Riceviamo e pubblichiamo questo contributo dai compagni della redazione Il Pungolo Rosso, già disponibile sul loro sito (vedi qui):
Ancora sul 7 ottobre:
l’inchiesta del New York Times sulle violenze sessuali
non è attendibile
– Speak Up
(italiano – english)
Dopo che era miseramente crollata la raccapricciante balla sui 41 bambini israeliani decapitati il 7 ottobre dai resistenti palestinesi; e dopo che diverse donne rilasciate avevano dichiarato di non aver subito violenze; a distanza di più di due mesi dal 7 ottobre, il New York Times ha ritenuto necessario pubblicare una propria “inchiesta investigativa” nella quale sostiene di avere “accertato” che diverse donne israeliane furono in quel giorno violentate dai guerriglieri palestinesi. Senonché, come si spiega in modo dettagliato e argomentato in questo testo di un pool di organizzazioni anti-violenza, l’”inchiesta investigativa” americana è gravemente lacunosa – innanzitutto perché manca in essa anche una sola testimonianza diretta, in prima persona, una di numero, da parte di una donna vittima di violenza. Infatti,
«Il rapporto afferma di aver “raccolto costantemente prove”, ma non ne fornisce alcuna. L’indagine, basata principalmente sulle affermazioni non verificate della “unità di più alto grado della polizia nazionale” israeliana, non offre dati concreti. Afferma che tutte coloro che sono state aggredite ora sono morte e sepolte. Inoltre, il rapporto riconosce che nessun sopravvissuto ha parlato pubblicamente e che la polizia non ha raccolto campioni di sperma dai corpi delle donne, né ha richiesto autopsie o condotto esami approfonditi sulle scene del crimine. Nonostante ciò, si afferma che le conclusioni del rapporto si basano su prove.
«Quando un’indagine così approfondita si conclude senza alcuna prova, lascia dubbi sulla validità delle affermazioni e sulle motivazioni che stanno dietro la loro pubblicazione. Anche se comprendiamo che non è sempre possibile fornire le prove delle aggressioni, la mancata raccolta di prove legalmente valide, l’esame delle scene del crimine e il riconoscimento di non aver dato priorità a queste procedure, contraddicono il tono assertivo del rapporto, che afferma ripetutamente che le prove sono state raccolte.
«È inoltre degno di nota il fatto che Israele abbia rifiutato di collaborare con la commissione delle Nazioni Unite che indaga su queste accuse, citando pregiudizi e rifiutandosi di fornire qualsiasi prova.»
Come mai? Il governo di Israele che si rifiuta di fornire prove su un (supposto) crimine di carattere così odioso, la cui documentazione gli sarebbe di grandissima utilità propagandistica? Uhm…
Il testo che pubblichiamo – ripreso dal blog di un gruppo di iniziativa femminista egiziano – non rifiuta affatto per partito preso che possano esserci stati episodi di violenza sulle donne israeliane nell’azione del 7 ottobre, né lo rifiutiamo noi, perché “in tempi di guerre e di conflitto, le donne sono spesso le più colpite e fronteggiano molteplici gradi di violenza, inclusa la violenza sessuale”. Ma dimostra come l’inchiesta del New York Times, che pretende di provarli, fa acqua da molte parti. Per contro, “gli ostaggi rilasciati da Hamas di recente hanno fornito diverse testimonianze in cui confermano di non aver subito alcun tipo di violenza sessuale”, e si è a conoscenza del divieto imposto agli ostaggi rilasciati di fare dichiarazioni alla stampa proprio perché i precedenti non erano stati certo favorevoli alla propaganda di guerra sionista e occidentale.
Redazione Il Pungolo Rosso
NYT’s Disgraceful “Investigation”:
Weaponizing Sexual Violence Against Women for Occupation Propaganda
Following the allegations of rape cases on October 7, and 80 days of subsequent developments, The New York Times released an “investigative report” on December 28, 2023. This report, allegedly detailing the events and claiming to “verify” incidents of rape, spans over 3500 words. However, it fails to present any concrete evidence or include accounts from the alleged victims.
