Former Israeli Miss World Linor Abargil spoke at the special event held by Israel's mission to the United Nations at the UN headquarters in New York yesterday (Monday) on the sexual violence committed by Hamas terrorists against Israeli women and girls during the massacre of October 7.
The following are Linor Abargil's full remarks at the session:
"My name is Linor Abargil and I am a rape victim. This “title” was forced on me in October 1998, a few days before another title, that of “Miss World,” was awarded to me. I was only 18 years old at the time. 25 years passed since – and my crowning event became a vague memory. But I live the rape I experienced every day, battling inner demons that try to possess me, to pull me back again to the day I was abducted, brutally raped and almost murdered.
"Since October 7 I feel these demons raised their head, the chilling testimonies, the horrific videos of the atrocities committed to my sisters in Israel, brought everything back. It is like I feel their pain. I feel their insult. Their dignity shattered; their lives taken. And – the petrifying, utterly disgraceful silence that we have witnessed ever since.
"I remember the days I spoke up in public about my personal experience, 25 years ago. I remember the warm embrace of the international women's organizations. . I felt I had support, that someone believed me, that someone listened to me. Did these organizations demand any proof then? Did they question my version? Did they ask to “conduct a comprehensive investigation before jumping to conclusions”? No. How convenient it was at the time for these organizations to use my name, my fame, to invite me to their conferences, that are in a world of their own, to take a photo with the woman who became for them a symbol…and how ashamed I feel that I was nothing but an extra in their production.
"Why? Because today, in these conferences, they do not want to present the blood stains on the pants, the broken pelvises, the desecrated bodies of my sisters. The blood-thirsty Hamas terrorists even documented their war crimes – and still most of the women's organizations are silent. It took almost two months for UN WOMEN to publish this weekend, late at night, a weak condemnation.
"The horrific testimonies we have witnessed so far, and which have been presented in this conference, should have awoken the women's organizations long ago, and get them to stand with us in solidarity - but so far, this has not happened because of their cowardice. Because of petty politics. In the place I grew up there is an old saying: שקט הוא רפש. Silence is despicable. The women who were raped and murdered on October 7 were maybe silenced forever, but justice will be done. Truth shall prevail. We will never forget them. We will make the world never forget them. We will be the voice that was taken away from them.