Guardian’s ‘Hamas Mass Rape’ Story Doesn’t Add Up

Jonathan Cook addresses the latest in a continuous cycle of stories about the events of Oct. 7.

The Guardian building in London, 2012. (Bryantbob, CC BY-SA 3.0, Wikimedia Commons)

By Jonathan Cook

The Guardian has just published the latest in the Western media’s endless cycle of stories claiming Hamas committed “systematic, mass rape” on Oct. 7.

Its article is headlined: “Evidence points to systematic use of rape and sexual violence by Hamas in 7 October attacks.”

The biggest problem with these stories isn’t just the continuing absence of any meaningful evidence for “systematic” rape; or Israel’s long track record of lying to justify state terrorism; or Israel’s refusal to cooperate with independent investigators; or the racist, anti-Arab tropes that pass for sophisticated analysis in western circles.

It is simply the outrageous improbability of so many of the evidence-poor rape stories being advanced.

The Guardian recycles a supposed eyewitness account of a group of Hamas fighters taking turns to rape a woman at the Nova festival on Oct. 7, then cutting off her breast to play a football-like game with it at the side of the road.

We are supposed to believe this happened when we also know – from facts provided by the Israeli media – that Hamas stumbled on to the Nova festival totally unprepared and on their way to what they assumed would be a major confrontation with the Israeli military at a nearby army base; that its fighters were quickly confronted by paramilitary Israeli police who engaged them in gun battles; and that Israeli Apache helicopters, with little intelligence to work on, were firing Hellfire missiles at anything that moved, based on the “Hannibal directive” to prevent hostage-taking at all costs.

Does any of that add up? Did Hamas’ most disciplined elite fighters – training for years and knowing that this might be their their only, brief moment to take on the Israeli army in a near-fair fight or drag hostages back to Gaza for a prisoner swap before the Israeli military used its air power to overwhelm them – really take time out to indulge in a sick game involving a woman’s breast?

How is it that no one – The Guardian reporter, her section editors, the paper’s editors – stopped for a moment and thought “Is this really plausible?” and “Am I being played to advance a nefarious agenda?” — in this case, genocide.

Or did they simply recite in their minds — as Israel knew they would — “Believe women!”, especially if they are confirming a racist assumption that Arab men are blood-thirsty, sex-obsessed primitives.


ZAKA volunteers in Be’eri kibbutz in October 2023. (Tomer Persico, Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 3.0)

In fact, the Zaka volunteers who are being heavily relied on in this Guardian “report” are Jewish religious extremist men, also with a proven record of lying: they came up with the complete fabrication of “40 beheaded babies” when no babies were beheaded. Two infants are recorded dying that day.

The woman leading the “Hamas mass rape” campaign — now an academic – is a former spokesperson for the Israeli military. Their job, as any honest reporter will tell you, is to lie to journalists to excuse Israel’s incessant war crimes.

What we now know — from multiple credible Israeli sources – is that Israel killed lots of its own civilians on Oct. 7. 

Ynet, Israel’s biggest media outlet, has just published an investigation in Hebrew showing that Hamas successfully took out Israel’s all-seeing drone “eyes” over Gaza that day, leaving the Israeli military blind about what was happening.

Panicked, Israeli commanders invoked the Hannibal directive, allowing those in the field to order tanks and helicopters to fire at anything that moved.

It was Israel that incinerated the hundreds of cars trying to flee the Nova festival, killing potentially hundreds of the 1,140 Israeli civilians that died that day, as well as Hamas fighters.

It was an Israeli tank that incinerated 13 Israeli civilians, and 40 Hamas fighters, holed up in a house in Kibbutz Be’eri by blasting a shell through its front wall.

Israel, of course, wants no one, least of all the Western media, talking about any of that. What it needs instead is anything that will help to distract from its crimes against its citizens and justify its committing of genocide against the people of Gaza.

So it has every reason to serve up the “Hamas mass rape” story, feeding what it rightly assumes are the Islamophobic prejudices of most Israeli Jews and Western reporters.

Journalists at The Guardian, the BBC and the rest of the establishment media are paid to play their role in regurgitating these lies to advance Western foreign policy goals. You are not. So please hold on to your humanity — and refuse to play along with Israel and the media’s racist disinformation campaign.

I have written previously about the media’s peddling of deceptions about Oct. 7. You can find those articles at these links:

Jonathan Cook is an award-winning British journalist. He was based in Nazareth, Israel, for 20 years. He returned to the U.K. in 2021.He is the author of three books on the Israel-Palestine conflict: Blood and Religion: The Unmasking of the Jewish State (2006), Israel and the Clash of Civilisations: Iraq, Iran and the Plan to Remake the Middle East (2008) and Disappearing Palestine: Israel’s Experiments in Human Despair (2008).

