We generally do not respond to press articles. However, due to the cynical exploitation of our interviews in the article published online by The Times Magazine on June 7, 2024, we feel compelled to depart from our policy.

Since October 7th we have been working actively to amplify the voices of sexual assault victims, especially in forums where such voices are often ignored. In this context, we agreed to be interviewed about the sexual violence that occurred on October 7.

Regrettably, the published article misrepresented our words, twisting them to convey the impression that we support the prejudiced argument that claims of sexual violence are being manipulated by Israel. The article aims to discredit and gaslight the victims of heinous acts of sexual violence. Hence, much of what we said was omitted, and only selective excerpts were used, taken out of context to serve the article’s agenda.

We are shocked and disappointed by the exploitation of our willingness to be interviewed and the attempt to use our expertise to give credence to the reporters’ views. The article joins those who are guilty of the unacceptable politicization of sexual violence. In this instance, the reporters’ agenda replaced the professional and ethical commitment to presenting evidence accurately.

As specialists, we are acutely aware of the attempts to manipulate public opinion at the victims’ expense, and we are walking cautiously in this minefield. understand the profound mental struggles victims endure and the delicate balance required in addressing these issues. It is our duty to ensure that the full extent of what happened is acknowledged. The use of sexual violence as a weapon of war was a significant part of the October 7 attack. Denying the evidence of such violence has become a disturbing aspect of the global pro-Palestinian discourse, adversely affecting the well-being of sexual violence survivors of the massacre, as well as survivors everywhere.

Prof. Ruth Halperin-Kaddari, of hashtagTheDinahProject 7/10 and Academic Director of The Rackman Center מרכז רקמן Bar-Ilan University; former Vice-President of the hashtagUN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (hashtagCEDAW)

Dr. Sarai Aharoni, Head of the Gender Studies Program, Ben Gurion University

Orit Sulitzeanu CEO, The Association of Rape Crisis Centers in Israel