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

An aerial view shows the bodies of victims of an attack following a mass infiltration by Hamas gunmen from the Gaza Strip lying on the ground in Kibbutz Kfar Aza, in southern Israel, Oct. 10, 2023. Photo: REUTERS/Ilan Rosenberg

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 follows below.

Denial

As with the broader Hamas apologia, the forms of denial of sexual violence range from heavy-handed to more refined. Mondoweiss, for example, contends that the most well-known testimonies are “nothing more than a repetition of fake news and government propaganda.” Another writer who is a college professor describes a compendium of sexual assault charges as “a manipulative betrayal of actual victims” (emphasis added). Arun Gupta in Yes! magazine insists that “alternative explanations applies [sic] to nearly every sexual violence claim in the media.”

Others cast doubt with a bit more subtlety, arguing there is no evidence of “mass” or “systematic” rape while ignoring or dismissing all evidence of rape. Perhaps the most “generous” — and rarest — subcategory accepts that rape “may have occurred” but brushes it off as par for the course: “The question has never been whether individual acts of sexual assault may have occurred on October 7. Rape is not uncommon in war,” shrugs The Intercept. (Their point of contention, they continue, is whether there was a “pattern of gender-based violence on Oct. 7.”)

Which brings us to some of the specific arguments by the deniers.

Argument: Rape Crisis Centers Didn’t Confirm Rapes. (They did.)

The Intercept, in its attempt to both discredit a New York Times article on sexual violence and suggest an absence of evidence of sexual violence, cite silence from Israeli rape crisis centers. Co-authors Jeremy Scahill, Ryan Grim, and Daniel Boguslaw point to an interview with one of the New York Times reporters, Anat Schwartz, that was recorded after the publication of her piece. They write:

In the podcast interview, Schwartz details her extensive efforts to get confirmation from Israeli hospitals, rape crisis centers, trauma recovery facilities, and sex assault hotlines in Israel, as well as her inability to get a single confirmation from any of them. [emphasis added]

The Intercept authors never revisit this, leaving readers to believe the relevant professionals are unaware of any sexual assaults.

But just a week before the Intercept piece was published, the Association of Rape Crisis Centers in Israel released a report concluding that “Hamas’s attack on October 7 included brutal sexual assaults.” The report assessed open-source information as well as “information that arrived at the ARCCI from professionals and confidential calls.” It was very much a “confirmation” from rape crisis centers.

The Intercept piece, which speaks only of silence by those centers, does not mention the existence of the report.

If there’s doubt that the omission might be calculated, we should consider how the authors also cover up Schwartz’s reference to learning of a sexual assault survivor at the start of her investigation. They write:

After seeing [media] interviews [with a unit 669 paramedic who shared unfounded accounts], Schwartz started calling people at Kibbutz Be’eri and other kibbutzim that were targeted on October 7 in an effort to track down the story. “Nothing. There was nothing,” she said. “No one saw or heard anything.” She then reached the unit 669 paramedic who relayed to Schwartz the same story he had told other media outlets…

If readers were to cross-check with the podcast itself, though, they would notice a glaring elision from this summary. (Or more likely, they wouldn’t notice — the interview is in Hebrew, leaving most Intercept readers unable to check for themselves.) Just after Schwartz’s reference to calling people at kibbutzim and just before her description of reaching out to the paramedic, she tells the interviewer:

Then there started to be some drips [of information], and suddenly a psychologist who worked, volunteered, with survivors of the Nova [music festival]– so she says, “Actually a woman wrote on our site that she endured sexual assault. But I’m not qualified at all to care for victims of sexual assault, so I passed her to a colleague.” [emphasis added]

It would have been impossible for The Intercept, which says it fully translated the interview, to miss Schwartz’s comment. The relevant section lasts just over a minute. Schwartz speaks of the kibbutzim for six seconds; then about the assault victim for thirty seconds; and finally then about the paramedic for roughly 20 seconds.

Claim: There is no “testimony.” (There is.)

A November headline on Haaretz reads, “The Scope of Hamas’ Campaign of Rape Against Israeli Women Is Revealed, Testimony After Testimony.”

According to Ali Abunimah and Electronic Intifada, the article itself disproves the headline, as it notes that a newly formed Israeli commission has “thus far … not taken testimony directly.” This, Abunimah insists, is a “giveaway” of foul play.

