Friday, December 29, 2023

Magdi Jacobs on the Hamas sexual violence on October 7, 2023

Magdi Jacobs on Twitter, on the massive NYTimes report ("'Screams Without Words': How Hamas Weaponized Sexual Violence on Oct. 7") on the rape of women by Hamas on October 7, December 29, 2023 (link to her thread:

The @nytimes just published the most comprehensive report on the sexual violence of 10/7 that I have seen. It confirms what many have already suspected: that sexual violence against Israeli civilians did not only occur, but was used as a method of war.

Before I continue: This conversation is not about Israeli's military strategy/goals. Or its history. This is a conversation about an event that will have historical ramifications. It is not a conversation about justification, past or present. It is only a conversation about truth.

 Hand-to-hand combat against civilians is a rare kind of "first strike" in warfare. 

Something that has gotten terribly elided--if we care about history or truth--has been the overall nature of the attack by Hamas on 10/7. It was an attack where the primary victims were civilians. Hand-to-hand combat against civilians is a rare kind of "first strike" in warfare.

The swift violence of such an event. . . it is not something seen frequently outside the context of genocide  

This attack also happened very quickly, something people don't seem to have noticed. In the space of a few hours, over a thousand people were butchered. The swift violence of such an event. . .it is not something seen frequently outside the context of genocide.

It is important to sit with all of this--the true nature of 10/7--b/c so much truth has being lost, here. 10/7 was one of the most brutal--and swiftest--attacks on civilians in our modern history. Now, within this context, we must consider the sexual violence that was committed.

The primary question since 10/7 has not been whether or not sexual violence occurred, but whether sexual violence was used as a method of war. The preponderance of evidence has long weighed in favor of the latter. The Times' article makes it even clearer.

Every indicator is that the violence was systematic  

When determining whether sexual violence has been used as a method of war, investigators will look at the scale & scope: was the violence limited to one area & one group of men or was it much broader in its scope? The answer is: every indicator is that the violence was systematic.

The Times interviewed witnesses and reviewed visual evidence--photo and video--from at least 7 sites on 10/7. This entails that Hamas militants, in the space of a few hours, are alleged to have committed several *separate* acts of sexual violence across multiple sites.

This single fact would be of great interest to the International Criminal Court or to other bodies interested in war crimes. Several militants committing assaults across several different sites in a short time entails some level of planning/permission to engage in sexual violence.

To believe otherwise would entail asserting that, within the space of 6-12 hours, different men came to music festival, to a military base, & then to different kibbutzim & other sites & decided, independently of one another, to commit these crimes against women.

Trigger warning: I am trying to not be graphic, but here I do have to give some detail: Both genital mutilation & gang rape are alleged to have occurred at different sites. Different weapons were used for the mutilation. There are also accounts of broken bones across sites.

I'm not a war crimes investigator or expert in international humanitarian law. But, broadly speaking, this is how people answer the Q: "was sexual violence used as a method of war?" Was there planning? Was it systematic? Are only the soldiers culpable or are others culpable too?

I have many thoughts on this story and our reaction to it, but I am taking a break now. I encourage everyone to be faithful to the truth first & foremost. No justice has ever come from denying the truth.


The last paragraphs of the New York Times article are on the children of Gal Abdush, who was raped and murdered by Hamas terrorists, and her husband Nagi, also murdered by Hamas.

The couple had been together since they were teenagers. To the family, it seems only yesterday that Mr. Abdush was heading off to work to fix water heaters, a bag of tools slung over his shoulder, and Ms. Abdush was cooking up mashed potatoes and schnitzel for their two sons, Eliav, 10, and Refael, 7.

The boys are now orphans. They were sleeping over at an aunt’s the night their parents were killed. Ms. Abdush’s mother and father have applied for permanent custody, and everyone is chipping in to help.

Night after night, Ms. Abdush’s mother, Eti Bracha, lies in bed with the boys until they drift off. A few weeks ago, she said she tried to quietly leave their bedroom when the younger boy stopped her.

“Grandma,” he said, “I want to ask you a question.”

“Honey,” she said, “you can ask anything.”

“Grandma, how did mom die?”

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