30 March 2024

Israel’s Genocide in Gaza has Nothing to Do with the Holocaust & Everything To Do with the Shock That Comes When The Oppressed Rise Up

Israel suffers, not from Holocaust Trauma but the Trauma of Self-Induced Victimisation

Electronic Intifada has just published my article Israel’s Holocaust trauma is a myth. It looks at the claims of Israel’s supporters and Zionism that October 7 represented a ‘second Holocaust’.

In the article I argue that it is not Holocaust trauma but the trauma of settler-colonials, for whom the rising up of the indigenous Palestinians, is their nightmare scenario. I compare Israel’s situation with that of the Caribbean slave owners and South Africa’s Whites.

In the Times of Israel two Israeli holocaust academics,

Just as the Nazis aimed to annihilate the Jews, Hamas and affiliated terrorist organizations share the same objective: the destruction of Jews.

White 'trauma' in Kenya led Britain to set up a series of concentration camps

It is an evidence free assertion. What do they base this claim on? The 1988  Hamas Charter. It is true that the 1988 Hamas Charter referred to Jews and was anti-Semitic but the point is that it never informed the practice and politics of Hamas and in 2017 was discarded in favour of a ‘“Document of General Principles and Policies’.

Of course the think tanks of US imperialism have done their best to suggest that the changes are cosmetic. As Mandy Rice-Davies of Profumo fame once said, they would say that wouldn’t they. It is in the interests of Zionism to portray Hamas as a genocidal, anti-Semitic organisation.

Matthew Levitt and Maxine Rich of the neo-con Washington Institute for Near East Policy argue in ‘Hamas's Moderate Rhetoric Belies Militant Activities’  

The international community should judge Hamas not by any moderation in the group's rhetoric but by its actions on the ground. So long as the latter remain militant and extreme, the relative moderation of the former means not much at all.

What concerned them was not that Hamas had abandoned its anti-Jewish rhetoric but that they were still militantly opposed to Israel’s occupation, siege and subjugation of the Palestinian people.

This is typical of the dishonesty of western academics who conflate the Nazi’s extermination of Jews with opposition to Israeli settler colonialism. The suggestion being that Hamas and the Palestinians oppose Israel’s Jewish Supremacist regime not because of what it does but because their oppressors happen to be Jewish!

Amira Hass in Ha’aretz explained the background to the original Charter and how it came to be adopted and the fact that it had little influence on Hamas’s day to day practice or ideological outlook.

The new document contains none of the anti-Semitic articles and sentences that characterized the charter. Supporters of the movement, especially in the West, advised it long ago to change these provisions.

One Hamas member told Haaretz that almost immediately after the charter was published in 1988, people in the movement urged that these sections be changed. The charter wasn’t written in a cooperative process, he explained, and it isn’t “scientifically or legally” accurate.

He said the Hamas members deported to Marj El Zhour in Lebanon in 1992-93 were the first to seriously discuss the need for changes. But the changes were never made because doing so required a lengthy, complex process of thought and consultation during difficult periods of military escalation.

The charter itself hasn’t been canceled. It’s a historic document that relates to a particular moment in the organization’s history, and Hamas isn’t renouncing it; nor is the new document called a “charter.” Cancelling the charter would repeat the humiliation undergone by the PLO when it had to announce the repeal of certain provisions of its 1968 charter because they contradicted the Oslo Accords. But the Hamas charter is no longer the organization’s official ideological platform.

As I said in my article

‘Presumably if Gaza’s occupiers had been Christians then the Palestinians would have happily accepted their fate!’.

Levitt and Rich typify the superficiality of the ‘academics’ that adorn American think thanks and universities. To say nothing of Israel’s fake holocaust ‘scholars’ such as Patt and Steir-Livny.

Nazi anti-Semitism targeted Jews because they were Jews and extermination was a culmination of a process that began with ethnic cleansing. When Hamas attacked Jews it was understandable because Israel’s soldiers came to their homes to kill them in the name of ‘the Jews’. That is why Palestinians refer to Yahud (Jew) because that is how their oppressor appears to them.

However Hamas matured in the 30 years between the 1988 Charter and the 2017 document. They learnt to distinguish between Jews and Zionists. Nor was this simply a matter of rhetoric or verbal accommodation.

No less than the Times of Israel quoted a statement of senior Hamas official Basem Naim that the group was “sorry to hear about the terror attack” in 2018 on the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh which claimed 11 lives. Naim explained that

As Palestinians and victims of the terror of Israeli occupation, we know the meaning of terror and its horrific outcomes. This heinous attack, especially in a place of worship, proves that terror has no religion or nationality.

Can one imagine the Nazi party condemning an attack on Jews? The attack was  perpetrated by Robert Bowers, a supporter of Donald Trump, an ardent supporter of the Israeli state.

