Believing in justice and equal rights for all should transcend national borders. Yet, when examining the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through the lens of human rights organizations, a disturbing trend emerges in the form of double standards, as the same organizations seem less critical of the human rights abuses under Hamas.
Despite being financially supported through donations, Hamas’ leadership enjoys a life of luxury far removed from the struggles of Gaza’s civilians. In fact, it seems like Hamas has no problem openly acknowledging it, as outlined in a New York Times interview with Khalil al-Hayya, a senior Hamas official based in Qatar.
According to al-Hayya, Hamas’ aim isn’t to administer Gaza and improve its infrastructure; the recent conflict wasn’t about resources like fuel or labor. According to them, it’s a strategic move to reshape the situation entirely. They believe this confrontation has brought global attention and emphasized the ongoing significance of the Palestinian agenda.
Moussa Abu Marzouk, a Hamas political bureau member, explained in an interview that Hamas built tunnels for military operations, offering no explanation for the absence of bomb shelters for Gazan civilians while using them as human shields.
After the Oct. 7 massacre, Hamas relied on human shields and their impact on international opinion to hinder Israeli military actions, viewing Gazan civilians as martyrs, no matter their age or whether they wanted it or not. On top of that, Ghazi Hamad, another senior Hamas official, openly expressed a desire for the annihilation of Israel and promised more attacks.
Despite these statements and the disturbing testimony gathered by Hamas on October 7, human rights organizations like Amnesty International remained quiet. In some instances, they even point fingers at Israel, suggesting that Israel brought the problem upon itself. Is this a case of victim blaming? Because it sure sounds like it.
Recently, Israeli police investigators have gathered testimonies from witnesses recounting instances of sexual assault and abuse perpetrated by Hamas terrorists during the massacre. These horrific accounts of gang rape align with the descriptions given by Zaka volunteers who aid in the identification of bodies and detailed clear signs of brutality and abuse on the bodies of female victims. Any word from human rights organizations? Nope, crickets.
Seeking Justice? The Demand for Proof of Sexual Assault or Rape
Feminists and those aligned with such organizations, including young students on social networks and anti-Israel protests consistently take a stance, encounter stories of the horrors that took place during the October 7th massacre, and, surprisingly, request evidence. Conceptually speaking, this is unprecedented.
The We Believe You movement aims to acknowledge, believe, and stand by victims and survivors of sexual violence—a cause widely supported by women’s rights organizations. However, it appears that when it involves Israeli women, the situation takes a different turn.
More than a month has elapsed since the horrific attack, and evidence is now surfacing. Testimonies, captured by none other than the Hamas terrorists themselves, are contributing to the growing body of proof. I won’t delve into the explicit details of the gruesome videos, sparing you from the horrifying imagery that surpasses even the most intense scenes in horror films. However, the harsh reality must be communicated.
Recently, a survivor from the Nova music festival, where close to 357 people were brutally murdered, shared a testimony. The survivor recounted witnessing a gang rape and unimaginable mistreatment of the victim’s body. The testimony also includes accounts of organ and body part amputations.
In such a case, an official acknowledgment and response from international women’s organizations like UN Women appear imminent. However, their conspicuous silence is particularly notable, especially within Israel, where women’s rights advocates claim a significant double standard exists, underscoring the difficulties they face in obtaining even a minimal acknowledgment of these atrocities.
Is the footage from Gaza, showing a van parading through the streets with a celebratory crowd cheering at the sight of an Israeli woman’s lifeless body, unclothed and seemingly dead, with blood flowing from her thighs, not sufficient evidence? Doesn’t this serve as clear proof?
But I guess that pointing fingers at the blinded global movement is just way too easy. And since we are discussing a global matter, it is far more essential to scrutinize the United Nations, particularly UN Women, the organization committed to gender equality and empowering women.
While the Palestinian cause historically garners support, the woke movement’s stance allows for almost anything in the name of decolonization, even sacrificing Israel’s perspective. In the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, perceiving Palestinians as the “weak” allows the stronger party leeway, as seen in the overlooked atrocities on October 7th.
Regardless of the horrors that unfolded on that fateful October 7th, the battle for perception appears predetermined. The historic support of the Palestinian agenda shouldn’t stretch to Islamist terrorists, while for Israel, anything is permissible and can be sacrificed in the name of the so-called “decolonization”.
Why Is Israel Consistently Held Accountable?
Israel holds a dominant position in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It is a regional powerhouse with a formidable military force, advanced technology, a strong economy, and significant support from superpowers.
Society tends to categorize groups into the “strong” and the “weak”, rather than the “good” and the “evil”. The MeToo movement, for example, shed light on instances of sexual harassment, framing women as the “weak.”
While this brought about positive change, it also established a division that has given rise to a new order— a deliberately ignorant and binary form of tyranny that bears closer resemblance to fascism more than anything else.
The current global perspective, influenced by this division, poses a challenge as it places the “weak” in the victim role, creating a temptation to exploit this perpetual victimhood for justification in any situation.
Considering the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the world clearly views the Palestinians as the “weak” and Israel as the stronger. This perception, however, grants the stronger party a perceived allowance to do anything. This mindset has troubling implications, as evidenced by the atrocities on October 7th, which often go unnoticed or unacknowledged.
The way I see it, if backing chaos and escalating violence, even if it seriously harms the Palestinian people, is deemed acceptable by those advocating for a ceasefire, the conflict will undoubtedly impact the so-called “liberal” landscape, inclining towards radicalism.
Ultimately, the clear double standard in how human rights are applied points to a concerning reality. The various events, the chants heard in pro-Palestinian protests worldwide, and the negative image Israel is currently facing all make it pretty obvious that human rights rules do not get the same treatment across the board. Especially if the person in question is Israeli.