As MENA Human Rights organizations and feminist groups dedicated to supporting victims of gender-based violence and striving to eradicate sexual violence in all its forms, we recognize the possibility of sexual violence occurring in times of war and conflict. Women often bear the brunt of such conflicts, facing multilayered levels of violence, including sexual assault. Despite this, we find the report profoundly disturbing for its lack of credible arguments, evidence and failure to engage with any of the alleged victims. We vehemently oppose the exploitation of women’s bodies and experiences in perpetuating misleading propaganda.
Here is why we find this report unreliable and detrimental to women and gender-based violence survivors around the world:
1. The absence of direct victim testimonies or involvement in the investigation
We believe victims, but where are they? The reporters claim that the investigation is based on testimonies from 150 people (including witnesses, medical personnel, soldiers, and rape counselors), most of whom were not eyewitnesses. A close reading of the report shows that none of the accounts included in the investigation or used to “verify” the events were from the victims themselves. The absence of direct victim testimony or involvement in the investigation, along with the unconvincing explanation provided to justify their absence, raises significant concerns about the validity of the reported events.
2. The report claims to have been “steadily gathering evidence”, yet it provides none.
The investigation, relying mainly on the unverified claims of Israel’s “top national police unit,” offers no concrete figures. It claims that all those who were assaulted are now deceased and buried. Furthermore, the report acknowledges that no survivors have spoken publicly and that the police have not collected any semen samples from women’s bodies, nor have they requested autopsies or conducted thorough examinations of crime scenes. Despite this, they assert that the report’s conclusions are based on evidence.
When such a thorough investigation concludes without any evidence, it casts doubt on the validity of the claims and the motives behind publishing them. While we understand that it’s not always possible to provide evidence of assaults, the failure to collect forensic evidence, examine crime scenes, and the acknowledgment of not prioritizing these procedures, contradict the report’s assertive tone, which repeatedly claims that evidence has been gathered.
Also noteworthy is that Israel declined to cooperate with the UN commission investigating these allegations, citing bias, and refused to provide any evidence.
3. Graphic, trope-laden, and sensational testimonies with no indication of fact-checking.
The report presents lengthy, graphic details purportedly described by “eyewitnesses.” One testimony comes from an individual who describes being shot and feeling faint, which could impair their ability to perceive and recall events accurately. Physical trauma or distress can significantly affect memory and perception. Yet, this individual provides a detailed, fiction-like account that appears to have undergone no fact-checking, and is suspiciously identical to wartime atrocity propaganda.
4. “She said she then watched another woman “shredded into pieces.” While one terrorist raped her, she said, another pulled out a box cutter and sliced off her breast. “One continues to rape her, and the other throws her breast to someone else, and they play with it, throw it, and it falls on the road.”
Aside from the physical, biological, and anatomical considerations that render this scenario implausible, there would likely be forensic evidence, such as blood spatter patterns or traces of bodily fluids, in the described scenario. However, such evidence is notably absent in the report. The lack of this physical evidence further casts doubt on the credibility and plausibility of the “eyewitnesses” testimonies.
5. “She said the men sliced her face and then the woman fell out of view”. Around the same time, she said, “she saw three other women raped and terrorists carrying the severed heads of three more women.”
These acts would typically leave substantial physical evidence, yet the narrative does not mention any supporting forensic or physical proof to validate these events, not even the bodies.
6. “Sapir provided photographs of her hiding place and her wounds, and police officials have stood by her testimony and released a video of her, with her face blurred, recounting some of what she saw.”
However, they chose not to collect any forensic evidence from these locations, which would have been feasible given the bloody scenarios described, to fact-check and confirm these testimonies.
7. “Mr. Karol said he barely lifted his head to look at the road but he also described seeing a woman raped and killed.”
He barely lifted his head, yet he also described it??
8. “I did not take pictures because we are not allowed to take pictures,” said Yossi Landau, a ZAKA volunteer. “In retrospect, I regret it.”