In an article in the Guardian Hamas condemns the Holocaust Naim made this explicit:

at the same time as we unreservedly condemn the crimes perpetrated by the Nazis against the Jews of Europe, we categorically reject the exploitation of the Holocaust by the Zionists to justify their crimes and harness international acceptance of the campaign of ethnic cleansing and subjection they have been waging against us - to the point where in February the Israeli deputy defence minister Matan Vilnai threatened the people of Gaza with a "holocaust".

The Nazi state had journals and papers devoted to propagating anti-Semitism. It established and funded ‘scientific’ institutes whose task was to ‘prove’ that Jews were subhuman. Pivotal to the attempts to set Nazi ideology on a scientific basis was the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute of Anthropology, Human Heredity, and Eugenics. The Institute was founded with money from America’s Rockerfeller Foundation whose money kept it going during the Great Depression.

Eugen Fischer - from genocide in Africa to the Holocaust

Eugen Fischer, who first began with medical experiments on the Herero and Nama people at Shark Island concentration camp in SW Africa (Namibia), the first genocide of the 20th century, went on to train SS doctors such as Joseph Mengele, the Auschwitz doctor.

Hamas has never sought to establish ‘academic’ institutions whose purpose was to theorise anti-Semitism. Hamas make a sharp distinction between Jews and Zionists. Many of the released captives testified to their humane treatment at the hands of Hamas. These are very strange Nazis!

Those who equate Hamas with the Nazis or suggest that their goal is the elimination of Jews are projecting their own genocidal thoughts onto their victims. In is one more case of serial Zionist dishonesty.

I quote in my article Hannah Starman, who as a child was baffled at Israel’s portrayal of the people they were bombing in Beirut as Nazis. Hannah was only 7 but as she said:

when I looked among the images of people in Beirut to find the Nazis, all I could see were people who looked poor, quiet or scared.

Nothing like the tall and erect Nazis, shouting out orders in their uniforms and shiny boots. I was confused. And this confusion bred a lifelong interest in what was really going on in Israel. How could a people that had suffered so much cause so much suffering? Why were they telling the world that they were fighting the Nazis? And why did the world believe them?

What a child could see with her own eyes, Biden, Sunak, Starmer, Scholtz and the other war criminals are unable to see. Not because they are blind but because they have deliberately created a narrative that portrays the victims of genocide as ‘Nazis’. 

What western leaders are unwittingly doing is normalising the Nazis which is one reason why so many neo-Nazis today, like the White Zionist  Richard Spencer and Dutch political leader Geert Wilders, adore the Israeli state.

It is also the reason why Germany’s leaders have fallen over themselves in the rush to endorse Israel’s genocide. It is ironic that the ‘Jewish state’ is helping to rehabilitate the Nazis but when one looks at the history of the period, alone amongst the Jews the Zionists saw only good coming out of the Nazi rise to power.

As David Ben-Gurion, Israel’s first Prime Minister remarked ‘The Nazis’ victory would become “a fertile force for Zionism.” ‘ [Tom Segev, The Seventh Million, p. 18]. 

27 March 2024

Sharon Graham’s Hypocrisy Over Gaza Beggars Belief

Having Refused to Take Part in the National  Palestine Demonstrations Against Genocide Graham Writes to the Palestinian Trade Unions after Israel Bombed Their Offices Boasting About Her Support

Protest Outside Unite HQ

Unite for Palestine Activist Meeting

Wednesday March 27 2024 6.30 p.m.

Please register here


For once I was lost for words. Never was the saying that Hypocrisy is the Tribute that Vice Pays to Virtue truer. It takes a special kind of gall to have done absolutely nothing in support of the Palestinians as they are bombed and ethnically cleansed in Gaza, to have held hands with the far-right Campaign Against Antisemitism as she banned Jeremy Corbyn – The Big Lie from Unite premises and then to write to the General Secretary of the Palestinian General Federation of Trade Unions boasting of Unite’s record.

On March 7, as part of its ‘war against Hamas’ Israel bombed the headquarters of the PGFTU in Gaza City. The Federation’s five-story building had attached to it several other facilities providing services to the Palestinians, including a kindergarten that served 380 children, as well as a large automatic bakery.

The PGFTU Offices in Gaza After Israel Bombed Them

In a statement, signed by Basheer Al-Sisi, a member of their General Secretariat, he spoke of how the Federation has “lost thousands of members, union offices, facilities, and other institutions” as a result of the “wholesale slaughter and forced dislocation—ethnic cleansing” committed against the Palestinian people in the last six months.

Palestinian workers from Gaza who were in Israel at the time of October 7 were rounded up, imprisoned and tortured. A number of them died yet Graham kept her silence throughout.

The PGFTU is controlled by Fatah, not Hamas, but that did not stop Israel bombing its offices. The ‘war against Hamas’ is a fiction meant only for stupid westerners and the BBC/Sky.

