As for women, even the United Nations has condemned the oppression of women in Palestine:
Women and girls in Palestine continue to experience various forms of violence due to the entrenched discriminatory social norms and traditions, and the prolonged Israeli occupation. The most common types of violence against women observed in Palestine include domestic violence, sexual harassment, early marriage and femicide, as well as public and private spheres including streets, workplaces, homes and high-density areas such as refugee camps, particularly in Gaza. The outdated and discriminatory laws in Palestine hinder survivors of violence from accessing gender-responsive services and obtaining justice. In addition, survivors of violence often face social stigma, and are blamed as responsible for the violence occurred to them.
Notice how they blame this partly on Israel, despite the fact that similar violence is seen in other Muslim countries like Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iran, where it can’t be blamed on Israel. (Note that two of those links go to UN reports!) In general, women are second class citizens in Muslim society, and nobody with neurons doubts this.
Nevertheless, we see stuff like this, which can only be described as cognitive dissonance, or, less charitably, hypocrisy:
LGBTQ supporting Palestine/Hamas
is like chickens 🐔 supporting KFC pic.twitter.com/uCzNbiGnJ1
— Rishi Bagree (@rishibagree) October 8, 2023
. . . and this:
Of course women become fifth-class citizens if they’re Israeli, but we’ll get to that in a minute.
The decision of LGBTQ people and feminists to support Muslim societies—societies where they’d never want to live, for many of them would be killed because of their sexual orientation—is an example of MacPherson’s Law, confected by one of our readers. According to Diana, if progressives must choose between conflicting causes to support, and one of them is women’s rights, the women’s rights lose. (By “causes”, I mean “supporting a group deemed to be oppressed.”) I’ll add a corollary: if progressives have to choose between two conflicting causes, and one of them is LGBTQ rights, those rights also lose.
The article below from Unherd, by Nicole Lampert. shows how Western feminists have largely ignored not only the oppression of women in Muslim countries, but the sexual violence inflicted on women by Hamas on October 7. Click the headline to read.
I’ll give an excerpt:
After Hamas terrorists set about murdering, raping and abducting as many women as they could, one might have expected widespread condemnation from the West’s feminist groups. After all, Hamas had provided enough evidence of its crimes — within hours, they were posting footage of abducted young women in bloodied trousers being paraded around Gaza. Even beforehand, its feminist credentials were hardly glowing: it mandates the hijab, has made it illegal to travel without a male guardian, and refused to ban physical or sexual abuse within the family.
The response among the majority of groups committed to ending violence against women and girls (VAWG) was threefold: to keep quiet, to disbelieve the victims, or to insinuate they deserved their fate. In the words of 140 American “prominent feminist scholars”, to stand in solidarity with Israeli women is to give in to “colonial feminism”.
Here in the UK, this approach is perhaps best embodied in the work of Sisters Uncut, a charity that boasts its own “Feministo” committed to “taking direct action for domestic violence services”. Until this month, the activists’ work has generally taken the form of media-savvy stunts: dyeing the water of Trafalgar Square’s fountains red, setting off rape alarms outside police stations, occupying the roofs of council buildings. Yet all paled in comparison to the demonstration it organised earlier this month: a call for Israel to put down its weapons that ultimately shut down London’s Liverpool Street Station.
Afterwards, the charity issued a 600-word statement, filled with references to “apartheid”, “genocide” and disproved reports that the IDF had bombed Gaza’s Al-Ahli hospital. There was no mention, however, of the 239 abducted Israelis, roughly 100 of whom are believed to be women, or the sexual assaults that took place on October 7. When journalist Hadley Freeman pointed out this wasn’t terribly feminist of them, the group responded by claiming reports of Hamas’s sex attacks amounted to “the Islamophobic and racist weaponisation of sexual violence”. Towards the end of their rambling statement, they concluded: “no people would ever accept being murdered, humiliated, dispossessed, racially targeted, oppressed, cleansed, exiled and colonised without resisting.”
