EJC co-organises conference with Israeli expert on sexual violence perpetrated by Hamas

The European Jewish Congress co-organised an event focusing on the systematic sexual violence perpetrated by Hamas against Israeli women during the October 7 attacks in Israel.

The opening remarks were delivered by the Ambassador of Israel to the EU and NATO, H.E. Haim Regev, who called on European and international institutions to condemn these terrible acts and stand in solidarity with the Israeli victims.

‘When we remain silent in the face of such barbarity, we contribute to it,’ said Ambassador Regev.

‘We have to give a voice to the voiceless. Sexual violence is a weapon of terror and must be condemned widely. Together we can and must make a difference,’ he added.

After Ambassador Regev, Member of the Regional Parliament of Brussels, MP Viviane Teitelbaum, said that she is a committed feminist but today she feels lonely. ‘Women have been raped, but feminist organisations are silent on these crimes, expressing denial and indifference. Rape is never resistance,’ she stated.

‘October 7th has been the site of a mass femicide, and the condemnation of sexual violence cannot be adjusted to who is the victim of the conflict. Regardless of the identities of the victims, such actions have to be condemned.’

The keynote speaker of the event was Professor Yifat Bitton, co-founder and chair of Tmura, The Israeli Center for Equality, and President of Achva Academic College of Science & Education in Israel, who engaged in a dialogue with MP Teitelbaum on which she shed light on the atrocities committed by Hamas against Israeli women and the indifferent and apathetic reaction from international human rights organisations to the evidence presented by the UN report of the Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict.

Additionally, the audience had the opportunity to listen to testimonies from two released hostages who were held in the Gaza Strip by Hamas.

The event was organised in partnership with the Mission of Israel to the European Union & NATO, AJC Transatlantic Institute, B’nai B’rith International, Elnet, and the World Jewish Congress.