The President of the Union of Italian Jewish Communities (UCEI) Noemi Di Segni sent a letter to the newspaper La Repubblica addressing the violence suffered by Israeli women at the hands of Hamas and the existing silence surrounding these crimes.
Being a woman, being Jewish, being Israeli, being Italian. Today, I am proud to be all of this, fully aware that each of these identities carries moral responsibilities that extend far beyond the boundaries of one’s family and community.
First and foremost, the responsibility to remember that the women with whom I interact are human beings. If they experience humiliation, moral or physical violence, I somehow bear responsibility. If they are brutally murdered, taken hostage, or raped because of their Israeli identity, being Jewish, or as mothers or Jewish girls, I feel violated alongside them.
If, in the name of the Muslim religion or any other religion, wives, daughters, sisters are murdered, raped, or even live under threats, hostages to their faith, I suffer alongside them and wonder what I can truly do.
If there are women who celebrate violence against others, they have deviated from our calling to generate life and preserve it at all costs. If these crimes are perpetrated in the same morning by hundreds of terrorists and the institutions responsible for protecting women’s rights remain silent or propagate a deceitful reality, transforming those who commit violence into victims, it is my duty to shout and demand loudly that any legitimacy to represent any institution be withdrawn and reconsidered.
Any institutional, political, or financial support, any participation in these organizations that evidently pursue a political agenda entirely different from their professed mission and become accomplices to the crime is my duty to denounce.
It is equally my duty to emphasize that our sorrow concerns every Palestinian woman who may have suffered any gender-based violence. If the value of their lives truly matters, and efforts are made for their salvation, it should not be achieved by defaming all of Israel as an occupying state, nazifying the narrative, and generalizing visionary violence without specifying any names or acts. Instead, it should be done by denouncing the real criminals, the true instigators—Hamas and other terrorist organizations. It is from them that women must be liberated.
Towards women—of any faith—who suffer violence within the domestic walls, against whom “religious reasoning” is used to justify limitations on their basic freedoms and rights (work, study, even leisure, privacy), subjecting them to sexual desires or perpetrating psychological and physical violence, I reaffirm my commitment within the Jewish world and in dialogue with other religions to defend and define paths of education, identity formation, especially during formative years, that preserve those religious values of life and dignity.
This is the Judaism I know and seek to pass on in my small but millennial personal or institutional world.
Our appeal is entirely contrary to selective ones. Let’s all unite—without distinctions of political group, religious faith, nation—for an acknowledged truth about the violence suffered, the loneliness in seeking justice, with a commitment to transmitting a culture that embraces feminine knowledge and know-how.
Let’s fight together so that in the name of religion, violence against women is scorned. May there be no religious or political leader who can silence the crimes committed by blinded believers and terrorist organizations that have completely forgotten our common human essence, enslaving their own people.
We join in an embrace that expresses hope, even for peace, to the silent cry of all Israeli women who on October 7 suffered war crimes, were violated, and raped as women, Israelis, Jews. Not one less Israeli. I owe this to them”