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The New Rape Mantra: Believe Hamas

As the cultural landscape in America shifted from “no means no” to affirmative consent, wreaking havoc as it was untethered from any viable definition and was saddled with a litany of excuses making it nearly impossible to defend, whether true or false, the mantra embraced by the woke was “believe women.” As Brett Stephens shows, those good ol’ days are over, at least when the victims of rape are Israeli.

On Oct. 7, Hamas invaded Israel and filmed itself committing scores of human-rights atrocities. Some of the footage was later captured by the Israeli military and screened to hundreds of journalists, including me. The “pure, predatory sadism,” as Atlantic writer Graeme Wood described it, is bottomless.

Yet Hamas denies that its men sexually assaulted Israelis, calling the charges “lies and slanders against the Palestinians and their resistance.” And Hamas’s fellow travelers and useful idiots in the West, most of them self-described progressives, parrot that denialism in the face of powerful and deeply investigated evidence of widespread rapes, documented most recently in a United Nations report released on Monday.

Among serious people, there was never any doubt about widespread rape. Images were available from the start of women bleeding from their crotches, naked mangled dead bodies in the back of pickup trucks to be paraded as trophies of their glorious victory. Later, the stories came out about women being gang raped while their breasts were cut off, until a bullet was fired into the back of their head even as the rape continued.

While regretted sex after a few years was excoriated as horrific rape here, a new litany of excuses emerged why Hamas’ rapes never happened.

One method is to acknowledge, as one recent article put it, that “sexual assault may have occurred on Oct. 7,” but nobody has really proved that it was part of an organized pattern. Another is to raise questions about various details in stories to suggest that if there’s even a single error, or a witness whose testimony is at all inconsistent, the entire account must also be false and dishonest. A third is to treat anything an Israeli says as inherently suspect.

These are the ordinary tools of denialism, wielded as willingly by the useful idiots on the left. They would never be tolerated if raised about enthusiastic consent to sex by a college sophomore here who had a beer and later claimed impaired capacity to consent. But then, the victim here wasn’t Israeli and the rapist here wasn’t Hamas.

And finally, there is the point that there are barely any witnesses to the assaults. Where are the women who were allegedly raped? Why aren’t they speaking out?

The answer to that final question is the grimmest: Overwhelmingly, the women who could have spoken out are dead, for the simple reason that any Israeli who got close enough to a terrorist to be raped was close enough to be murdered. As for the credibility of Israeli witnesses, who else — other than the early responders who encountered the victims at first hand — should be interviewed and quoted by anyone investigating this?

Much as Israel was caught unprepared by the attack on October 7th, it was similarly unprepared for the unduly passionate to flip on one of its gravest outrages, an outrage that was so horrific that social justice demanded that innocent men be sacrificed lest no woman who claimed rape went unvindicated. Screw the facts. Screw due process. Screw evidence. Screw reason. If a woman felt she was rape, whether now or years from now, believe her. Who knew there was a caveat, “unless she’s Israeli”?

How quickly the far left pivots from “believe women” to “believe Hamas” when the identity of the victim changes. If, God forbid, a gang of Proud Boys were to descend on Los Angeles to carry out the kinds of atrocities Hamas carried out in Israeli communities, I’m pretty sure no one on the left would devote any energy trying to poke holes in who got raped, much less how or when.

Over the past decade, we’ve been told with extreme prejudice that the horrors of “rape,” whether it was rape or not, were so awful, so traumatic, so inexcusable, that there would be no tolerance of doubt. A long list of excuses was manufactured to rationalize why it was rape, whether the accuser remembered the facts or told six different stories, complained immediately or years later, was incapacitated or had one beer. And the list goes on. And on.

A core tenet of progressive thought is that the ends justify the means, the opposite of what a principled person would believe. The rest is just window dressing, making up excuses to justify their desired outcome and pounding it over and over until the weak-minded believe and the less weak capitulate for the sake of social acceptance. If the issue was rape, then there would be no question.

But as with almost all progressive causes, it’s replete with inherent hypocrisy which is eventually exposed when the horrific never-acceptable act is performed by the oppressed and favored rapist. And so the woke do a flip without any shame because the Palestinians are victims, Hamas are Palestinian freedom fighters, and so they will say and believe whatever is necessary to achieve their desired outcome.

Judith Butler describing the October 7 massacre as armed resistance: “We can have different views about Hamas as a political party, we can have different views about armed resistance. But […] the uprising of October 7th was an act of armed resistance.[…] This was an uprising” pic.twitter.com/YWqak847lx

— Joseph Hirsch (@josephhirsch5) March 4, 2024

Is raping women, burning babies and kidnapping grandmothers resistance? If it has to be to let the woke sleep at night, then it is because nothing matter more than believing whomever they’re told to believe. Even Hamas.

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