“Yossi Landau” one of the eyewitnesses who served as a source for this investigation, also informed CBS News on October 11th that “he saw with his own eyes children and babies who had been beheaded.” He provided numerous stories to the media about this now-debunked incident, and anyone who googles articles, interviews, or testimonies from Yossi will notice fluctuations in the details within his quotes. It really doesn’t take much digging to determine that Yossi Landau is a highly unreliable witness.
He is not the only one exhibiting this pattern. Raz Cohen, another eyewitness mentioned in the article, follows a similar pattern. Therefore, the investigation not only lacks evidence and victim testimonies but also heavily relies on eyewitness accounts that have previously spread misinformation for propaganda purposes.
9. Medical staff “inadvertently destroyed evidence”
“Hours later, the first wave of volunteer emergency medical technicians arrived at the rave site. In interviews, four of them said that they discovered bodies of dead women with their legs spread and underwear missing — some with their hands tied by rope and zip ties — in the party area, along the road, in the parking area, and in the open fields around the rave site.”
Several aspects raise skepticism about the validity of these claims. The depiction of multiple bodies found in various locations, each with nearly identical patterns of positioning and undress, is highly implausible in such chaotic alleged crime scenes. The narrative of victims with their hands tied and underwear missing seems sensational and more aligned with a dramatized portrayal than with the expected outcomes of real-life violent incidents. The absence of corroborative evidence or official reports detailing these findings casts doubt on their accuracy.
10. “Because his job was to look for survivors, he said, he kept moving and did not document the scene.”
A medical team arrives at a crime scene, discovers women in positions suggestive of sexual assault, but fails to collect any forensic evidence to confirm such suspicions. It is too convenient that professionals tasked with locating survivors did not document the scene. This raises questions about the reliability of the information provided. Documenting the scene is crucial for establishing the sequence of events and collecting evidence. Without this, the credibility of their testimony as a factual account comes into question.
11. “Some emergency medical workers now wish they had documented more of what they saw. In interviews, they said they had moved bodies, cut off zip ties, and cleaned up scenes of carnage. Trying to be respectful to the dead, they inadvertently destroyed evidence.”
The actions described appear highly irregular and inconsistent with standard emergency medical protocols or forensic procedures for preserving crime scenes and collecting evidence.
12. “But Moshe Fintzy, a deputy superintendent and senior spokesman of Israel’s national police, said, “We have zero autopsies, zero,” making an O with his right hand.” “According to Jewish tradition, funerals are held promptly. The result was that many bodies with signs of sexual abuse were put to rest without medical examinations, meaning that potential evidence now lies buried in the ground.”
In a Reuters article published on October 15, it was reported that, “Military forensic teams in Israel have examined bodies of victims of last week’s Hamas attack on communities around the Gaza Strip and found multiple signs of torture, rape, and other atrocities and around 1,300 bodies have been brought to an army base in Ramla in central Israel where forensic checks to determine the identity of the dead and the circumstances of their death are carried out by specialist teams.” as per officers.
Also a reserve warrant officer named Avigayil informed reporters in October that, “multiple cases of rape were found by forensic examination of the bodies, which have been stored in refrigerated containers.”. This implies most (if not all) bodies recovered were brought in for examinations.
13. “Many people are looking for the golden evidence of a woman who will testify about what happened to her.” “The corpses tell the story.”
The main premise of the findings of the “investigation” is a poetic statement from the executive director of the Association of Rape Crisis Centers in Israel, “The corpses tell the story.” Yet, this is followed by a lengthy round-about explanation of why said corpses with signs of sexual abuse were—again, very conveniently— buried without medical examinations, implying the evidence is now irretrievable.
This narrative suggests this hypothetical evidence exists but is unfortunately buried, making it impossible to extract, yet still asserting its presence to prove the horrific claims.
The key takeaways from the investigation are:
1. Lack of Forensic Evidence: The absence of substantial forensic evidence, such as DNA samples, blood spatter analysis, bodily fluid traces, CCTV photos, and videos, raises doubts about the credibility and factual accuracy of the reported events, despite allegations of knowing the locations of events and possessing the victims’ bodies.