Anyone bothering to read the piece would learn that the headline is unremarkable and appropriate. The story speaks of “testimony collected by the police,” testimony “from volunteers at the forensic medicine institute,” and “testimony from Hamas terrorists.”

Argument: Shari Mendes Didn’t Mention Rape Before November. (She did.)

Shari Mendes, who worked at a makeshift morgue used to process and identify bodies from Hamas’ massacre, described evidence of sexual assault: corpses of many young women bloodied “particularly round their underwear,” others shot in the breasts, some with broken pelvises.

So Mondoweiss works to discredit her. First, the publication charges that, in her Nov. 18 interview with CNN, she appeared under a pseudonym. (She appeared under the name Shari.)

The larger attempt to discredit her focuses on a supposed inconsistency in Shari’s CNN interview: “In [a] written report in Ynet, published on October 31, 2023, she did not mention any claims of sexual violence.”

In other words, Mondoweiss casts her CNN testimony about rape as a new embellishment, because 18 days earlier she said nothing of the sort.

The “written report” cited by Mondoweiss is a news story that cites five workers at the morgue. Here, from that Hebrew article, is the entirely of the section that quotes Mendes:

“In my civilian life, I’m actually an architect,” [Shari] says, “but on October 7, the world changed, and from my routine life we went over to rooms for identification and purification of the bodies, some of which were in terrible condition, and yet, I cleaned them all with love, dedication and respect.”

As time passed, she tries to come to her senses, and it is not easy for her. “We are still shocked by the amount of evil we saw in the bodies and the condition of some of them. We still have nightmares from the smell. It will take some time before we manage to forget it.”

She says that until this interview she did not allow herself to cry. “I’m afraid that if I cry, I’ll fall apart. I’m a woman who runs away from crying and holds a passion. I also don’t let myself feel. What I want most is for every mother to know with what love and tenderness we purified her daughter,” she says.

Then she bursts into tears.

This is meant to be proof that Mendes’ dishonestly lied to CNN.

At any rate, contrary to Mondoweiss’ insinuation, Mendes did discuss evidence sexual violence before her CNN appearance, and even before the publication of the cited Ynet article.

On Oct. 20, she was quoted in the Daily Mail referring to “evidence of mass rape so brutal that they broke their victims’ pelvis — women, grandmothers, children.” In a video posted on Oct. 24, she notes that those at the morgue saw “genitals cut off” and stated that “woman have been raped.” Ynet itself had previously quoted a video clip in which Mendes says that morgue workers have “seen women who had been raped.” She is similarly quoted in an Oct. 30 piece on a Fox News.

Mondoweiss’ argument, then, relies not only on weak argumentation, but also egregious cherry picking.

And Rami Shmuel …

Mondoweiss pulls a similar stunt with another of CNN’s interviewees, a recovery volunteer named Rami Shmuel. Shmuel told CNN that “There is not a doubt about what our girls went through with terrorists. We found naked women stripped out without any clothes, their legs were spread out.”

Mondoweiss counters:

CNN fails to mention the fact that Rami Shmuel was not present at the festival location during the attack. According to Shmuel’s Facebook post, published on the afternoon of October 7, he was “safe” in a villa in Netivot settlement.

Shmuel claims the next day that he joined efforts to search for bodies and survivors in the area in a personal, unofficial capacity. What Shmuel told his followers on the evening of October 8 did not have any hint of sexual violence: “An hour ago, I left the area, and the scenes are very, very difficult and (…) A war zone in every sense of the word. Hundreds of abandoned bullet-riddled cars, fires still burning in some open areas.” (ellipsis in original)

No hint, they say.

The fact that Shmuel was not at the festival is irrelevant — a red herring with no value beyond throwing off readers. His discussion on CNN is about recovery efforts after the massacre.

More strikingly, although Mondoweiss holds up the Oct. 8 Facebook post as if it is the extent of Shmuel’s testimony, it only represents a sliver of the picture. Shmuel was in the field for 10 days, during which his posts went well beyond references to abandoned cars.

On Oct. 9, he wrote that with every hour that passes and every bit of territory wrested from Hamas, “the magnitude of the disaster, the cruelty of the human animals, and the severe horrors are revealed.” Like in his Oct. 8 post, he shares no specifics about the human impact. Are we meant to conclude from this that he saw no victims?