It is of course welcome that Graham has, at last, written expressing her solidarity with the Palestinians in Gaza. But it is long overdue. It is also welcome that she has, for the first time, condemned Israel’s ‘war crimes’ but we will never forget that this only came nearly 6 months after Israel’s attack and with deaths and injuries over 100,000.

Graham even boasted that Unite has donated £50,000 to Medicins Sans Frontiere, which isn’t even a Palestinian organisation when Unite could have donated a much larger sum to Medical Aid for Palestinians, which is permanently on the ground in Gaza, as a host of Unite branches have done.

Demonstration Outside Unite Exec Meeting by Unite Members, March 11

£50,000 is chicken feed. It is reported that Graham and Unite’s legal bill for defending itself in a labour court in Dublin, against its former Regional Organiser Brendan Ogle is over £1m (1.35m Euros) and that is before Graham starts defending herself against a libel action by Ogle which no doubt Unite will pay for.

There have been regular demonstrations in London against genocide in Gaza ever since October 7. Not only has Sharon Graham refused to attend or speak but she has forbidden Unite’s national banner being taken on the march.

Will Sharon Graham be attending the Demonstration next Saturday 30 March. I won’t be holding my breath. Graham even tried to prevent Peter Kavanagh, Regional Organiser for the London & Eastern Region speaking at the demonstration on January 13th and threatened him with loss of a pension bonus if he did.

This is in addition to suspending Simon Dubbins, a Unite official who organised a meeting on Palestine at the Labour Party Conference in defiance of her wishes.

Graham also didn’t mention that Unite members had staged a demonstration/lobby outside Unite headquarters on March 11th at the beginning of the Executive Meeting in protest at Unite’s complete inactivity on Palestine.

Suffice to say that Graham also failed to mention that she and her supporters had opposed any discussion of Palestine at the meeting and in response to those who did wish to discuss it told them that ‘Palestine is not a service that Unite offers to its members.’

Perhaps the height of Graham’s hypocrisy was her boast that ‘I am sure you are aware that Unite has a longstanding policy in support for the Palestinian people.’ How would the PGFTU be aware when she has refused to put the policy on Unite’s website. Is Shaher Saed, the General Secretary of the PGFTU expected to be telepathic?

Tonight we will be holding a meeting of Unite activists who do want Unite to start giving real solidarity to the Palestinians – this includes

1.           Unite being present on all future national demonstrations

2.           Instructing dockers and Unite workers to boycott all arm shipments to Israel and all trade with Israel as and until its genocide and ethnic cleansing in Gaza stops.

3.           To fund members wanting to attend the demonstrations and to publicising the demonstrations on the website and internally.

4.           Unite policy on Palestine to be displayed on Unite’s website

5.           That Unite donate £250,000 to Medical Aid for the Palestinians

6.           That an Emergency Executive Committee Meeting be called in order to discuss what Unite can now do on Palestine.

7.           That Unite let Keir Starmer and the Labour Party know that until they reverse their position of support for Israel’s genocide they won’t get another farthing from Unite.

Let us hope that Sharon Graham’s letter to the PGFTU is a sign that she has at last recognised that her previous stance of support for Israel’s genocide is unacceptable and that the Union must revert to its traditional position of support for the oppressed not the oppressor. I fear though that Graham’s letter is about as far as she intends to go and that these are mere empty words.

Tony Greenstein

26 March 2024

Israel’s Fake Rape Narrative Has But 1 Purpose – To Justify Genocide, Torture & Rape in Gaza

 Zionist Accusations that Palestinian Men are Sexual Predators Mirrors Nazi Tropes about Jewish men – Western Feminists Are Complicit in how Racists Weaponise Rape 

Excerpt from an Interview on Ha’aretz podcast ‘The Week’9.11.23. - "Mass Hannibal" — We killed Israelis on 7 October, says Israeli air force colonel Nof Erez

Zionism, when it arose was seen by most Jews as a form of Jewish anti-Semitism. Zionist ideologues like Arthur Ruppin accepted the worst stereotypes of  the Nazis and anti-Semites, such as Jews being sexual predators, adopting them as its own.

One medieval myth about Jews was that they poisoned the wells of non-Jews. Thousands of Jews died in the German Empire between 1348 and 1350 and across Europe as a result.

Yet it is an incontrovertible fact that Israeli settlers poison the water of the Palestinians. David Hearst wrote how

the settler attacks come generally at night and where they cannot destroy water cisterns they poison them by putting chicken carcasses in them.

In 1948 Zionist militias infected the waters of Acre and Gaza with dysentery bacteria. According to Ofer Aderet this biological warfare was far more widespread than first known.