If you appreciate his articles, please consider offering your financial support

This article is from his blog Jonathan  

The views expressed are solely those of the author and may or may not reflect those of Consortium News.

23 comments for “Guardian’s ‘Hamas Mass Rape’ Story Doesn’t Add Up

  1. Rex Williams
    January 22, 2024 at 15:20

    I’m surprised that anyone takes any report on any subject that finds its way out of Israel to be anything but lies.
    Add to that the Guardian with its history back in the Julian Assange days of lying to bolster their circulation.

    Credibility is all important in the publication and acceptance of news. Both these sources have so little of both, it is almost a joke.

  2. Will Durant
    January 22, 2024 at 13:56

    The “mass rape” story never smelled right, invoking instead the lies we were fed about WMD’s in Iraq and the threat they represented.

    Rapes are common in war, but in the modern era usually in the time of occupation, not in the initial tactical phase where precise timing and execution of the battle plan are essential to success. The lightning strike by Hamas soldiers on October 7 depended upon coordination, speed, precision. We are expected to believe that pauses in the execution of the battle plan to commit sexual violence was a commonplace.

    Rape may certainly have occurred; subsequent detailed investigations will and should be conducted by the appropriate authorities, but certainly no “investigations” that come out of Israel should be given any credence at all: not at this stage and not in the future.

    Soldiers and militants do commit rapes, but usually not when time and precise execution of the battle plan are of the essence. I’m calling BS until the dust settles and a proper investigation can be done by disinterested parties.

  3. eric siverson
    January 22, 2024 at 11:04

    When there is a war the first cashualty is the truth . I remember the picture of a German soldier with a baby stuck on his sowrd . This was not a true picture but was made to make American fathers happy to send their sons to fight the Germans .

  4. Robert Marcus
    January 22, 2024 at 10:37

    You can tell the truth till you’re blue in the face, it’s not that Americans don’t believe you, it’s just that nobody will care until they are told to care by CNN, NYTimes and FOX.
    It’s not that people don’t have information, it’s that they don’t want information, they don’t want to know, because they don’t want the responsibility of having to care. Most people are fully satiated by the offerings of indignance and superiority that the corporate media pacifies them with. Few people know how to think for themselves beyond that.

    • Pedro
      January 23, 2024 at 18:57

      I second that. I always say that most people don’t want the truth, they want whatever fantasy and narrative which confirms that they are “making” and “felling” the right choices.

  5. Vera Gottlieb
    January 22, 2024 at 10:12

    It is NO SECRET that the Zionists are experts are doling out LIES when/where it suits them.

  6. hetro
    January 22, 2024 at 10:06

    This bald piece of disinformation is a sign of desperation immediately following World Attention via South Africa at the ICJ. Anyone with a half reasoning brain can see its one-sidedness, including the ending note on cruelty–which entirely ignores the sadism of the genocide actively underway.

    Recommended: See Richard Falk’s idea for a People’s Tribunal, which would help get after those countries such as the US which are complicit in the genocide:


  7. Arch Stanton
    January 22, 2024 at 04:51

    Schindlers List was aired on the bbc last night. Now, with all the bad publicity the Zionist regime is getting for its Genocide of Palestinians, was the timing of this screening a coincidence?
    An FOI requesting to see if it was scheduled for airing before Oct 7th might be worth looking at?

  8. Rebecca
    January 22, 2024 at 03:37

    But we must believe all women, mustn’t we? Similarly in France, where the right-wing government of Emmanuel Macron is allied with elements of the feminist movement to portray the actor Gerard Depardieu as more worthy of comment and more a danger in society than is the friend of Macron, the fascist Binyamin Netanyahu. The slaughter of 32,000 Palestinians, mostly civilians – women and children – is a trivial matter to be ignored, while unproven allegations of sexual assault, which have been under investigation for at least four years without charge, are to be endlessly discussed in the media. #PalestinianWomenMatter, anyone?

    • WillD
      January 22, 2024 at 20:00

      Men and women lie equally. To suggest that women don’t lie and should be believed at all times in matters of sex is utterly absurd.

  9. Mendacity Inc.,
    January 22, 2024 at 00:08

    It won’t take long before the Guardian, BBC and other west media churn out “lampshades” and “soap” stories ..

  10. Anon
    January 21, 2024 at 23:30

    “When logic and proportion have fallen sloppy dead…”

  11. Carolyn L Zaremba
    January 21, 2024 at 21:58

    It would have been good to include references to the extensive investigations of the GreyZone’s Max Blumenthal and Aaron Mate in your article. They have done excellent work on this persistent repetition of falsehood about October 7.

