Phyllis Chesler: Why Are Feminists Silent About Hamas Raping Israeli Women?

Palestinian militants from the Ezzedine al-Qassam brigade, the armed wing of Hamas
NurPhoto/Corbis via Getty Images

Feminist Phyllis Chesler, who broke with the left two decades ago over its tolerance for antisemitism and Palestinian terror, has written a scathing indictment of fellow feminists who have been silent in the face of documented rapes by Hamas in its October 7 attack.

Hamas launched a massive assault on Israeli towns near Gaza, killing an estimated 1,200, wounding more than 4,100, and taking roughly 200 people hostage. In addition, there were widespread reports of rape and sexual assault against Israeli women.

Reuters noted on October 14:

Around 90% of the military dead have been identified and teams are half way through identifying civilians, said Rabbi Israel Weiss, former army chief rabbi, one of the officials overseeing the identification of the dead. He said many bodies showed signs of torture as well as rape.

“We’ve seen dismembered bodies with their arms and feet chopped off, people that were beheaded, a child that was beheaded,” a reserve warrant officer identified only by her first name of Avigayil told reporters.

She said multiple cases of rape were found by forensic examination of the bodies, which have been stored in refrigerated containers.

Chesler, writing with Mandy Sanghera, noted the silence of feminists in the face of these rapes:

We cannot understand the feminist silence about what is happening to civilian Israelis in general and to Israeli women in particular. We just quickly surveyed the online feminist media and although articles appear about women being terrorized, raped, and murdered in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Ukraine—we could not find a single article about what has been happening in Israel, including what is happening to women in Israel.

This is also true of many feminist organizations.

This silence is very deep. We fear it is the kind of silence that precedes the proverbial storm, one in which Israel will be accused of overkill, and of war crimes.

Phyllis Chesler

Phyllis Chesler (Contributed/Joan Roth)

They ask:

Aren’t Israeli women who’ve just experienced sexual violence, public humiliation, captivity, and death worthy of our concern?

Do they not deserve our compassion, outrage and concerted activism?

Read Chelser and Sanghera’s full article here.

Editor’s Note:  This story was updated to reflect a revised number on the death toll from the October 7 Hamas attack in Israel.  The Israeli government estimate of 1,400 was revised to around 1,200, according to Reuters.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the new biography, Rhoda: ‘Comrade Kadalie, You Are Out of Order’. He is also the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.


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