Israel's Mission to the United Nations held an event at the UN headquarters in New York today (Monday) on the sexual violence committed by Hamas terrorists against Israeli women and girls during the massacre of October 7.
The event featured testimony from women's rights experts and Israeli first responders who recounted what they witnessed that day. The speakers called out the silence of the UN and women's rights organizations in the face of the overwhelming evidence of Hamas' use of rape as a weapon of war. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand also spoke. Former United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton delivered a video message during the event.
Former Facebook CEO Sheryl Sandberg spoke at the session and called the silence from those who are supposed to be at the forefront of defending women's rights "dangerous."
"It threatens to undo decades of progress, to undo an entire movement. The world has to decide who to believe, do we believe the Hamas spokesperson, or do we believe the women?” she said.
Israeli Ambassador to the UN Gilad Erdan stated, “On October 7, Hamas perpetrated rape and sexual violence, exploiting these unforgivable crimes as weapons of war. These were not merely sick spur of the moment decisions to defile and mutilate Israeli women and girls. To parade their naked bodies in the street, while onlookers cheered. This was premeditated, planned, instructed. Hamas terrorists were told to commit these acts of sheer evil in order to terrorize us and our families, and drive us away from Israel out of fear. This is the enemy that we are facing. An enemy that views reprehensible gender-based violence as part of their genocidal war against Israel.”
The Ambassador criticized the UN and UN Women, “Sadly, the very international bodies that are supposedly the defenders of all women showed that when it comes to Israelis, indifference is acceptable. To these organizations, Israeli women are not women, the rape of Israelis is not an act of rape. Their silence has been deafening! I even sent photo evidence of Hamas’ crimes, in two separate letters to UN Women, which have both been ignored! Only two days ago, nearly two months after Hamas’ massacre, has UN Women showed an ounce of recognition. But this is too little too late.”
“UN Women ignored all of the proof, and were blind to all the evidence, including video footage of clear testimonies of sexual crimes. Instead of immediately supporting the victims, UN Women brazenly suggested that Hamas’ gender-based violence be investigated by a blatantly antisemitic UN body. This is UN Women’s response. So, I will state clearly today: the investigation that truly must be carried out, is an investigation of UN Women’s indifference to the heinous crimes against Israeli women!
Ambassador Erdan stated, “If the UN chooses to remain silent in the face of evil, that does not mean the world will follow suit. If the top-down approach is broken, the bottom-up approach will prevail. The world will know the truth. We know the truth and we will make the truth heard.”
“The stories of Israeli women will not be silenced! The truth will prevail and justice will be brought!”
Professor Anne Bayefsky, Director of the Touro Institute on Human Rights and the Holocaust and President of Human Rights Voices, spoke to Israel National News-Arutz Sheva about why the event was necessary: "Israel is doing its best to tell the world what the UN doesn't want it to hear. Official UN meetings, bodies and resolutions constantly lie about Israel. Unofficial Israeli-sponsored meetings tell the truth about Palestinians - like the hard truth that Arab terrorists use rape as a weapon of war against Jews."
"The UN's response to atrocities perpetrated by Palestinian terrorists against Israeli women on October 7th reveals a moral turpitude akin to the bystanders, apologists and enablers of the gas chambers. One UN so-called human rights "expert", Francesca Albanese, immediately questioned the veracity of the accounts. The UN's Navi Pillay (a self-proclaimed women's rights specialist), reporting to the General Assembly at the end of October, made no denunciation of the sexual crimes and instead defended the wild accusation by her "Inquiry" that blamed Israel for sexual violence by Palestinian men against Palestinian women. Laughably, Pillay now says she is going to investigate the subject.
"Remember, that these same UN "human rights" agents run to the presses to churn out condemnations of Israel without any verified facts - just claims from the Palestinian PR machine. Given the incontrovertible evidence that the perpetrators themselves posted online for all the world to see - including the gang-rape and murder of Jewish women - the refusal of the massive UN women's rights machinery to denounce Hamas, unequivocally, and by name, is despicable. Anti-women's rights. And antisemitism," Professor Bayefsky stated.