members — though contrary to how Mondoweiss and The Intercept frame it, not all — have pushed back on the conclusion she was raped. Is this the damning evidence the outlets make it out to be?

Not according to those same outlets. Just days before Mondoweiss insisted the account of Gal’s rape is “undermined” by the beliefs of the family members, it called on readers to dismiss conclusions from Israel first responders because they “lack the professional qualifications to make such assessments (they are not medical experts).”

The Intercept, too, brushed off a recovery worker’s account of sexual violence since she “has no medical or forensic credentials to legally determine rape.” They don’t explain why credentials are suddenly irrelevant when it comes to the Abdush family members.

In pushing back against the rape conclusion, Gal’s brother-in-law Nissim Abdush, and her sisters Miral Alter and Talia Bracha, separately pleaded that we remember the victim has two young children. The psychological impact an account of sexual violence would have on the kids was clearly on their mind. Mostly, though, they cited the timing of communications from Gal and her husband Naji, who was also murdered.

At 6:51 a.m., Gal sent a WhatsApp message noting that she was near the border with Gaza. Nissim, the brother in law, said he spoke to Naji at 7:00, who shared that he was injured in the hand and that Gal was dead. Miral, in a comment on Instagram, recalled hearing slightly different account of Nissim’s conversation with Naji: That at this point Gal was shot and wheezing a death rattle. At 7:44, Naji sent his brother Nissim a final WhatsApp message: Take care of the kids.

Nissim was emphatic in saying he did not believe she was raped. Talia, in an Instagram post, said that we can’t know what Gal endured and rejected accounts of what happened.

Miral, in her Instagram comment, argued Gal wasn’t raped and couldn’t have been assaulted in the time between her last message and Naji’s call to Nissim. But she subsequently deleted her comment, and later told the Times she was confused and trying to protect her sister: “Did she suffer? Did she die right away? I want to hope she didn’t suffer, but we will never know.”

What we do know is that the couple’s ordeal didn’t end at 7:44. At some point after sending his last message, Naji was killed and his body was burned. In Naji’s communications, he apparently never mentioned Gal’s burnt face, though that doesn’t mean it was not burnt. Atrocities subsequent to Gal’s death cannot be ruled out. The United Nations mission report acknowledges “the mutilation of corpses, including decapitation” and notes that “photos and videos revealed widespread mutilation of bodies, involving both attempted and actual decapitation.” It also references “accounts of individuals who witnessed at least two incidents of rape of corpses of women.”

Separately, Mondoweiss and The Intercept insist that the New York Times story on sexual violence hinges or centers on the Abdush case. That is false.

Claim: Sapir’s Testimony Cannot Possibly Be True. (It can.)

A woman named Sapir told the police, and later journalists, of witnessing sadistic gang rape, murder, and mutilation including the severing of breasts.

A Grayzone author insists the testimony is a “transparent fraud” — including because she spoke of the victims breast being severed. There is, though, corroboration of this very type of bodily mutilation. In video testimony, someone who appears to have worked at one of the makeshift morgues for murdered Israelis independently describes encountering corpses with missing breasts.

Electronic Intifada’s Ali Abunimah charges that Sapir is not credible because she had described seeing Hamas fighters at the scene raising decapitated heads. In his words: “So has anyone else said that they saw Palestinian fighters carrying decapitated heads? Even the Israeli government hasn’t said that. But that shows you the credibility of this alleged eyewitness,” Abunimah says.

The New York Times later reported that

The police also said they found Sapir’s bag where she said she had been hiding, and women’s clothing near where she said the rapes occurred. And three severed heads were found farther away, near the bodies of assailants in military fatigues, Israeli officials said, without providing more detail.

The United Nations mission report confirms decapitations, including some attested to in photo or video. Video from October shows Palestinian attackers ecstatically trying to decapitate a Thai worker in with a garden hoe. David Tahar, the father of an Israeli soldier killed in the Oct. 7 massacre, shared that his son’s head was taken to Gaza as a trophy. A video of unknown provenance shared on popular Arabic-language Telegram accounts just after the October 7 attack, which has been viewed by CAMERA, shows terrorists standing in front of an Islamic Jihad al-Quds Brigades flag proudly displaying a severed head.

