Former Miss World ‘shocked’ by ‘silence’ from women’s groups to Hamas sexual violence

Linor Abargil, a rape victim herself, expressed feelings of being alone as the world stood by and ignored Oct. 7th.

By Shirat Avitan Cohen, JNS

Israeli lawyer, actress, model, and beauty queen Linor Abargil, who won the Miss World title in 1998, has spoken out against the silence of women’s organizations in the wake of the murder, sexual assault, and kidnapping of women by the Hamas terror organization.

“On Oct. 7, we witnessed the most horrible massacres, atrocities, rape, mutilation—the worst human behavior,” Abargil said at an event organized as part of the World Economic Forum in Davos.

“I turned to all my colleagues and friends worldwide, as well to the leading women’s rights organizations, to expose this terrible event, certain that they would speak out and condemn this unspeakable event. And what did I discover? That there is a discriminatory approach— violence against one woman doesn’t equal violence [toward] another,” she said.

“Their silence, apathy, and oblivion shocked me to the core. They even had the cheek to ask for evidence when it was all there to see. There is no need for more proof, it’s all out there to see,” she added.

The event, titled “Women at the Forefront of the Global Peace and Security Agenda” and organized by Israel, was also attended by Tatiana Kotlyarenko, an international expert in gender-based violence and human trafficking, Qanta Ahmed, a senior fellow at the Independent Women’s Forum and Anastasiya Dzyakava, adviser on human online safety.

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Abargil shared how at a young age she, too, was assaulted, and what helped her survive and speak up.

“I was invited to speak all over the world. I gave lectures, and I spoke about the fact that we women truly understand the world and its needs. I found out that this world of men, weapons, and war doesn’t understand that women can work without agendas…[and] politics and rise above all this. I decided to dedicate my life to this cause. And it’s been my life’s journey [for] the past 20 years,” she said.

“Hamas established a new evil strategy: Openly abusing mostly the female hostages, and also men, mutilating them—not in secret and not in the dark. Everything was filmed. Anyone who doesn’t speak up against this is silently complicit in sexual violence against all women, not just Israeli women,” she continued.

“For the first time, I really feel alone. I was stuck. As a victim, I had the support that someone had my back. And now I stand here at Davos. With that empty feeling of being alone,” she said.

“The world is silent and not a word has been said…[But] I will not be silent. I will show you what took place on Oct. 7. I will continue my fight to protect women. Hamas are not freedom fighters. They are inhuman terrorists of the worst evil kind.”