2. Questionable Testimonies: Several testimonies provided by witnesses contain graphic, extreme, and medically improbable details, which appear unrealistic upon scrutiny and raise doubts about their validity. Additionally, the report heavily relies on eyewitness accounts that have previously spread misinformation for propaganda purposes.
3. Absence of Victim Involvement: The investigation reportedly failed to contact or engage with any survivors of the incident, potentially limiting the collection of firsthand accounts and critical evidence.
4. Potential for Misinterpretation: The article’s emotive language, combined with a lack of verifiable details and the absence of direct victim accounts, allows for bias, misinterpretation, and misrepresentation of the events by readers or other entities.
5. The summary of this investigation’s pattern is: suggesting strong proof of evidence, explaining why this hypothetical evidence doesn’t exist, then bombarding the reader with emotional punches whose main premise is “Just believe us because we said so.”
Important Points to Highlight and Clarify Our Position:
1. Is it possible that women experienced sexual assaults during the events of October 7th?
Yes, it is possible. In times of war and conflict, women are often the most affected and face multiple layers of violence, including sexual violence.
2. But does this mean there were definitely incidents of sexual violence during the October 7th events?
No, as of now, there are no direct allegations from any woman claiming she experienced sexual violence on October 7th, and there is no evidence to support the occupation’s allegations. Contrarily, hostages recently released by Hamas have provided several testimonies confirming that they were not subjected to any form of assault.
3. If incidents of sexual assaults occurred on October 7th, is there any evidence identifying the perpetrators of these assaults?
No, none of the accounts provided in the Times investigation offer any clear indication of the alleged events or perpetrators. All we have is the confirmed history of the Israeli army’s involvement in gender-based violence towards women, both Israelis and Palestinians and even within their own army.
4. How is the use of women’s bodies and rape allegations harmful to women worldwide?
Exploiting women’s bodies and rape allegations as war propaganda carries profound and extensive implications, affecting not only the immediate conflict but also influencing global attitudes and perceptions about women. This approach undermines the credibility of legitimate cases of sexual violence. It may lead to skepticism and disbelief when survivors share their experiences, perpetuating a culture of silence and impunity. Additionally, it could provoke a global backlash against efforts to address gender-based violence and advocate for women’s rights, and it diminishes the credibility of international initiatives aimed at preventing and responding to sexual violence in conflict.
5. Should we believe these allegations based solely on claims from the Israeli forces and hearsay?
No, we should exercise extreme caution when considering claims made by the Israeli forces. This is not only due to the apparent bias intended to sway public opinion in favor of their genocide in Gaza but also because of the Israeli occupation’s lengthy and documented history of fabricating events and evidence. This pattern has been observed on various occasions. For instance, in the case of the killing of journalist Shereen Abu Akleh, the Israeli side initially claimed she was killed by Palestinians, a claim that was later disproven. Similarly, after bombing the largest hospital in Gaza, home to almost 50,000 refugees, the Israelis attributed the attack to Hamas’s rockets, a claim which was also later confirmed to be false. And most recently, the widely circulated claim of beheaded babies on October 7 has been repeatedly debunked and retracted.
In light of the foregoing, we, the undersigned MENA organizations and feminist initiatives:
- Firmly reject The Times’ discreditable report and its exploitation of women’s bodies and struggles as a means to fabricate assault incidents and push propaganda for an unlawful occupation, thereby abetting the genocide and ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people.
- Unequivocally condemn the weaponization of sexual violence in conflicts and wars. Simultaneously, we oppose pinkwashing and the misuse of rape allegations as tools to silence voices speaking out against the genocide in Gaza, and continue to manufacture public consent for it.
- Urge media outlets committed to genuine journalism to conduct comprehensive investigations into the well-documented, live-streamed, and uncontested violence inflicted upon tens of thousands of Palestinian women, children, and men—sexual and otherwise.