US envoy: I was ‘shocked’ by speed of Oct. 7 denialism, silence from rights groups

Jacob Magid is The Times of Israel's US bureau chief

US Deputy Special Envoy to Combat and Monitor Antisemitism Aaron Keyak (L) and Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Antisemitism Deborah Lipstadt testify about the recent rise in antisemitism and its threat to democracy before the U.S. Helsinki Commission in the Dirksen Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill on December 13, 2022 in Washington, DC. (CHIP SOMODEVILLA / Getty Images via AFP)
US Deputy Special Envoy to Combat and Monitor Antisemitism Aaron Keyak (L) and Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Antisemitism Deborah Lipstadt testify about the recent rise in antisemitism and its threat to democracy before the U.S. Helsinki Commission in the Dirksen Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill on December 13, 2022 in Washington, DC. (CHIP SOMODEVILLA / Getty Images via AFP)

US Special Envoy to Combat Antisemitism Deborah Lipstadt says she was “shocked” by the speed at which so many began denying the atrocities committed by Hamas-led terrorists on October 7.

“I was shocked by the speed with which people were complaining about Israel’s response on October 8, 9th, 10th — before there was a response. It was truly truly disturbing,” Lipstadt says during a virtual event organized by her office.

The rape and sexual mutilation was “celebrated” by some and questioned by others.

“The silence… was the most disconcerting — silence of precisely those groups from whom one would expect to have been outraged — women’s groups, progressive groups, groups that fight sexual violence, human rights groups,” she says, highlighting how those same groups were quick to speak out when the perpetrators were Boko Haram or ISIS.

“What’s the difference between that and October 7? There’s only one difference, and that difference is the perception that these victims were all Jews,” she asserts, lamenting that too many people either question that the crimes occurred because of this perception or suggest that the victims somehow deserved it.

“Some leading scholars who study this [claim the October 7 sexual violence was] an act of resistance. I’m sorry, rape is never resistance,” Lipstadt asserts.

“It’s rooted in antisemitism,” she adds.

“MeToo, except for the Jew,” Lipstadt’s deputy Aaron Keyak chimes in.

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