Mondoweiss’ attempt to itemize why Sapir is a “non-credible witness” likewise falls flat.

Claim: ZAKA Unit Commander Says the Group Only Treats Jews. (The link says otherwise.)

Volunteers from the disaster recovery organization ZAKA were among the first in the field, and some of its volunteers have described seeing evidence of sexual violence. Mondoweiss seeks to discredit the organization as a whole, claiming:

ZAKA’s “operation unit commander” stated that “he puts aside medical consideration and decisions are made on who deserves treatment based on whether they are Jewish.” (Link in original)

But the quote is nowhere to be found in the linked article — neither in the text nor the embedded audio segment that it summarizes.

The audio is of an interview about how to prioritize treating terrorists who are injured while attacking Jewish targets. The interviewer asks the ZAKA official: “When you arrive in the field, and there are two people strewed on the ground — the terrorist, who is terribly [injured], and next to him a Jew who was run over [in a car-ramming attack], with broken legs — do you have some sort of code, who to treat first?” The official ultimately responds to this, and to various other hypotheticals, by stating that in the case of terrorists and also any type of murderer, he would first attend to the victim. Though the interviewer does at times use “Jew” as shorthand for the targets of terror attacks, the medic himself never once says “Jew” or “Arab.” Mondoweiss similarly misrepresents a second, nearly identical discussion about terrorists and victims.

Claim: Raz Cohen Didn’t Mention Rape on Oct. 9. (He did.)

Raz Cohen, a survivor of the Nova music festival massacre, describes hiding in a streambed and witnessing several Palestinian infiltrators raping an Israeli woman before stabbing her to death. The following is his account to The New York Times:

He said he then saw five men, wearing civilian clothes, all carrying knives and one carrying a hammer, dragging a woman across the ground. She was young, naked and screaming.

“They all gather around her,” Mr. Cohen said. “She’s standing up. They start raping her. I saw the men standing in a half circle around her. One penetrates her. She screams. I still remember her voice, screams without words.”

“Then one of them raises a knife,” he said, “and they just slaughtered her.”

Seeking to discredit the testimony, Max Blumenthal charged that, “Since his first interview on October 9, Cohen has altered his testimony several times.” Ali Abunimah names Cohen among witnesses who “lack credibility” because, he alleges, they “changed their stories over time.” The Intercept claims Cohen’s comments in one interview contradict a claim The New York Times attributed to him.

According to Blumenthal: “When Cohen was interviewed on October 9 about the attack on the music festival, … he did not mention any act of sexual assault committed by Hamas militants.” Abunimah likewise cites the charge that on Oct. 9 Cohen “never mentioned anything about sexual assault,” as do Gupta in Yes! Magazine and other anonymous online deniers. The New York Times relayed the charge as follows: “Critics have questioned his credibility because he did not say he witnessed such an attack in his very first interviews with reporters, on Oct. 9.”

But these claims are false. Cohen did on Oct. 9 discuss witnessing rape.

In an interview that day, Cohen, who appears to still be anxious from surviving the attack (the video shows him stopping mid-sentence and looking around with a concerned expression because he hears a helicopter) tells his story to an i24 interviewer. “Critics” point to the fact that the interview doesn’t include a reference to rape. The broadcast, though, ends abruptly, before Cohen has a chance to detail his experience in the streambed.

We asked the interviewer, Ariel Oseron, about the jarring ending. He explained that the discussion was cut short because Cohen said it was too difficult for him. But Oseron added: “After he told me in person I reported on his testimony later in the broadcast.”

Indeed, in a segment recorded later that night, Oseron told viewers that his conversation was cut short because Cohen went to the hospital for psychological support. He reported that Cohen later shared with him “horrifying atrocities,” including an account of the terrorists “raping Israeli women.” A few hours later, shortly after midnight, a local news publication posted a story in which Cohen is quoted similarly saying, “The terrorists captured women and harmed them in every possible way, and when they finished their indecent acts they began slaughtering them….”

