We all know of the appalling atrocities committed on unsuspecting and innocent Israelis in the surprise attack launched on Israel on the morning of 7th October – a date specially chosen, we are told, to mark the 50th anniversary of the start of the Yom Kippur war, where a coalition of Arab groups fought to retake what they claimed as Palestinian territory. That ‘war’ lasted all of two weeks, before ending in victory and an extension of territory for Israel. Now, in 2023, with its announcement of Operation Al-Aqsa Flood, Hamas is once again issuing a call to all Arab and Islamic nations to declare war against Israel.
On that Sabbath morning in October, the world woke to the news of 1,200 deaths, along with the torture and beatings inflicted by drug fuelled Hamas terrorists on many more, who were left traumatised but survived. In the same attack, around 240 Israelis were also taken hostage and taken back to Gaza, as a bargaining chip in the retribution that would inevitably follow. In some respects, since that time, the world has been strangely silent in remembering the deliberate brutality of that attack, the sufferings of the victims seemingly eclipsed by Israel’s subsequent bombing of Gaza. The Israelis may have been seeking to target Hamas, the argument seems to go, but while the terrorists hide behind and amongst civilians, the Israelis must do nothing. Which means in effect, of course, that Hamas can do whatever it wants, and kill as many non-combatants as it wants … but in the court of public opinion Israel is hamstrung.
In a major article this weekend, however, The Times has revisited the 7th October events, reporting in horrifyingly graphic and upsetting detail the trauma endured by women, gang raped by Hamas’ supposedly ‘noble’ freedom fighters. This was justified – and even planned – we are told, because rape is now regarded as a legitimate weapon of war.
Should we be surprised at this development? Perhaps not. In the Koran, young men are encouraged to give themselves as martyrs – to die for the cause – with the promise of untold delights awaiting them as recompense in ‘heaven’.
“The Prophet said, ‘The person who participates in (Holy battles) in Allah’s cause . . . and nothing compels him to do so except belief in Allah and His Apostles, will be recompensed by Allah either with a reward, or booty (if he survives) or will be admitted to Paradise (if he is killed in the battle as a martyr)’.” Sahih al-Bukhari, 1:2:35. Similarly, Sura 9:5 says, “Slay the infidels wherever you find them … and lie in wait for them … and establish every stratagem (of war against them).” While, in the same vein, Sura 47:4-9 promises paradise to whomever cuts off the head of an infidel. Altogether, in fact, there are 123 what are called ‘war texts’ in the Koran, calling for death for the infidel, which includes anyone who disagrees with the statement, “There is no God but Allah and Mohammed is his prophet.”
Such obvious hatred and glorification of violence does not indicate a loving God. And if Islam’s heaven truly does reserve a special place of honour for those who, in the course of fighting, indiscriminately rape, torture and kill those who are powerless to defend themselves, then is that final destination really heaven? Or is it hell?
But, quite apart from that, of overriding concern is the silence of Western liberals to condemn such obvious evil. Western society unequivocally denounces all gender-based violence that results in, “physical, sexual, or mental harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or in private life.” Similarly, the MeToo movement campaigns vociferously against all sexual abuse, harassment and rape. Why then has there been such silence in face of the vicious sexual atrocities inflicted by Hamas?
Is it perhaps that the lives of Israeli women simply don’t matter?