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Uncovering why a weaponised #MeToo serves Israeli interests over Gazans’

The following recently published articles criticise the weaponisation of rape allegations to justify a brutal military action against Palestinians in Gaza. The authors contend that propagandistic reporting and double standards reveal deep-rooted racism used to advance the oppression of Gazans.

In “Bombing Gaza Isn’t Fighting Sexual Violence,” Heidi Matthews and Tanya Serisier argue that citing Hamas sexual assault claims incorrectly rationalises Israel’s devastating bombardments. They expose the hypocrisy of demanding UN condemnation while evading accountability for the routine abuses Palestinians endure.

Jonathan Cook’s “Why the Guardian’s ‘Hamas mass rape’ story doesn’t pass the sniff test” highlights logical flaws in viral rape narratives, underscoring how unquestioning media circulation of dubious stories promotes anti-Palestinian agendas.

Finally, Randa Abdel-Fattah’s analysis accuses New York Times elites of irresponsible, racist reporting that abandons investigative rigour to legitimise violence against Gazans. She challenges liberals aiding this weaponisation of #MeToo language and rape propaganda.

Bombing Gaza Isn’t Fighting Sexual Violence” by Heidi Matthews & Tanya Serisier:

In this article published on the Counterpunch website, Heidi Matthews and Tanya Serisier contend that citing claims of sexual assault by Hamas on October 7 is an incorrect justification for Israel and its allies’ continued military action and disproportionate force in Gaza. The authors argue that weaponising such allegations to validate atrocities against Palestinian civilians is an unethical form of propaganda that does nothing to actually prevent sexual violence or provide justice to victims.

Additionally, the article highlights the hypocrisy of Israel refusing to cooperate with UN investigations into human rights violations while simultaneously accusing the UN of silence on the October 7 attacks. It also contextualises the racialised history of rape accusations being used to justify colonial violence, arguing that current allegations mobilise racist tropes about Arab men rather than genuinely empower victimised women. Ultimately, Matthews and Serisier urge recognition of the everyday sexual violence Palestinians face under occupation, rejecting the exceptionalism that validates devastating Israeli bombings as “avenging rape.” They make an important anti-racist and anti-colonial feminist case against the cynical instrumentalisation of the #MeToo language to advance the dispossession of Palestinians.

Why the Guardian’s ‘Hamas mass rape’ story doesn’t pass the sniff test” by Jonathan Cook:

In this piece, Jonathan Cook contends that western media outlets like The Guardian are uncritically circulating Israeli-promoted narratives about “systematic, mass rape” by Hamas on October 7, despite the lack of evidence and improbability of the claims. He highlights the numerous logical inconsistencies in oft-repeated stories of rapes occurring that day, given what is known about the chaotic Hamas raid. Cook also points to Israel’s record of misinformation and refusal to cooperate with independent investigators.

The article underscores how such rape accusations appeal to racist assumptions about depraved Arab men, allowing Israel to distract from its own killing of civilians that day. Cook ultimately argues journalists fail to apply basic scrutiny, instead mindlessly regurgitating potential Israeli disinformation to reinforce foreign policy goals and anti-Palestinian prejudice. He urges readers not to unquestioningly play along with the instrumentalised #MeToo language that currently justifies atrocities in Gaza.

A Critical Look at The New York Times’ Weaponisation of Rape in Service of Israeli Propaganda” by Randa Abdel-Fattah:

In this article, Abdel-Fattah argues that despite the widespread discreditation of The New York Times’ viral story about alleged “systematic” rapes by Hamas, media elites and “progressives” continue to recklessly spread it. She argues that normative investigative standards have been abandoned due to anti-Palestinian, anti-Arab racism. Abdel-Fattah highlights the lack of victims, eyewitnesses, and evidence provided so far, while also noting that rape allegations are being exploited to manufacture consent for Israel’s devastating violence against Gazan civilians.

Ultimately, the article exposes the double standards that lead to uncritical acceptance of dubious Israeli claims alongside indifference to the routine sexual violence Palestinians face under occupation. Abdel-Fattah makes an urgent anti-racist, anti-colonial feminist case against the weaponisation of the #MeToo language and rape atrocity propaganda to advance Israel’s genocidal campaign. She challenges the performative allyship of liberals who ignore Palestinian voices while feeding racist assumptions about predatory Arab men.

Taken together, these articles shine a light on the failure to judge the allegations equally, instead furthering oppression through special treatment and selective outrage. All criticise the cynical exploitation of the claims to morally justify Israel’s violent war of genocide against Gaza. At the same time, the prevalent sexual abuse endured under occupation goes ignored. The authors demand factual reckoning and anti-racist examination that reject portraying questionable Hamas crimes as equivalent to Israel’s unrelenting, deadly siege and bombardment of Gazan civilians. Sober analysis exposes the irrationality of justifying a brutal, asymmetrical onslaught by pointing to disputed attacks.

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