Honor roll for defense of ISIS victims: Canadian Jewish businessman Steve Maman (left), Syriac Orthodox nun Hatune Dogan, and Swedish activist Hans Erling Jensen.
"I've been raped 30 times and it's not even lunchtime," cried one young Yazidi woman in a dangerous and desperate call. Chillingly, she begged the man on the line, someone embedded with the Kurdish Peshmerga fighting ISIS: "If you know where we are, please bomb us. There is no life after this. I am going to kill myself anyway."
That request was made a year ago. So far, no brothel has been bombed, no slave auction interrupted.
President Obama's much favored "international community" — the United Nations, the European Union, the politically correct Western intelligentsia, the NGOs, the human-rights organizations — hasn't rescued this woman or any of the other mainly Christian and Yazidi sex slaves who remain in the clutches of the barbarians.
But some individual heroes are doing so. With Oscar Schindler, Sir Nicholas Winton and Chiune Sugihara — who saved thousands of Jews during the Holocaust — as role models, Canadian Jewish businessman Steve Maman has, so far, overseen the rescue of more than 120 kidnapped Christian and Yazidi girls in Iraq. Maman founded the Liberation of Christian and Yazidi Children of Iraq organization a year ago, after jihadists laid siege to Mosul and Sinjar.
Sister Hatune Dogan and Hans Erling Jensen of the Hatune Foundation have been rescuing Christian and Yazidi girls and women from Iraq and bringing them to Europe, mainly to Germany, for medical and psychological treatment.
Yazidi fighters head to battle ISIS on the summit of Mount Sinjar, Iraq, in December 2014.
Last month, Sister Hatune went to the Sinjar Shingal mountains. Thirteen Yazidi fighters "covered" her as she went to "the front lines." She reports that "right now, there are 30,000 Yazidi fighters trying to stop the expansion of ISIS in this area. They live in 2,000 tents, in open camps in the mountains. They get neither support from the West or from the Kurds."
She personally interviewed a young Yazidi girl who had been held captive by ISIS for two months. She was 14. "She was raped five to 10 times every day. She couldn't express what she had been through. 'I was dead — killed — hundreds of times,' she says. She knew of many girls that had jumped from a high rock to kill themselves because they could not live on with the shame."
This young girl is now safe.
The Hatune Foundation has freed 317 Christian and Yazidi girls from ISIS captivity since January 2014.
Last month, I met with Jensen in Europe to talk about the work he and Sister Hatune are doing. She described her monthly visits to the rescued girls this way: "I give them my shoulder to cry on. There is little more relief we can offer until we get them to Europe."
Since January 2014, the Hatune Foundation has freed "317 Christian and Yazidi girls from the hands of ISIS." In addition, with the help of "partners," the foundation has been involved in "280 additional releases."
Right now, "200 women and girls are under professional care in Germany" where they can safely recover. Most of these girls are without family.
Many have seen their loved ones brutally murdered. The task is huge.
Jensen met Sister Hatune and became director of the Hatune Foundation last year. They agreed to mount a web platform as a way of campaigning for the rescue of Christians and Yazidis. Sister Hatune got special permission from the Archbishop of the Syrian Orthodox Church to work outside the church.
Jensen tells me: "They have all been raped, sold as slaves countless times . . . Our long-term goal is to offer them security and comfort in life. We have bought three houses close to the foundation's headquarters [in Germany] and we intend to design them for these girls when they have finished treatment."
The Foundation is located in Germany because there is a large, active Yazidi community there — and, Jensen says, because Germany is "into Christianity much more so than many other European countries."
The Yazidi women are not waiting for Western feminists or Western military men to come their aid.
A Yazidi singer, Xate Shingali, with the permission of Kurdish President Masoud Barzani, just formed an all-female brigade to fight ISIS. They have been equipped with AK-47s and wear military fatigues. Shingali says: "While we have had only basic training, we are ready to fight ISIS anytime."
She adds, "ISIS will never go to heaven. We will kill them."
Phyllis Chesler, a Shillman-Ginsburg fellow at the Middle East Forum, is an emerita professor of psychology and women's studies and the author of sixteen books.