  12. bryce
    January 21, 2024 at 19:26

    Since Alan Rusbridger was frog-marched to the basement in order to destroy the hard-drives, the Guardian has been beyond parody; completely ludicrous..

    • Graeme
      January 22, 2024 at 19:02

      The same man who accused Assange of being a narcissist and was content to publish unverified stories that Julian was a rapist.

  13. Graeme
    January 21, 2024 at 19:20

    The Guardian was also the site on which Deborah Lipstadt had an article published that promulgated, without serious, qualified sources, that “during the Hamas attacks of 7 October, Israeli girls and women – ranging from young children to elderly people – were subjected to gang-rape and humiliating sexual assaults. Some of their corpses were violated.”

    Readers with good memories will recall that Deborah Lipstadt infamously and erroneously accused Noam Chomsky of holocaust denial and being anti-semitic.
    See The Chomsky Effect: A Radical Works Beyond the Ivory Tower, by Robert F. Barsky for a good analysis.


    • Ralph
      January 23, 2024 at 03:17

      Veracity at The Guardian has been increasingly filled by propaganda since Alan Rushbridger crossed the line with Wikileaks, Julian Assange, and Edward Snowden, true heroes all! He was replaced by Jonathan Freedland, wink, wink. Read his bio on Wikipedia, you can’t make this up. He just may have a bias!

      The online encyclopedia says young Jonathan was mentored by none other than Mark Regev, a former IDF combat soldier and eventually the Senior Adviser for Foreign Affairs and International Communications for the Prime Minister of Israel. Mr. Freedland is also a writer of thrillers, and was in turn, a mentor to Sacha Baron Cohen. Journalism vs propaganda, The Guardian seems quite compromised to say the least. It’s especially troublesome with the news of the present. What one could term an unmistakable conflict of interest.

      Like many of the pious Israeli first responders on the Oct. 7 scene, Deborah Lipstadt may have some mystical beliefs, and non-reality based concepts at odds with journalism and international law. The unity of media to back these lies is beyond contempt. The events in question sound like stories with a biblical influence that “jumps the shark.” Thanks for the article, much needed at this time!

      • Graeme
        January 23, 2024 at 18:38

        Thanks mate.
        Especially for the background on Jonathan Freedland.

        You mention Sacha Baron Cohen; one of his cousins include autism researcher Sir Simon Baron-Cohen, famous for his male-centric research.

  14. Arch Stanton
    January 21, 2024 at 19:16

    Tonight, the Zionist controlled BBC is airing Schindlers List again.

    There’ll be plenty more Jewish Holocaust films & programmes on in the near future, as they desperately try to play this tired old sympathy card whilst they themselves play the role SS Nazis in Palestine.

    For balance I expect a Hollywood produced ‘Gaza Holocaust’ themed movie to hit our screens soon then
    or don’t other genocides count?

  15. Oregoncharles
    January 21, 2024 at 18:01

    I believe there’s a numerical error: “the 1,140 Israeli civilians”. According to Israeli sources, there were about 1200 TOTAL Israeli casualties on Oct. 7 – essentially 1140. However, that includes a large number of soldiers. The only number I’ve seen, again from an Israeli source, is over 400 (either 408 or 480 – my memory fails me on that detail). So, over a third of the deaths were military.

    Reporting of that number has been very scarce, because Israel wants people to assume that they were all civilians. If Mr. Cook can confirm his number, I would appreciate it. But my correction supports his overall thesis.

    • Red Star
      January 22, 2024 at 06:33

      ” So, over a third of the deaths were military.”

      And some were illegal settlers, who seem to strut around armed to the teeth and so ought to be counted as at least paramilitary.

      The dividing line between civilian and military in Israel seems at best a little vague, given that many – most ? – will have done military service, and many remain as reservists.

    • Geoff Burns
      January 22, 2024 at 11:22

      The official Israeli casualty count for October 7th was referenced in an article by Gareth Porter, published here on January 6th.:

      “IsraeI’s Social Security Administration in mid-December released a complete list of those killed in the attack, with the circumstances of death of each. That official document showed that 695 of the deaths were Israeli civilians, 373 were Israeli security forces, and 71 were foreigners, for a total of 1,139 victims.”

      Consistency of evidential data would build trust in the source of information, i.e. CN.

  16. Susan Siens
    January 21, 2024 at 16:35

    The Guardian is NOT a news organization; it’s a propaganda machine kissing Bill Gates’s ass so hard the suction can be heard around the world. It amazes me that anyone takes the Guardian seriously.

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