Allegations that Jews were disloyal to the countries they lived in and owed their allegiance to a cabal of international Jewish ‘Elders’ was part and part of anti-Semitic discourse.

Zionism does its best to live up to this myth by actively encouraging dual loyalty.  One of their favourite accusations against Jewish anti-Zionists is that they are ‘traitors’ – in other words they have no loyalty to Israel as a ‘Jewish’ state.

When Ilhan Omar accused US Zionists of allegiance to a foreign country, Israel, it was as if the heavens had fallen in. Jonathan Chait wrote that

Accusing Jews of “allegiance to a foreign country” is a historically classic way of delegitimizing their participation in the political system.

Even though it was true it was a case of pure anti-Semitism! Michelle Goldberg in the New York Times accused Omar of waging a series of "microaggressions".  As I wrote at the time:

It is inherent to Zionism that the first loyalty of any Jew is to Israel because their stay in the diaspora is temporary. "The negation of the diaspora" is fundamental to Zionist ideology. The accursed Galut (diaspora) needs to be wound up,

In 2013 Israel’s Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Absorption sent a survey asking American Jews "where their allegiance would lie in the case of a crisis between the two countries." Netanyahu realising the implications had the survey stopped in its tracks but it would have been interesting to see the results.

Jonah Cohen writing in ‘The Lust Libel’ argued that

Antisemites have long depicted the Jews as a perverse, predatory, and pornographic people; horny vampires of the Orient. That ghoulish portrait — which, for short, can be called the ‘lust libel’ — is one of the more enduring of the classical antisemitic stereotypes.

It is no surprise that Zionist hasbara should adopt this anti-Semitic narrative and project it onto the Palestinians. Rape has become the principal ingredient of Zionist propaganda. October 7, instead of being a resistance operation, was organised rape.

Israeli women and many Western Feminists, such as those at Brighton Women’s Centre, are happy to go along with this myth even though its sole purpose is to justify a genocide that has killed over 14,000 children and over10,000 women in Gaza. White western feminists are literally helping to kill Palestinian women and girls at the behest of Jewish Supremacists, women included.

There are good precedents for this in the history of colonialism. The ‘Black Peril’ was the fear of White South African men that Black men had designs on ‘their’ women. In the Deep South the fear of Black sexual predators fuelled lynching. White women went along with this, as is the case today with western feminists.

Foremost on the minds of Southern Whites was a fear of inter- racial sex, miscegenation. Whites espoused the idea that black men were sexual predators and wanted integration in order to be with white women. And Black women were secretly sluts.


This helps explain Israeli soldiers fascination with the underwear of the Palestinian women they have killed and often raped (Israeli rape of Palestinians never seems to figure in the discourse of Israeli women or Western feminism).

Only today I received a report from a Palestinian woman of rapes near Al Shifa hospital, which Israel has again invaded.

Zionism’s Rape Fraud and October 7

October 7 was a great shock to the Zionists. They repeated ad-nauseum that October 7 ‘was the worst atrocity committed against the Jewish people in a single day since the Holocaust.’  Biden was happy to repeat this.

Except that it wasn’t the worst atrocity against Jews since the Holocaust. That was the murder of at least 3,000 Jews, 12% of the total victims, by Israel’s friends, the neo-Nazi Argentine Junta between 1976 and 1983.

When Hamas and the militants broke out on October 7 they did not kill Israelis because they were Jews but because they were occupiers. The Nazis and the Argentine Junta killed Jews because they were Jews. That simple distinction eludes Zionists.

Yasmin Porat Survivor Speaks: Israeli forces shot their own civilians

October 7 was the nightmare that every settler colonial regime fears, that the natives will rise up and take their revenge on their persecutors. It was the fear of white slavers in the Caribbean, the Apartheid masters in South Africa and the Zionists in Palestine.

Israel used October 7 in order to construct a myth of a second holocaust.  According to France 24 695 Israeli civilians, including 36 children, as well as 373 security forces and 71 foreign workers died. A total of 1,139.

There were undoubtedly atrocities committed, such as civilians or concert goers shot at close range but that was not sufficient for the Zionists.  At first their propaganda was crude but that didn’t stop the western media from adopting it wholesale.

40 Beheaded babies’, ‘baked babies’ and even babies hung on clothes lines were invented.  The serious press such as The Telegraph and Times reported these claims as fact.

Fact Check on the Beheaded Babies

A fact check on Al Jazeera showed how the claims were false. This included Genocide Joe’s claim that he had seen them with his own eyes. All this nonsense had to be walked back as Israel admitted it had no proof of these allegations.

As Israeli state propaganda and its advocates got their act together, the claims of atrocities settled on the allegation of mass rape. The attractions of such claims are many.

Unlike the beheaded babies, allegations of rape are difficult to disprove and easy to make. The irony is that senior officers, including the Military Chief Rabbi, Eyal Karim, actually justified raping Palestinian women.

