Israel: Violence against Women during the Gaza war

By Hila Slutsky, Internationalist Socialist League (RCIT-Section in Israel/Occupied Palestine), 19.8.2014, and


There is a direct connection between Zionist racism and violence towards women. Recently, during the Gaza war, it became quite evident:


Sexist Attacks against Pro-Palestine Women


1. Any woman who dared to express any level of objection to the war was answered with a barrage of sexist remarks and sexual harassment, unlike any male objector. Right-wing Zionists commented on her looks and many wished for her to be raped.

For example, Hanin Zoabi, a Palestinian MP, who defended the people of Gaza, was accused of being a terrorist by right-wing Zionist MPs and their supporters. Many explained her non-conformist views as resulting from sexual frustration, since she is 45 and single, unattractive, etc. They called upon men to have sex and even rape her to "calm her down."

Another example from a different angle would be Israeli actress and model, Orly Weinerman. Orly also came to the defense of the people of Gaza and voiced harsh criticism of the Israeli government and army, however this time her views were dismissed for being a "whore" whose list of sexual partners include, god forbid, the son of Libyan dictator Mu'ammar Qaddhafi, Sayf Al-Islam.

So, according to right-wing Zionists, having too little or too much sex clouds women's judgment and renders their views illegitimate. This caused one left-Zionist publicist to ask in one of her articles: "exactly how much sex must a woman have for her views to be respected"?

Again, men who opposed the war or even dared to mildly criticize the government or army were attacked verbally and physically, including prominent left-center Zionist journalists, pundits, artists and politicians. But no one felt the need to address neither their sexuality nor their sexual habits.

As for myself, I have also been threatened and sexually harassed for my position against the war. I've been called a “whore”, people wished I would be raped by Arabs or serve as one of the 72 virgins waiting in heaven for Muslim terrorists. Some of them came to where I live one night, demonstrated against me hurling obscenities.


The “Patriotic” Israeli Women


2. During the war a new Facebook page, "Standing with IDF", was opened which called upon young women to send full/half-naked pictures of themselves to boost IDF soldiers' moral. On naked parts of their body, hundreds of Israeli women wrote "I *heart* IDF" and sent the pictures to be posted on this Page, which received more than 30,000 likes.

And if this disgusting willingness of young women to take part in the objectification of the female body wasn't enough, some young women posted their contact info and offered sexual favors for combat soldiers as a way to help the war effort. Many men posted comments on this page supporting the view that satisfying soldiers' sexual needs during a war is an obligation of patriotic women.


Rise of Sexual Violence during Gaza War


3. Statistics show that sexual and physical violence against women increased during the war on Gaza. Women's organization in the underprivileged south of Israel report of a 60% rise in sexual violence in July 2014 compared to July 2013. A center for battered women reports of a 20% rise in women seeking refuge resulting domestic violence. Some of them claimed that they became used to a certain degree of violence by now, but during the war it became much worse.

The war on Gaza clearly shows how Zionist racism and verbal as well as physical sexual violence go hand in hand.

The oppression of women will end only when oppression in general ends. In Palestine this means, in the first place, to fight against the imperialist Zionist regime, which politically, military and ideologically justifies every step to fight against the just Palestinian struggle for freedom. As women we have to see, that there will be no end of oppression of us, until there is no end of oppression of Palestine.

We must unite to end the oppression of us! If we do not enlarge the struggle for a free, red Palestine, we will never be free. Join us!