Even as the Iranian government is jailing, raping, torturing and murdering Iranian women whose hijabs have slipped or gone missing, women in New York City are demonstrating in favor of Hamas's Oct. 7 atrocities wearing hijabs and even niqabs. Some women make faces and obscene gestures, curse, mock Israeli tears, make a show of spitting and sport Nazi symbols.
How will such American female support for Hamas barbarians further the cause of women in Gaza? Will such support stop child marriage, abolish polygamy, end forced veiling, prohibit wife beating or prevent and punish honor killing (femicide)? These and other horrific abuses (jailing, torturing and murdering both dissidents and gays, censoring thought, indoctrinating children into hate) define how Hamas remains in power in Gaza.
We cannot blame the Israeli government for any of this. Israel exited Gaza in 2005. And if anyone really looks into the matter, they will see that Hamas's leaders live in palatial villas and that Gaza is nowhere near as crowded as many major cities. It is not an open-air prison or concentration camp, a mantra that has been drummed into people's heads both in the West and in Muslim countries continuously for more than 50 years.
The Big Lies include the one that states, over and over again, that the Gaza Strip is the most densely packed area in the world. According to Al Jazeera (!), based on CIA statistics, Gaza has "a density of 15,096 people per square mile, which is less than the density of the city of Tel Aviv (21,793 per square mile). ... Gaza City is the 63rd most densely populated area in the world at 42,059 per square mile. This is far below Bnei Brak in Israel (76,000 per square mile)."
Who are these American women demonstrators? Are they freedom-fighting feminists? Or are they anti-feminists, Islamist versions of Atwood's Handmaids who have (forgive the pun) voluntarily and eagerly taken the veil? They are similar to the women who supported and were themselves active participants in ISIS's female militia. They enforced a manifesto that was far more extreme than Hitler's vision of women belonging in the nursery, kitchen and church.
In 2015, ISIS posted their manifesto in Arabic. It mandates child marriage to adult men; face and body veiling; the abolition of beauty parlors and modern clothing, "which are 'instruments of the devil'"; limited education for girls; and singles out the West's education of women as causing "the emasculation of Muslim men."
Hamas is ISIS on steroids.
And yet, these American (and European) women are cheering for the rape, torture, public humiliation and murder of Israeli women, children and the elderly by Islamist terrorists and for the murder and kidnapping of Israeli male civilians of all ages.
There is absolutely no moral equivalence between Hamas terrorists who purposely target innocent civilians and the Israel army that now needs to utterly destroy, once and for all, Hamas's rule over Gazan civilians, whom they've used as human shields, just as they've embedded their bombs, rockets and command posts in mosques, hospitals, ambulances, schools and residential buildings as so much potential civilian fodder for the sake of propaganda.
And the world media and other elites keep falling for it.
These Western women demonstrators—and their many left-wing feminist allies—have been carefully indoctrinated into believing Very Big Lies: Namely, that Israel is a Nazi, apartheid state of "colonial settlers" who have stolen the land and imprisoned an indigenous people. This is the mantra that is meant to justify the destruction of the Jewish state.
This must never happen. Israel must do whatever it takes, no matter the cost, to rid both Israel and non-Hamas Palestinians of Hamas.
How can women, presumably the more compassionate sex, support such cruelty, such ferocious barbarism?
As the author of Woman's Inhumanity to Woman, internalized sexism among women and female-female cruelty does not surprise me. In tribal cultures, women murder their daughters-in-law, try to murder their co-wives, support and carry out the genital mutilation and the honor killing of their daughters. Some women in the West vote for "macho" male tyrants, compete viciously against other women, steal their jobs and their spouses.
Most women do not automatically embrace freedom and truth any more than most men do.
Phyllis Chesler, a writing fellow at the Middle East Forum, is an emerita professor of psychology and women's studies and the author of twenty books, including Women and Madness, Islamic Gender Apartheid, An American Bride in Kabul, A Politically Incorrect Feminist, and A Family Conspiracy: Honor Killings.