By Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, President of Shurat HaDin (Israel Law Center)
Where is the outrage from Save the Children or UNICEF when underage girls are savagely raped in front of their mothers by sadistic Hamas terrorists?
November 16, 2023
Days after the October 7 attack by Hamas against Israel, Representative Derrick Van Orden, a former Navy SEAL and combat medic, turned congressman from Wisconsin, visited Israel after the attack and commented, “I can speak with authority. I’ve done multiple combat tours. People were slaughtered at a level not seen since the Holocaust.” The analogy was not an exaggeration. The terrorists burned babies alive in kitchen ovens.
Hamas commanders had issued specific and sadistic orders to the terror squads to kill and kidnap as many Jews as possible. They also issued orders to rape, sodomize, and sexually mutilate the Israeli women they came across.
Underage girls were savaged as were their mothers before the eyes of other family members. Grandmothers, even those in wheelchairs, were molested and sodomized. The terrorists filmed their heinous acts in gory snuff films to be shared on social media and streamed on their GoPro cameras. They took their human trophies back to Gaza to be violated, abused, and held for ransom.
Images released in real-time documented the atrocities. Who can forget poor Shani Louk, a German-Israeli 23-year-old who had been scooped up at the rave, horribly assaulted, and then brought back to Gaza in the back of a pickup truck? Hamas terrorists sat on top of her twisted half-naked unconscious body as if she were a hunting trophy. There is also the soul-scorching video of a 19-year-old Israeli woman, beaten, her wrists and ankles sliced open, led out of a vehicle by heavily armed men yelling God is Great in Arabic. Her light jeans were bloodied at the crotch, indicating that the poor girl had been gang raped and violated in ways that cannot be imagined. Who knows what fate has befallen her in captivity?
Rape and sexual assault as a terror tactic in conflict is a war crime. The Geneva Convention specifies that “women shall be especially protected against any attack on their honor, in particular against rape or any form of indecent assault.” The Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court states that “rape, sexual slavery, forced pregnancy, or any other form of sexual violence” is a crime against humanity. Many other international treaties and conventions demand that the global community must always safeguard women and girls, including and especially during armed conflict.
But the world has been silent about these heinous Hamas crimes against girls and women. Where are the self-righteous sisters of The Squad? Where is AOC, Rashida, and Ilhan? I guess their duplicitous feminist stance takes a pause when the victims are Jewish. Where is the Me-Too movement? They shamed and helped prosecute sexual predators in show business and the workplace. Why are they giving Hamas a pass? Where are the female journalists on the BBC and MSNBC? CNN’s Christiane Amanpour has been aggressively critical of Israel’s defensive actions, but silent on the sexual crimes perpetrated by Hamas.
Where is the outrage at the rape of children?
Israeli children were raped on October 7. Where is the outrage from Save the Children or UNICEF? In 2014, after Boko Haram terrorists kidnapped 276 schoolgirls in Nigeria, movie stars and politicians spearheaded the global outcry. Michelle Obama launched a social media campaign to “Bring Back Our Girls.” But the former first lady has been nowhere to be seen since October 7. Her silence has been deafening.
In the aftermath of wars in the former Yugoslavia, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, and Ukraine, the crimes against women were central to the international criminal indictments and prosecutions of men responsible for orchestrating the campaign of rapes. It is unlikely that such a special prosecutor will be called to protect Israeli and Jewish women. I have fought the destructive virus of anti-Israel bias of the International Criminal Court for years. The court in The Hague has historically used its jurisprudence as a platform for attacking Israel and not defending it.The Israel National Police has begun documenting the testimonies of surviving victims of the Hamas sexual onslaught as well as accounts from those who witnessed the atrocities for use in later prosecutions. The accounts of barbaric atrocities from that day are bone-chilling. One girl, a witness to a gang rape told investigators, “I saw the Palestinians bending her down, raping her and simply passing her on to the next [terrorist].” They cut off her breast and played with it,” she continued.
Israel will win the war against the sadistic terrorists because it must. Hamas must be eradicated. But when the shooting stops, the rubble clears, and the terrorists have been hunted down and destroyed, there will be a reckoning. Those who spent their lives fighting for women and children but held their tongue when the victims were Jewish will have to answer for their hypocritical and tell-tale prejudicial silence.
Nitsana Darshan-Leitner is the president of Shurat HaDin that and the co-author of the National bestselling Harpoon: Inside the Covert War Against Terrorism’s Money Masters