According to Karim ‘wounded terrorists should be killed, gay people are sick and women are sentimental.  He elaborated that at a time of war it was permitted to satisfy

the evil inclination by lying with attractive Gentile women against their will, out of consideration for the difficulties faces by the soldiers and for overall success could be considered as excusable in order to maintain morale among soldiers and the army during fighting.

Former Col. Mordechai Kedar, who served in military intelligence for 25 years and a lecturer at Bar Ilan University, declared that.

'The only thing that deters a suicide bomber is the knowledge that if he pulls the trigger or blows himself up, his sister will be raped,'

Israel has not alleged that some rapes were committed but that rape was a deliberate strategy of Hamas on October 7, that it was organised and systematic.  When a group of Zionist women picketed in Brighton they chantedresistance is not rape’ – which is of course true but no one is suggesting otherwise.

It is clear that the main aim of Hamas on October 7 was the capture of hostages in order to exchange them for Palestinian prisoners. Something which was entirely justifiable.

No one is suggesting that no one was raped on October 7. Rape and war go together but what is clear is that if rape happened it was perpetrated by the those who came in Hamas’s wake.

Of the 1,139 Israelis including foreign workers who died on October 7 approximately one-third were soldiers or police and up to half the remainder were killed by Israel itself. Israel was determined that no hostages would be taken who would then have to be exchanged for Palestinian prisoners. If necessary they would kill them themselves. See Israel killed Israelis, confirms new 7 October documentary

As Al Jazeera’s investigation (below) revealed, many of the deaths of Israelis on October 7 occurred because Israel had implemented from 12 pm that day the Hannibal Directive that British papers, including the Guardian have been loathe to mention, despite the fact that it is an accepted fact in Israel.

Al Jazeera investigation finds Israeli military likely involved in October 7 'friendly fire' deaths

A further investigation by Al Jazeera gives a time line of events on October 7 and provides further proof that many civilian casualties were caused by the decision of Israel’s military that anything that moved between Gaza and Israel that day was to be targeted, irrespective of whether their own hostages would die.

October 7 | Al Jazeera Investigations

Rape has long been a favourite obsession of the far-right.  From Nazi Germany to South Africa it has been deployed against the indigenous population. In patriarchal societies rape is a serious offence against a man’s property and if it is a Black man then it’s race defilement too. False allegations of rape were made against Julian Assange because the state knew that such allegations would deter otherwise progressive people from supporting him. People like my own MP Lloyd Russell-Moyle.

Let us see how the Israeli narrative of rape has been debunked.

Scandal grows around fraudulent New York Times "mass rapes" investigation, with Ali Abunimah

The NYT’s Screams without words

On 28 December 2023, 82 days after October 7, ‘Screams without words’ appeared in the New York Times. It was the result of an investigation carried out by Pulitzer prize winner, Jeffrey Gettleman, as well as two freelance staff Adam Sella and Anat Schwart. Schwartz  had no previous journalistic experience and had been an Intelligence officer for the Israeli army. She demonstrated where her sympathies lay when she ‘liked’ a tweet calling for Gaza to be turned into a slaughter house.

Schwartz also liked posts about the long since discredited ’40 beheaded babies’ story and a post calling for Hamas to be labelled as equal to ISIS. Esha Krishnaswarmy revealed that Adam Sella was Schwartz’s nephew! The stench of nepotism and corruption was overwhelming. Sella too is not a journalist.

Why the New York Times article 'Screams without words' is a disgrace to journalism

On December 4 Gettleman, Schwartz and Sella, had written another article for the NYT What We Know About Sexual Violence During the Oct. 7 Attacks in Israel which did not name a single victim. On December 8 the NYT published a correction saying that the Israeli police were relying on witness testimony not autopsies or forensic evidence.

This is the problem with Israel’s rape propaganda. There is no forensic evidence of rape because all those killed were quickly buried. The alleged crime scenes were not quarantined either.

There isn’t one single victim who has come forward. All we have is ‘witnesses’ from Zaka who are proven liars and the Israeli military whose lies set off the 40 beheaded babies story.

Zaka is an ultra orthodox organisation which was founded by a multiple rapist, Meshi Zahav. He committed suicide in June 2022 but not before his colleagues in Zaka had tried to cover them up. Yet despite being discredited in Israel, the NYT and US media continues to quote them as an impartial organisation.


The NYT ran a puff piece about Zaka on 15 January ‘They Thought They Knew Death, but That Didn’t Prepare Them for Oct. 7’. As the Intercept noted in an article of 27 February

The Times report on Zaka reads like a glowing portrait of selfless volunteers on a “holy mission” to honor the dead and give families closure in accordance with Jewish law. The article could also be read as a whitewash of an organization mired in sexual abuse and financial scandals for decades. The Times never notes that Landau appears to be a serial fabulist, and other Zaka volunteers tell stories that stretch credulity.

