IDF soldiers stand to attention at Kotel Memorial Day ceremony (illustration)
IDF soldiers stand to attention at Kotel Memorial Day ceremony (illustration)Yonatan Sindel/Flash 90

About 30 students walked out of a class Monday at Oranim College, near Haifa, after lecturer Naila Awad claimed that IDF soldiers sexually harass and rape Arab women in Judea and Samaria.

According to news site NRG, after Awad showed a film on the status of Bedouin women, a student remarked that in Biblical times, Jewish men could take wives from populations they had defeated. Awad reportedly replied: "True. Today, too, many studies prove that IDF soldiers sexually abuse and rape Palestinian women in the Territories."

The discussion grew very heated from that point onward, and students demanded to see the studies Awad had been talking about. The students told NRG that the moderator, Walid Mula, made dismissive gestures and told the students to "look at your president, your chief of police. Keep living in an illusion, you and your holy army."

At that point, about 30 students got up and left.

Oranim College Director told NRG that the College President listened to the students' complaints for over an hour, and noted that Awad was a guest lecturer and not a college employee. Awad claimed that she had been citing reports by human rights organizations that alleged that IDF soldiers had harassed Arab women.

Awad was a guest lecturer on behalf of the Center for Victims of Sexual Violence and an NGO named Women Against Violence, a longtime New Israel Fund grantee whose founder, Aida Touma Sliman, is now an MK for the Arab Joint List.

The radical feminist left in Israel identifies women as an underprivileged population, thus placing them in the same category as Arabs. Male militarism, on the other hand, is seen in the radical feminist mindset as being connected to sexual violence.

Jewish women are therefore taught that as part of their feminism, they should identify with the Arabs against their common oppressor, the Jewish patriarchal-militaristic society. Arab women are seen as especially underprivileged.

The fact is that IDF soldiers have never been known to rape or molest Arab women in Judea and Samaria. Since this collides with feminist theories, one creative solution has been to accuse IDF soldiers of racism for not raping Arab women. Another solution has been to cite foreign allegations that soldiers do molest Arab women, as a booklet translated by Bar Ilan University's Rackman Center once did.