That’s reminiscent of how antisemites blame the Holocaust on the submission of Jews. “Why didn’t they resist?”, they ask. “Had they fought back when the Nazis came to take them, there would have been no Holocaust.”
The article continues:
Other feminist groups fell into a similar victim-blaming step. Southall Black Sisters, another charity committed to ending violence against women, did at least mourn the loss of life on both sides, but blamed it on “the Israeli government’s declaration of war on Gaza”. Elsewhere, Women for Women UK, which specialises in helping “women survivors of war” and calls itself a “non-partisan organisation”, has decided to raise money only for Palestinian women. Even Women’s Place UK, once viewed as an outlier for its brave campaigning for women-only spaces, decided to call for an “immediate ceasefire” without mentioning sexual violence.
In a similar vein, Claire Waxman, London’s first Victims’ Commissioner, wrote to Reem Alsalem, the UN Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women and Girls, to ask why the organisation has stayed silent. In response, Waxman tells me, Alsalem claimed the evidence was “not solid” enough to warrant a statement. An incredulous Waxman points out that November 25 is the UN’s International Day for Elimination of Violence Against Women and Girls: “How can we talk about eliminating violence against women and girls if we are tacitly saying it’s acceptable to rape Jewish ones?”
Alsalem, of course, is willfully blind: the rapes and sexual violence against the victims of Hamas has been amply documented, even on film! The fight against Hamas’s violence directed against women, then, has been largely led by Israeli groups:
To remedy this, Israeli feminists this week launched #MeToo_Unless_Ur_A_Jew, a campaign calling for the UN Women group to focus on the gender-based violence against Israeli women. “The UN Women is turning a blind eye to Hamas’s vicious war crimes by remaining silent,” they said.
But all this is nothing new, except that turning a blind eye to women who are raped and mutilated by Islamists now involves ignoring Israeli as well as Muslim women. And even the UN imputes some violence against women in Palestine to Israel. As you see above, “Women and girls in Palestine continue to experience various forms of violence due to the entrenched discriminatory social norms and traditions, and the prolonged Israeli occupation.” There are control countries, you know. . . .
I’ve always thought that there’s no substitute for actually seeing violence if you want to absorb its horrors, and that’s why the IDF showed to journalists extended videos filmed by terrorists themselves on October 7. The reaction was universal: it sickened the viewers.
The next closest thing is hearing graphic descriptions of the violence, as in the video below. I suggest that the video, a panel discussion on “The unspeakable terror: gender-based violence on October 7”, sponsored by the Maimonedes Society, the Harvard Jewish Law Students Association, and the Harvard Business School Jewish Students Association, should be required viewing for feminists who support Muslim societies.
Here is the constitution of the group (I apologize for the low quality of the print, as this is taken from a screenshot):
And here is the panel discussion (95 minutes total), which describes the sexual brutality inflicted by Hamas, its legal ramifications (including war crimes), the trauma inflicted on survivors of sexual violence, the treatment of survivors, and how to draw global attention to the situation.
But today I want to call attention to just one 13-minute segment of the panel, that from 14:06 to 26:55. It’s presented by Dr. Cochav Elkayam-Levy, Chair of the Civil Commission on Oct 7th Crimes by Hamas against Women & Children. She is at Penn, where she’s described as “an expert on international law, human rights law, constitutional and administrative law, global governance, religion & state matters, global sustainable development and feminist theories.”
Here Elkayam-Levy simply describes what Hamas did to Israeli women—and some foreign women—on October 7. This is very strong stuff, and she can barely keep herself together as she describes it. So it’s mandatory for me to issue a TRIGGER WARNING here: if you can’t bear to hear graphic descriptions of sexual violence to women (those descriptions begin at 17:05), violence so strong that acts of rape broke women’s pelvises, then skip it.
This is nothing other than brutality enacted on women because they were women, not just Israelis. And that comes from the tenets of Islam that have been incorporated in many Muslim societies. Remember too that both the live and dead women paraded around Gaza after the attack were cheered not just by Hamas, but by Palestinian citizens. Then ask yourself if the Israeli military has enacted things like this, and calibrate your moral compass.