The Intercept noted how Reuters, CNN, NYT, BBC, The Guardian, NBC, Politico, WSJ, Washington Post among others

‘fail(ed) to scrutinize Zaka stories. Many volunteers describe extreme crimes that would leave extensive evidence yet aren’t corroborated by reporting.’

Although the NYT has refused to comment on the criticisms of its article the Intercept reported that they had

pulled a high-profile episode of its podcast “The Daily” about sexual violence perpetrated by Hamas on October 7 amid a furious internal debate about the strength of the paper’s original reporting on the subject, Times newsroom sources told The Intercept. The episode had been scheduled for January 9

The NYT is also reported to have cut links with Schwartz. Even worse for the NYT a key witness Raz Cohen contradicted a claim in the article that Hamas had committed the rapes.

There were stories such as naked women tied to trees at the Supernova Festival. Zaka’s deputy commander, Greiniman, claimed foreign fighters had taken part in the attack. Another Zaka spokesperson said he saw dozens of dead babies, and children bound together and burned. Yet another volunteer claimed they found a sexually mutilated woman’s corpse under rubble with her organs removed.

Yet only two babies died on October 7. Nor were any children found bound together or burned.

Aaron Mate revealed how former US diplomat, Stuart Seldowitz was on Zaka’s New York Advisory Board.  Seldowitz recently accepted a plea deal for having racially abused a food vendor in New York with his anti-Palestinian rants. His rants included saying that killing 4,000 Palestinian kids wasn’t enough.

But whilst the western media are doing their best to support the fake allegations of rape against Hamas they are ignoring what according to the UN is very credible reports of rape, sexual abuse and torture against Israel in Gaza.

The NYT article was important because it is considered a paper of record. It was used by Zionists to ‘prove’ that October 7 had been a mass rape attack.

When Professor Justin Stebbing of Imperial College, London sent me an email on 21 January saying thank you for making me hate all jews, i agree with you they should all be gassed” he followed it up with a caption of the NYT article.

On January 4, seven days after the NYT article, Ha’aretz posted an appeal by the police for victims or witnesses to contact them:

Israel's police investigators are having difficulties finding living victims of or witnesses to sexual assault committed by Hamas on October 7

Why would the Police do this if the evidence is so overwhelming?

The Black Dress

The main claims in NYT’s article revolve around Gail Abdush, the woman in the Black Dress, who was allegedly raped at the music festival. Yet almost immediately after the NYT article the Abdush family denied that she had been raped and said they had been interviewed under false pretences.


Edan Wesley

The person who took the video of Abdush’s body, Edan Wesley described how Sella and Schwartz called her repeatedly and said how important the video was to Israeli hasbara (propaganda).  As Ali Abunimah pointed out, Schwartz and Sella were telling so-called witnesses that their testimony was essential for the purposes of Israeli State Propaganda. It is clear that Schwart and Sella’s mind had long been made up.

The NYT allegations over the woman in the black dress centred on a video by Eden Wessely.  Shiran Maluka, a friend of Miral Alter, Gail Abdush’s sister, wrote:

Based on what does Eden Wessely conclude that she was raped? Based on the video she took, there is no evidence, it’s not true that half of her body was burned, only her face, and there is nothing but a dress pulled up.

Wesley herself is a dubious character of the Israeli far-right. In the early days of the war, Wessely posted fake news, debunked by the Israeli media, about “Israeli traitors who supported Hamas fighters during the attack on October 7th.” Wessely also shared many posts by the fascist Im Tirtzu, and posts by rapper, Hatzel, a symbol of Israeli fascism. In another post, Wessely shared a picture of Israeli human rights lawyer Lea Tsemel, calling her “the devil incarnate.”

As Mondoweiss concluded:

In the end, it appears that the New York Times manipulated a working-class Mizrahi family in the service of Israeli hasbara in order to score a journalistic achievement, which in reality is nothing more than a repetition of fake news and government propaganda.

The Intercept reported that as well as the NYT, the

Washington Post, and Los Angeles Times’s coverage of Israel’s war on Gaza showed a consistent bias against Palestinians...

Major U.S. newspapers disproportionately emphasized Israeli deaths in the conflict; used emotive language to describe the killings of Israelis, but not Palestinians; ... Pro-Palestinian activists have accused major publications of pro-Israel bias, with the New York Times seeing protests at its headquarters in Manhattan for its coverage of Gaza –– an accusation supported by our analysis.

The Intercept alleged that

The (Israeli) Channel 12 podcast interview with Schwartz, which The Intercept translated from Hebrew, opens a window into the reporting process on the controversial story and suggests that The New York Times’s mission was to bolster a predetermined narrative...

