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What Matters Now to law expert Cochav Elkayam-Levy: Denialism of Oct. 7 sexual violence

After a deafening silence from global women’s organizations who hesitated to condemn Hamas’s weaponization of rape, the lecturer founded a civil commission to document the crimes

Welcome to What Matters Now, a weekly podcast exploring one key issue currently shaping Israel and the Jewish World. This week, host deputy editor Amanda Borschel-Dan speaks with legal expert Dr. Cochav Elkayam-Levy.

October 7 was not the first time that rape was weaponized in warfare. If history teaches anything, it also won’t be the last.

Almost immediately following Hamas’s murderous onslaught on southern Israel, humanitarian law expert Elkayam-Levy established and now heads The Civil Commission on Oct. 7th Crimes by Hamas against Women and Children.

Elkayam-Levy is a Sophie Davis Post-Doctoral Fellow at Hebrew University’s Leonard Davis Institute’s program on Gender, Conflict Resolution and addition to lecturing at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and at Reichman University, she, along with her staff, has poured over thousands of pieces of documentation that chronicle Hamas’s systemic use of rape and sexual violence against women.

The silence and lack of condemnation of this violence from international bodies, including the 30-year-old United Nations office of the Special Rapporteur on violence against women, has been deafening to Israeli women. But domestically, Elkayam-Levy was recently awarded the Israel Prize, the highest honor the state of Israel bestows, as well as other honors.

Borschel-Dan visited the headquarters of the Civil Commission on Oct. 7th Crimes by Hamas against Women and Children for a wide-ranging conversation. Listener discretion is advised.

So this week, we ask Dr. Cochav Elkayam-Levy, what matters now?

What Matters Now podcasts are available for download on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, YouTube or wherever you get your podcasts. This episode was produced by the Pod-Waves. 

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