At the UN, Jewish Women Decry “Unbearable Silence” Around Oct. 7 Rapes

The Permanent Mission of Israel to the United Nations convened a special U.N. session on December 4 to hear harrowing testimony about the rape, mutilation and sexual violence perpetrated by Hamas on girls and women on Oct. 7 and to call for the U.N to speak out formally or this war crime. The bodies were so deliberately mutilated before death, and desecrated afterward, that the first responder who spoke at the U.N. found himself unable to continue his account without long pauses. For those murdered, “their bodies testify how they spent the last minutes of their lives.”Sheryl Sandberg told the audience of 700: “There are exactly zero circumstances that justify rape.” Before the session, hundreds gathered outside in support of Israeli victim/survivors and to call out the organization UN Women to formally condemn these crimes of sexual violence. The UN session was co-sponsored by the National Council of Jewish Women, WZO, Interwoven/שָׁזוּר, and Schusterman Philanthropies.

Lilith photographer Joan Roth was on hand to record it. Here are some of her photographs.