In the podcast interview, Schwartz described her efforts to get confirmation from Israeli hospitals, rape crisis centers etc. In fact she was unable to get a single confirmation.

“She was told there had been no complaints made of sexual assaults,” the Times spokesperson acknowledged.  Yet the NYT headline was‘‘Screams Without Words’: How Hamas Weaponized Sexual Violence on Oct. 7”

The first eye witness evidence came from an Israeli Air Force paramedic who claimed that two teenage girls at Kibbutz Nahal Oz had been raped and murdered in their bedroom. Problem was that no girls at the Kibbutz fitted the description. He later changed the site of the attacks to Kibbutz Be’eri, but there too no one matched the description of the victims.

Schwartz then contacted Kibbutz Be’eri but that drew a blank so she then contacted Zaka and Yossi Landau told her that

When we go into a house, we use our imagination. The bodies were telling us what happened, that’s what happened.

Landau features in the Times report, though no mention is made of his well-documented track record of disseminating sensational stories of atrocities that were later proven false.

After Zaka, Schwartz’s next port of call was Shari Mendes, who serves in a rabbinical unit of the Israel Defense Forces. The Intercept reported that Mendes

had also spoken about other violence on October 7, telling the Daily Mail in October, “A baby was cut out of a pregnant woman and beheaded and then the mother was beheaded.” No pregnant woman died that day, according to the official Israeli list of those killed in the attacks, and the independent research collective October 7 Fact Check said Mendes’s story was false.

Shari Mendes was a serial liar yet to Schwartz she was a credible witness.

Schwartz quoted on 14 November in her first story for the NYT, Israel’s police chief, Kobi Shabtai that ‘This is the most extensive investigation the State of Israel has ever known,” Yet when “Screams Without Words” appeared forensic evidence of sexual violence was non-existent.

On the Channel 12 podcast Schwartz said her next step was to go to a new holistic therapy facility established to address the trauma of October 7 victims. It was called Merhav Marpe, or Healing Space.

In multiple visits to Merhav Marpe, Schwartz again said that she was told there was no direct evidence of rapes or sexual violence. She expressed frustration with the therapists and counsellors at the facility, saying they engaged in “a conspiracy of silence.” And so it went on. The elusive evidence was simply not there so Schwartz began speculating that it was because Israel was a conservative  society or that survivor guilt played a part. At no time did she question her own basic assumptions.

She interviewed Raz Cohen, who claimed he had seen multiple rapes whilst denying that the perpetrators at the Nova Festival were from Hamas.

The independent site October 7 Fact Check, Mondoweiss, Ali Abunimah and Max Blumenthal of The Grayzone have flagged numerous inconsistencies and contradictions in Cohen’s account. He had initially saidhe chose not to look, but he could hear them laughing constantly.

Coupled with Schwartz’s ‘investigation’ Israel was mounting an intensive public campaign, accusing the international community and feminists of ignoring the widespread, systemic sexual violence of Hamas’s October 7 attack.

The NYT Goes Into Witchhunt Mode as Criticism Mounts

The NYT management which has exposed many state secrets itself, notably the Pentagon Papers and more recently the Wikileaks revelations of Julian Assange didn’t take kindly to being the subject of exposes, notably by The Intercept which gave a blow-by-blow account of dissent within the NYT.

The NYT took a leaf out of Richard Nixon’s book and began a leak inquiry, more commonly known as a witch-hunt. Vanity Fair revealed how ‘at least two dozen staffers, including Daily producers’ had been called into meetings in an attempt to find out how internal details about the podcast’s editorial process got out. The investigation was by Charlotte Behrendt, the paper’s director of policy and internal investigations.

The article quoted staffers as saying that this was the ‘first such internal probe they can recall taking place.’ NYT’s management had been rocked by revelations about the shelving of The Daily podcast. The Nation noted sarcastically that

somewhere in the fiery caverns of Hell, Richard Nixon is enjoying a brief respite from his eternal torment as he learns how The New York Times is mimicking him

Investigations into the scandal surrounding Schwartz’s article and the lack of any elementary fact checking has been conducted by a host of independent sites such as Aaron Maté, October 7 Fact Check, Electronic Intifada and Max Blumenthal.

Where once the NYT could be relied on to subject US Administrations to scrutiny, today they act as little more than court stenographers to Biden and Israel’s far-right government. Woodward and Bernstein have been replaced by Blumenthall, Mate and Abunimah. Today the mainstream press, led by the NYT, acts as a kind of fools’ chorus to the senile Biden and Kissinger protégé Blinken.

As the Nation’s Jet Heer noted

If the Times wanted to serve its readers and the world, it would launch a transparent investigation into this botched article, the biggest failure of journalism at the newspaper since Judith Miller’s infamous and discredited articles on weapons of mass destruction in Iraq in 2002 and 2003. Just as Miller regurgitated war propaganda on behalf of the George W. Bush administration, the Times is now serving as a mouthpiece for Benjamin Netanyahu’s war cabinet.