On Oct. 10, he described a “difficult night” during which the “reality of the great horrors and the disaster” hit him and, for a brief moment, he “cried like a child broken to pieces.” And later that day: “The sights and stories I was exposed to in the last days are something I will never forget until the day I die.”

On Oct. 11, he wrote of “another day of being exposed to horrors” that aren’t shared in the media. It is the front line of hell, he says.

On Oct. 17, he wrote: “Come see how cruelly everyone was murdered here. There is almost no corpse that hasn’t been abused.”

For Mondoweiss to point to Shmuel’s Oct. 8 post as evidence he did not see atrocities — bodies, burned bodies, naked and splayed bodies, or anything else — is plainly dishonest.

Part Three of this series will appear tomorrow.

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 Two) first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

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Iran’s ‘Supreme Leader’ Welcomes Anti-Israel Campus Protesters to ‘Resistance Front’

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei delivers a televised speech in Tehran, Iran. Photo: Official Khamenei Website/Handout via REUTERS

Iran’s so-called “supreme leader,” Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, applauded the anti-Israel protesters who have thrown university campuses across the US into chaos over the past several weeks, declaring them part of a new “branch of the Resistance Front” against the Jewish state.

“Dear university students in the United States of America, this message is an expression of our empathy and solidarity with you,” Khamenei wrote in an open letter published on Thursday. “As the page of history is turning, you are standing on the right side of it.”

Rehashing antisemitic conspiracies of Jewish control, he derided “the global Zionist elite” for speaking against the campus demonstrations.

“The global Zionist elite — who owns most US and European media corporations or influences them through funding and bribery — has labeled this courageous, humane resistance movement as ‘terrorism,’” Khamenei wrote. “You have now formed a branch of the Resistance Front and have begun an honorable struggle in the face of your government’s ruthless pressure — a government which openly supports the usurper and brutal Zionist regime.”

Khamenei also praised students in other countries who have launched anti-Israel demonstrations on campuses, noting the leading role that faculty have played in fostering and supporting the unrest.

“Besides you students from dozens of American universities, there have also been uprisings in others countries among academics and the general public,” he wrote. “The support and solidarity of your professors is a significant and consequential development. This can offer some measure of comfort in the face of your government’s police brutality and the pressures it is exerting on you. I too am among those who empathize with you young people, and value your perseverance.”

Khamenei’s letter came amid an outpouring of praise for the anti-Zionist students by Islamist terrorist groups, including al-Qaeda.

“While we support the assassination of the infidel Zionists and the beheading of them, we also appreciate and value the movement of Western demonstrators and sit-in students from Western universities, who through their sit-ins and protests expressed their rejection of the genocide taking place in Gaza,” al-Qaeda leadership wrote in a recent communique

Hamas and Hezbollah, both backed by Iran, have also cheered the protests.

“Today’s students are the leaders of the future, and their suppression today means an expensive electoral bill that the Biden administration will pay sooner or later,” Hamas official Izzat Al-Risheq said in a statement last month.

Naim Qassem, the deputy head of Hezbollah, also praised the protesters during an interview with Al-Manar TV earlier this month.

“We appreciate and value this very much. Perhaps in the future, there will be cooperation among the youth of the world — in America, France, Britain, Germany, and all the activists,” he said. “The [campus protests] are important, especially because they will have an impact on US elections. They will have an impact on the American position.”

Earlier this month, when some universities suspended students who had occupied sections of campus and refused to leave unless school officials agreed to condemn and boycott Israel, the Iran-backed Houthi militia, a terrorist organization that has repeatedly violated freedom of the seas by attacking international shipping vessels passing through the Red Sea, offered to admit the disciplined students as transfers to Sanaa University, an institution it administers.

Some anti-Zionist student groups have reciprocated the admiration.

Last week, Columbia University’s chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) endorsed Hamas, the latest sign of its growing extremism and willingness to embrace Islamic extremism and antisemitism.

“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.”

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 re-formed under multiple names since being suspended by school administrators during the fall semester, was 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 anti-Zionist student movement’s support for terrorism and anti-American ideologies has been expressed before.

Footage of the protests which erupted on college campuses at the end of spring semester showed demonstrators chanting in support of Hamas and calling for the destruction of Israel. In many cases, they lambasted the US and Western civilization more broadly.

