‘The Washington Post’ isn’t sure Hamas engaged in mass rape

Readers and advertisers should ask themselves whether they want to be associated with an increasingly toxic brand.

“The Washington Post” homepage. Credit: Sharaf Maksumov/Shutterstock
“The Washington Post” homepage. Credit: Sharaf Maksumov/Shutterstock
Sean Durns
Sean Durns
Sean Durns is a senior research analyst for CAMERA, the 65,000-member, Boston-based Committee Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America.

On Oct. 7, 2023, Hamas and other Iranian proxies invaded Israel and carried out the largest massacre of Jewish civilians since the Holocaust. But it was more than just mass murder. It was also mass rape.

Hamas, the New York Times reported, “weaponized sexual violence,” its terrorists brutally raping and mutilating women. The mass rape was, the Associated Press stated, “widespread.”

But the Washington Post has some doubts.

A Jan. 31 dispatch by reporter Yasmeen Abutaleb, while ostensibly about U.S. domestic political fallout from the Israel-Hamas war, engaged in soft rape denial.

Shewrote: “Supporters of Israel also cite the bloodiness of Hamas’s Oct. 7 attack, when elderly people and children were killed or taken hostage and, according to some reports, some women were sexually assaulted” (emphasis added).

Abutaleb’s “some reports” remark is monstrous. The evidence of the mass rape of Israeli women on Oct. 7 is overwhelming, as even outlets normally hostile to Israel like The New York Times were forced to admit. The sexual violence is a well-documented fact and ought to be reported as such.

The evidence of this was abundant and in the public domain long before Abutaleb’s report.

For example, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Dec. 10, 2023 that the sexual violence that took place on Oct. 7 was “worse than anything I’ve ever seen.”

On Dec. 12, 2023, a bipartisan group of U.S. senators passed a resolution condemning the United Nations for its inaction on Hamas’s wanton sexual violence, which they called “widespread.”

The senators noted, “A growing body of evidence of survivors, witnesses and first responders makes clear that as part of Hamas’s terrorist attack that killed 1,200 men, women and children on Oct. 7, the terrorist organization intentionally used rape and sexual assault as weapons of war.”

“Sexual violence,” the senators observed, “particularly on this scale and of this level of brutality, must be condemned unequivocally and without qualification, which is why we were shocked that it took” the U.N. “nearly two months to speak out against these atrocities.”

The testimonies are horrifying: Women shot in the back of the head while they were being raped. Women raped so violently that their pelvises broke. Women raped so violently that they begged to be killed. Women with their breasts cut off and their genitals mutilated.

One survivor of the attack testified that “women have been raped at the area of the rave next to their friends bodies, dead bodies.”

The Post’s skepticism towards Hamas’s victims stands in stark contrast to how the newspaper treats claims by Hamas. As the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting and Analysis (CAMERA), has documented—including in a recent ad campaign—the Post treats casualty statistics supplied by the Hamas-controlled Gaza Health Ministry as gospel.

The newspaper is well aware of Hamas’s long history of inflating such statistics, as well as the terror organization’s motives for doing so. Yet the Post has stuck to its guns, authoring “analyses” and “fact checks” that attempt to convince readers of Hamas’s honesty. The watchword at the Post is clearly not “believe all women,” but it certainly is “believe Hamas.”

Nearly 80 years ago, after U.S. forces liberated several Nazi death camps, Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower, then the supreme commander of Allied forces in Europe, wrote to Gen. George Marshall, the head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, describing his trip to Ohrdruf, a subcamp of Buchenwald.

“The things I saw beggar description,” Eisenhower said. “The visual evidence and verbal testimony of starvation, cruelty and bestiality were so overpowering as to leave me sick. … I made the visit deliberately, in order to be in a position to give firsthand evidence of these things if ever, in the future, there develops a tendency to charge these allegations merely to ‘propaganda.’”

One week later, on April 19, 1945, Eisenhower cabled Marshall, requesting that members of Congress and journalists be taken to the newly liberated camps so they too could bear witness.

It is probably a good thing, both for history and humanity, that no present-day Washington Post reporters were around to make the trip.

The Post’s current journalism is of the clown car variety, and both readers and advertisers alike should ask themselves whether they want to be associated with what is an increasingly toxic brand.

The opinions and facts presented in this article are those of the author, and neither JNS nor its partners assume any responsibility for them.
You have read 3 articles this month.
Register to receive full access to JNS.

Just before you scroll on...

Israel is at war.

JNS is combating the stream of misinformation on Israel with real, honest and factual reporting. In order to deliver this in-depth, unbiased coverage of Israel and the Jewish world, we rely on readers like you.

The support you provide allows our journalists to deliver the truth, free from bias and hidden agendas. Can we count on your support?

Every contribution, big or small, helps JNS.org remain a trusted source of news you can rely on.

Become a part of our mission by donating today
Thank you. You are a loyal JNS Reader.
You have read more than 10 articles this month.
Please register for full access to continue reading and post comments.
Never miss a thing
Get the best stories faster with JNS breaking news updates