Heer suggests that the main instigator of “Screams Without Words” was the NYT’s Executive Editor Joe Kahn, a Zionist whose father, Leo Kahn, was a longtime member of the board of CAMERA, a pro-Israel media watchdog. But could Kahn have acted without the approval and perhaps direction of the Sulzberger family, which owns the newspaper?

Heer notes that Watergate proved that a scandal could topple a President and asks ‘what scandal is large enough to bring down the executive editor—or perhaps even the owners—of The New York Times?’

Israel has Struggled to Control the Narrative in Order to Justify Genocide in Gaza

At the beginning of December I wrote a blog on the Israeli hostages who had been released and how their testimonies had conflicted with the Zionist demonisation of Hamas. Yocheved Lifshitz 85 spoke of how well she had been treated.

What do the videos of released Hamas captives tell us | Al Jazeera Newsfeed

Yocheved Lifshitz press conference

Lifshitz said the captives were treated well and received medical care, including medication. The guards kept conditions clean, and hostages were given one meal a day of cheese, cucumber and pita, she said, adding that her captors ate the same.

A family member of Ruth Munder, an elderly woman who was released, told the Jerusalem Post that Munder did not experience any harm during her captivity. In a section ‘How did Hamas Treat the Hostages’ the Jerusalem Post reported that

Initially, there weren't many people with them, but at some point, more individuals were added. They had access to a radio and television, where they heard news from Israel. Ruth heard on the radio that her son [Roi Munder] had been killed… The conditions were far from ideal; 80-year-old men and women lied down on plastic benches similar to those in a hospital, without mattresses.

"Fortunately, they did not endure any unpleasant experiences during their captivity; they were treated in a humane manner," continued the family member.

"Contrary to our fears, they did not encounter the horrifying stories we had imagined. They described the initial moments of their kidnapping when the terrorists were agitated and threatened to harm them, but once they were on motorcycles, they did not harm them."

Lifshitz told the press how she received daily visits from a doctor during her captivity. Lifshitz’s daughter also said that her mother was cared for by a paramedic during her captivity.

On October 24, Lifshitz told the press that she was treated well while in Hamas captivity after she was driven into the Gaza Strip. Her statements caused an uproar in Israel, with some government and diplomatic figures accusing the conference organizers of damaging the country's advocacy efforts by portraying a positive image of Hamas.

Israeli authorities were outraged at the fact that Ichilov Hospital in Tel Aviv had facilitated Yocheved Lifshitz’s interview. Hospital employee Avi Shoshan was suspended and subsequently dismissed. Why should Israel object to the hostages speaking freely unless they had something to fabricate?

The organisers of the press conference had allowed doubt to be cast upon government lies about Hamas and that was unforgiveable. Ha’aretz reported how Lifshitz started the press conference by recounting the details of the October 7 kidnapping: "Masses mobbed our homes. They beat people, took some hostage." She described it as "very painful.”

It was the statements that followed, however, that drew controversy in Israel. She said that the kidnappers brought a doctor that gave them medical treatment, that the hostages were treated well and the kidnappers were friendly. "We lay on mattresses, they made sure everything was sanitary," she said. "They made sure we wouldn't get sick, and we had a doctor with us every two or three days.”

Ha’aretz reported the story as ‘The problem is you, not Hamas' : Hostages' families lash out at Israeli government.

"They were very friendly to us," Lifshitz said"they treated us gently and looked after us." Clearly this dedemonising of Hamas and the portray of its members as human beings could not be allowed again.

Israel’s Channel 12 reported that Israel’s released hostages ‘are expected to receive close supervision, and they will be instructed on what to tell the media and what not."

Blumenthall on what hostages can say

 See also:

Screams without proof: questions for NYT about shoddy ‘Hamas mass rape’ report

Grayzone – Max Blumenthal and Aaron Mate

“Between the Hammer and the Anvil” - The Story Behind the New York Times October 7 Exposé , The Intercept

Family of key case in New York Times October 7 sexual violence report renounces story, says reporters manipulated them Mondoweiss

The Nation

The Nixonian New York Times Stonewalls on a Discredited Article About Hamas and Rape

Norman Finkelstein

PRAMILA PATTEN’S RAPE FANTASIES: A Critical Analysis of the UN Report on Sexual Violence during the 7 October Attack see also

UN report launders Israel’s fraudulent “mass rape” propaganda – Electronic IntifadaIsraeli Army, Not Hamas, Killed Civilians at Kibbutz Be’eri – Media Reports 

Is the New York Times losing its credibility on Israel-Palestine? | The Listening Post

Hamas 'mass rape' claim lacks evidence. But it's being used to justify genocide

Jonathan Cook