So much for not having mentioned sexual assault that day. (In an example of that capillary action that moves falsehoods from the conspiratorial fringe to the mainstream, The New York Times repeated the critics’ false charge that Cohen “did not say he witnessed such an attack in his very first interviews with reporters, on Oct. 9.” CAMERA has informed the newspaper of the error. It has yet to correct.)

Claim: Cohen Changed Account to Describe Civilian Attackers. (He did not.)

The Intercept’s reference to a separate contradiction, which they cast as another “serious mistake,” likewise doesn’t pan out. The publication refers to “comments from a key witness seeming to contradict a claim attributed to him” in a New York Times piece on sexual violence. The Intercept doesn’t elaborate further, but the passage links to a Twitter post by one of the authors, Ryan Grim, in which he comments on Cohen’s appearance on CNN. “[Cohen] just told [CNN interviewer Jake] Tapper the men he saw were not actually from Hamas, but rather Gazan civilians who came through the fence after the IDF collapsed,” Grim writes.

Cohen, though, has been consistent on this point. The Dec. 28 Times story in question reports that he said he “saw five men, wearing civilian clothes, all carrying knives and one carrying a hammer.” The i24 reporter who spoke with Cohen on Oct. 9, meanwhile, reported that he “described to me how the people, the Gaza — the Palestinians who were there, most of them if not all of them were not armed or wearing military uniforms.” The reporter continued: “He said these were regular Gazans, they were not members of any special unit, military unit by Hamas or Palestinian Islamic Jihad, these were Gazans who came to have fun.”

Then there’s the anonymous Twitter thread, shared by Abunimah, that suggests Cohen is lying because, at some unknown point during his many hours in hiding, he photographed himself smiling. That this could have happened prior to the incident is, in the minds of deniers, beyond the realm of possibility. That’s how denial works.

That the deniers rely repeatedly on falsehoods and distortions does not necessarily mean every Israeli testimony (or even every Hamas confession) is truthful. Above we mention a fabricated account by a fraudster and unfounded claims by emergency personnel. And such stories can reverberate — in an interview with the Daily Mail, for example, Shari Mendes had relayed an account of an atrocity that had previously been circulated by Zaka volunteer Yossi Landau, but which turned out to be unfounded.

To play the devil’s advocate, it’s certainly not impossible that other inaccurate accounts might have emerged from the whirlwind of Oct. 7. To play the devil himself, it’s not technically impossible that every eyewitness is lying, that every photo is manipulated, and that we are in the middle of a conspiracy worthy of the imagination of Holocaust deniers. But the sexual assault deniers, like those other deniers, haven’t made that case. They fail to make their case even with the claims above, and others.

Along with their ugly reactions to Hamas’ Oct. 7 massacre, the deniers’ bad faith is underscored, too, by the hypocrisy. After Al Jazeera broadcast accusations by Jamila al-Hissi that Israel raped women in Gaza’s Al Shifa hospital, the broadcaster pulled the video. Its former managing editor and reportedly Hamas deemed it was a fabrication, and the accuser’s brother said the testimony was erroneous. In multiple articles, Mondoweiss continues to uncritically share the retracted charges.

In March, a victim of Palestinian sexual violence spoke out publicly. Amit Soussana, who was held hostage by Hamas before being released as part of an exchange, told The New York Times how her Hamas-assigned guard assaulted her:

“He came towards me and shoved the gun at my forehead,” Ms. Soussana recalled during eight hours of interviews with The New York Times in mid-March. After hitting Ms. Soussana and forcing her to remove her towel, Muhammad groped her, sat her on the edge of the bathtub and hit her again, she said.

He dragged her at gunpoint back to the child’s bedroom, a room covered in images of the cartoon character SpongeBob SquarePants, she recalled.

“Then he, with the gun pointed at me, forced me to commit a sexual act on him,” Ms. Soussana said.