“Yes, we’re all Hamas, pig!” one protester was filmed screaming during the fracas at Columbia University, 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!”

Follow Dion J. Pierre @DionJPierre.

The post Iran’s ‘Supreme Leader’ Welcomes Anti-Israel Campus Protesters to ‘Resistance Front’ first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

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Advocacy Group Attempts to Shore Up Support for Israel Among US Democrats

US President Joe Biden addresses rising levels of antisemitism, during a speech at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum’s Annual Days of Remembrance ceremony, at the US Capitol building in Washington, DC, US, May 7, 2024. Photo: REUTERS/Evelyn Hockstein

A pro-Israel advocacy group is attempting to quell fears among US Democratic politicians that expressing support for the Jewish state amid the ongoing war in Gaza will lead to electoral defeat in November. 

Democratic Majority for Israel (DMFI), a group that advocates for pro-Israel policies within the Democratic Party, circulated a memo this week explaining that the war in Gaza is simply not a top priority for most of the electorate. The memo, first acquired by Axios news website, asserts that “it just isn’t true” that Democratic support for Israel will come at an electoral cost. 

The group argues that a series of misleading polls has caused Democratic elected officials to become more tepid in their support for the Jewish state. 

To bolster its claims, DMFI points to a poll conducted by the New York Times in May which revealed that only 2 percent of voters cite Israel, Palestinians, Hamas, or Gaza as their most important issue. Nonetheless, the Times tried to exaggerate the extent to which voters care about the Israel-Hamas war by highlighting the 5 percent of voters who cite foreign policy as their biggest issue, according to DMFI. However, these 5 percent of voters did not identify if the war in Gaza is their major foreign policy concern.

The group also points out a Harvard-Harris poll from April which showed that Americans overwhelmingly side with Israel in its ongoing war effort. Eighty percent of Americans support Israel and only 20 percent back Hamas, the poll revealed.

DMFI also suggests that Israel’s ongoing military offensive against Hamas has not had a noticeable impact on President Joe Biden’s national standing. According to polling data aggregated by FiveThirtyEight, the president’s approval rating on Oct. 7of last year stood at 39.6 percent, and on April 23 last month, his approval stood at 40 percent. The same poll reveals that presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump’s lead over Joe Biden did not grow over the same time period. 

DMFI president Mark Mellman told Axios that anti-Israel activists represent a small fringe of the American electorate. 

“People sometimes mistake volume for percentage, and the fact that some people are very loud doesn’t make them the majority. … It doesn’t even make them a substantial minority,” Mellman said.

The group’s efforts to reach out to Democrats come on the heels of a high-pressure effort by left-wing groups to force the Democratic establishment to stop supporting Israel. Anti-Israel organizations have organized efforts to encourage voters in Democratic primaries to vote “uncommitted” in lieu of voting for Biden. Moreover, nearly every appearance by Biden in recent months has been marked by the presence of scores of angry anti-Israel protesters

The relationship between Democratic politicians and the Jewish state has significantly soured in the months following Hamas’ Oct. 7 slaughter of over 1,200 people in southern Israel. High-profile Democrats such as Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY) and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (MA) have suggested that Israel is committing “genocide” against Palestinian civilians.

Meanwhile, former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (CA) signed onto a letter urging Biden to pause weapons shipments to Israel. Biden vowed to stop arms deliveries to Israel if the Israeli army attempts to dismantle the remaining Hamas battalions within the city of Rafah in southern Gaza, expressing concern about the prospect of civilian casualties during such an offensive.

The post Advocacy Group Attempts to Shore Up Support for Israel Among US Democrats first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

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Hate crimes in Toronto are predominantly antisemitic—and the numbers continue to rise: TPS security and intelligence commander

Antisemitic hate crimes continue to account for more than any other category of reported hate crimes in Toronto, according to the head of Toronto police intelligence. Superintendent Katherine Stephenson of Toronto Police Service (TPS) confirmed the ongoing spike in hate occurrences during a presentation at Holy Blossom Temple on May 29, where she addressed 350 […]

The post Hate crimes in Toronto are predominantly antisemitic—and the numbers continue to rise: TPS security and intelligence commander appeared first on The Canadian Jewish News.

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