October 7

In the aftermath of the October 7 attack, the expression “hayot adam,” used by several Israeli leaders to describe Hamas terrorists, shocked the public and stirred controversy. Variously translated as “animals,” “wild beasts,” and “human animals,” the phrase is striking for its symbolic violence and, for those sensitive to the resonances of the Hebrew language, for the echoes it finds in biblical and rabbinic texts. David Lemler undertakes an archaeology of this problematic term, drawing on the memory of pogroms and Nazism as well as the deeper roots of the representation of the non-Jew in traditional sources.

What can we say about the sexual crimes committed by Hamas men on October 7 – documented a little more each day by the work of an Israeli group of gynecologists, forensic doctors, psychologists and international lawyers? And how are we to understand the concealment of the violence against women on that day by part of world opinion – including supposed “feminists”? Doesn’t this concealment amount to inflicting violence on these women a second time, as if their ordeal didn’t count and was meaningless?

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Thanks to the Paris office of the Heinrich Böll Foundation for their cooperation in the design of the magazine’s website.