Her testimony matched what she told doctors and a social worker just after being released.

An anti-Israel social media account called Propaganda and co, which has been cited by many deniers, immediately cast aspersions on the victim. Ali Abunimah, who had repeatedly pointed to lack of victim testimony in order to denying sexual assault, immediately immediately insisted Amit’s account “needs to be treated as a lie” until someone — perhaps the Hamas kidnappers? — convinced him with further evidence. The Grayzone’s Aaron Maté, who had likewise cited a lack of victim testimony, immediately posted online, questioning her credibility.

Gilead Ini is a Senior Research Analyst at CAMERA, the foremost media watchdog organization focused on coverage of the Arab-Israeli conflict, where a version of this article first appeared.

The post Rape Deniers: Evidence of Hamas Sexual Assault Ignored Despite Proof (Part Three) first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

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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? pic.twitter.com/eNIy2SU0Ep

— 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.

The post ‘Any Chance the Media Would Cover This?’ New Video Shows Terrorists in Gaza Using Humanitarian Aid to Help Prepare Rockets first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

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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”? pic.twitter.com/FE0VbgmFLA

— 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.

The post Columbia University Anti-Zionist Group Endorses Hamas first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

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Guitarist Eric Clapton Says ‘Israel Is Running the World,’ Criticizes US Hearings on Campus Antisemitism

Eric Clapton during his guest appearance on the YouTube channel “The Real Music Observer” on May 22, 2024. Photo: YouTube screenshot

British singer-songwriter and guitarist Eric Clapton promoted the antisemitic conspiracy theory that Israel runs the world during an interview last week on the YouTube channel “The Real Music Observer.”

The Grammy Award winner and Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee, 79, referenced recent US congressional hearings where lawmakers grilled presidents of elite universities about surging antisemitism and rampant anti-Israel demonstrations on their campuses.

“I was so enthused about what was going on at Columbia [University] and everywhere. And then I saw, what I couldn’t believe, because it freaked me out, were the Senate hearings, which were like the Nuremberg trials, you know?” Clapton said during his guest appearance on “The Real Music Observer,” hosted by David Spuria. “The Senate committee would be asking pointed questions to presidents of universities, saying, ‘I just want to hear yes or no. Don’t talk to me about context. Yes or no, are you promoting antisemitism in your college? Yes or no.’ And I thought, what is this, the Spanish Inquisition? And it is! It’s AIPAC [the American Israel Public Affairs Committee], it’s the lobby. Israel is running the show. Israel is running the world.”

The hearings that Clapton referenced were held by the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, not a Senate panel.

In November, a little more than a month after the Oct. 7 Hamas terrorist attacks in Israel, Clapton released an instrumental song called “Voice of a Child.” The song’s music video features photos from pro-Palestinian and anti-Israel rallies around the world as well as images of destruction in the Gaza Strip. The music video completely overlooks the Oct. 7 massacre that sparked the ongoing Israel-Hamas war.

Clapton has recently been performing with a guitar that he painted in the colors of the Palestinian flag. Talking about the guitar while appearing on “The Real Music Observer,” he said, “We’re doing a thing now on this tour that I wrote originally as a tribute to Jeff Beck [who died in 2023]. I performed it at a tribute concert and then I didn’t play it anymore. But for this tour I’m doing it under a different guise. It’s the same tune, but I devoted it to the situation in Gaza. It’s called ‘Blue Dust’ because that’s what’s probably going to be left there. And I play a guitar that’s painted like the Palestinian flag.”

Clapton is a close friend of former Pink Floyd frontman Roger Waters, who has openly expressed antisemitic and anti-Israel sentiments, and has performed in garments that resemble a Nazi SS officer uniform. Clapton has defended Waters in the past, claiming that people “misinterpret” the latter’s position on Israel, and said last week that it takes “guts” to share political opinions like his.

The post Guitarist Eric Clapton Says ‘Israel Is Running the World,’ Criticizes US Hearings on Campus Antisemitism first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

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