A Letter to the Editor is a column written by a writer not affiliated with Pipe Dream, sent in for publication in response to a column or article previously published. In this case, this is in response to Julie Ha’s 2/11 column.

To Julie,

I notice we have some things in common, yet many differences between us.

Considering our shared demographic as women attending this university, I initially assumed we’d agree on the significance of believing survivors when they share their stories of assault and rape. I hoped that, despite our political differences, we could unite under the banner of feminism and elevate the voices of women and men affected by violence. I assumed you would believe me when I mentioned the physical assault I experienced in the dorms during my first year. Lastly, I expected you wouldn’t categorize my assault as “debunked” and “alleged” simply because you disagree with my country of origin. However, after reading this article and taking the time to internalize your approach to the conflict, I see the truth. You do not believe women — you do not fully support women, and you are not a true believer nor advocate of the Me Too movement.

I wonder at what point you’d stop believing my story as you have with the Israeli survivors. Would it be when I mention I’m Jewish? When I mention how my family’s lineage traces back to the land of Judea and Israel? At what point would you see me as a stepping stone to your narrative rather than a survivor?

I am sure you meant well with your article and were hoping to shed light on the inequities Palestinian women face during this conflict. However, your method of approaching this issue was indefensible, even with your later edits.

As a woman who has both suffered assault and antisemitism, I intimately know how hard it is never to get justice. For people to blame you, discredit you and illustrate narratives that frame victims as provocative and deserving of their pain. They often choose to forgo factual evidence and paint the picture that best serves their objective, just like you have. Your article is not the first to do this, and unfortunately, it won’t be the last.

Numerous reports and documented cases illustrate the tragic reality faced by Israeli and Palestinian women at the hands of Hamas. There are videos, audio recordings and photographs displaying Hamas’ celebrations following the rape and murder of my people and parading their brutalized bodies around as trophies. Before writing this article and taking the responsibility to represent my community, I rewatched the footage filmed and streamed by Hamas operatives. What I witnessed was sheer brutality, genocide and hate. I watched as life left the bodies of innocent people, as community members hid in fear while murderers and captors laughed and praised their god and as blood streamed through a once clean floor. In my pursuit of further proof, I read how bullets were found in the breasts and genitals of women, and semen was found on their person as well. If you have not watched the videos and read articles from both perspectives, as I have, I strongly urge you to do so before denying a truth proven time and time again. The ideas you have that say women’s torture was “debunked” are not only untrue but a testament to how journalism has become an environment where even the least educated and affected people can share their antisemitic rhetoric with little to no facts to support their claims.

As I’m sure you agree, it’s crucial to recognize that these assaults, murders and war crimes by Hamas, PLO, Hezbollah, and their allies extend far beyond a single date, such as Oct. 7, and are indicative of broader patterns of violence perpetuated against Israeli and Palestinian citizens. The idea that many pro-Palestinian groups, like Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), call Hamas members martyrs, refuse to condemn their actions and treat them as heroes is both mindboggling and painful. Please, Julie, for a minute, put yourself in the shoes of the woman who faced this savage butchery. Imagine what it would be like to have your rapist deified and celebrated for his actions, for people to excuse your rape as an act of resistance as if your body is merely a weapon with which they can overturn a government they disagree with. When I was assaulted, it never crossed my mind that my assaulter was mad at the American government, and that’s why I was violated. I sincerely hope you agree that sentiment is ridiculous.

If not, I pray your view clears up, your heart unhardens and you can join me as a member of women who believe in women and don’t use their stories as a weapon to perpetuate stereotypes and harm.

As a woman, a future mother, a Jew, a descendant of Holocaust survivors and a descendant of survivors of millennia of discrimination and persecution, I feel for the Palestinians. I pray for their safety, in the same breath that I pray for my family — the Jews and Israeli citizens (of all religions) safety.

I believe all women. I pray for peace in Israel, in Gaza, throughout the Middle East and around the world more than anything.

The fact that you cannot say the same and instead choose to spew misinformation and speak with such carelessness and hatred is the biggest difference between us.

May we, in the future, find common ground in a commitment to developing empathy and a shared dialogue that honors, aids and protects both the Palestinian and Israeli People.

Am Yisrael Chai.

Note to Reader: While I am not a victim of rape, and I pray I never am, I have experienced a physical assault in my past. If you, like me, want to support women who have gone through attacks and assaults, please use your voice and donate what you can. Together, we can make a change.

Miriam Frankel is a junior majoring in integrative neuroscience.