Beyond politics or a fight for rights: Hamas' toxic masculinity and crimes against humanity

'As a feminist and as a peace activist, I still understand that sometimes in order to promote peace, justice and equality you must willing to go to war and win it not only for yourself but for the future of the free world' | Dr. Shlomit Aharoni Lir is asking the international community to acknowledge the Palestinians' responsibility for their situation

Shlomit Aharoni Lir|
An often-overlooked dimension of Hamas's deplorable actions is its perpetuation of toxic masculinity, fueled by nationalism, chauvinism, and distorted religious interpretations. It is crucial to understand Hamas as an organization ruled and populated only by men who conduct heinous crimes against humanity, such as the murder of Israeli civilians including babies and elderly, the rape of women, and the torture of innocent people, as witnessed on October 7th.

Tales of tumult: Israeli authors decode war

Understanding Hamas's terrorism as an expression of toxic masculinity helps expose the fact that its violent acts are not rooted in politics or a fight for rights, but rather rise from a poisonous quest for absolute power and unwavering submission, orchestrated by misguided men driven by brutality and hatred.
As a peace activist, I have dedicated years to advocating for the meaningful participation of women from all walks of life in public affairs and peace talks. This has entailed engaging in negotiations and initiatives, as called for by Security Council Resolution 1325, to ensure the integration of women's perspectives and experiences into any future conflict resolution. But the horror of the October 7th events reminded me that you cannot talk about peace with those who negate your actual existence.

Evil is evil is evil

It is important to remember that the terrorist actions of Hamas and its core beliefs jeopardize not only perceptions of gender equality or LGBT rights, but also the safety of the free world. This battle is not about the land of Gaza, which is a souveniring unoccupied territory; it is a war fueled by a toxic belief in National and Masculine supremacy, leading to the perpetration of barbaric acts that defy the fundamental principles of universalism and humanism.
Hamas commando: we heard children crying, we fired until it became silent
(Shin Bet spokesperson)

Failing to recognize the basic notion that evil is evil is evil, those who express solidarity with Hamas today may become its future targets tomorrow. Should they endure, they might eventually recount their disillusionment, and false consciousness, akin to the narrative in the book "The God that Failed," which described the disillusionment with the Soviet USSR following the slathering of millions by Stalin.
It is imperative for the international community and those who stand with humanity to support Israel in recovering kidnapped individuals. It is also necessary to understand that allowing Palestinians to view themselves solely as victims is part of the problem, not the solution. It's time to acknowledge the Palestinians' responsibility for their situation, including electing Hamas and repeatedly and rejecting peace efforts.
Dr. Shlomit Aharoni LirDr. Shlomit Aharoni LirPhoto: Sharon Langer
I believe that if women ruled the world none of these atrocities would have occurred. But we have to face reality in which our neighbors – at least for now – are fostering an environment of toxic masculinity that relies on maximum force brutality. As a feminist and as a peace activist, I still understand that sometimes in order to promote peace, justice and equality you must willing to go to war and win it not only for yourself but for the future of the free world.
  • Dr. Shlomit Aharoni Lir is a poet, essayist, lecturer, and gender studies scholar. She holds a research fellowship at Bar-Ilan University and is a lecturer at Achva College. Her research, published in leading international and Israeli journals, along with her literary writings, have earned her numerous awards and honors. These accolades include the Golda Meir Ministry of Innovation, Science and Technology Fellowship for Women in Science and Technology, the Bar-Ilan University Presidential Fellowship, and the Na'amat Prize for Pioneering Feminist Research.

Tales of tumult: Israeli authors decode war

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