University Of Manitoba Professors, Writing In Student Newspaper, Downplay Hamas’ Sexual Crimes Against Israeli Women

On October 7, Hamas didn’t just attack Israeli civilians; during their rampage, they attacked Israeli women, committing unspeakable sexual crimes in an orgy of misogynistic violence, the details of which are difficult to imagine.

And now the war on Israeli women continues.

In their February 8 opinion column in The Manitoban, a student newspaper at the University of Manitoba entitled: “Feminism and genocide: a reflection on ‘Hear our Voices’, authors Dana Medoro and Serenity Joo, professors of American literature and culture at the university, downplayed Hamas’ rape of Israeli women.

Rather than directing their efforts to the condemnation of sexual crimes by Hamas, a jihadist Islamic terrorist organization, the pair instead decided to target Ayelet Razin Bet Or, an Israeli lawyer and former director of Israel’s Authority for the Advancement and Status of Women, who recently delivered a lecture in Winnipeg.

In their column, Medoro and Joo sought to raise doubts on Hamas’ crimes, writing that while “we do not disregard Israeli women’s testimonies about sexual violence,” they soon did exactly that, writing that “we contend is that accounts about mass rape were compromised by spurious or false stories told at the same time.”

The pair analyzed Razin Bet Or’s lecture, criticizing her for daring to point out that prior to Hamas’ October 7 massacre, “there was a ceasefire,” a statement which Medoro and Joo find evidently offensive, since it allegedly erases “decades of violence wrought by the Israeli occupation.”

The meaning of their statement is clear: rather than condemning Hamas’ sexual crimes with moral clarity, Medoro and Joo instead pivoted to lambasting Israel, unable to hold themselves back.

Beyond their historical ignorance, given that Israel has not occupied the Gaza Strip since the summer of 2005, Medoro and Joo demonstrated a trait far worse than their lack of knowledge: blind moral relativism.

While it is entirely possible to simultaneously condemn Hamas for its inhuman acts and medieval ideology, all while criticizing Israeli governmental policies, the seeming inability of the writers to hold themselves back from writing a critical response to a lecture on Hamas’ rape shows that they are either unable or unwilling to unambiguously support Israeli women.

Medoro and Joo, never failing to miss the forest for the trees, criticized Razin Bet Or for the crime of “borrowing of phrases from Black-led and Black movements,” such as #MeToo and Black Lives Matter. The dangers of having “appropriated this rhetoric” is apparently too grievous to simply ignore.

Pushing aside Hamas’ genocidal ideology and actions, the authors also helpfully informed readers about a far more pressing concern: the presence of men at Razin Bet Or’s lecture, who “opened and closed the event…as if protectively circling their guest.”

Medoro and Joo’s morally repugnant opinion column joins another commentary, published January 26 in The Winnipeg Free Press, which also derided the lecture as an “exploitation of women’s bodies.”

These two columnists in The Manitoban are free to hold whatever opinions about Israeli policies they like, even if they are grounded in little else than a narrow ideological worldview. But by repeatedly downplaying the rape and sexual assault perpetrated on Israeli women by Hamas, Medoro and Joo demonstrated a revolting inability to stand with Israeli women when they need it most.

Such vapidity and blindness has no place in a campus newspaper, let alone in the lecture halls of an academic institution.

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