German foreign minister says she saw nonexistent Oct. 7 rape video

German foreign minister says she saw nonexistent Oct. 7 rape video

German foreign minister Annalena Baerbock claimed on Sunday that she saw a video filmed by a member of Hamas of an Israeli woman being raped on October 7, 2023.

But such a video does not exist.

by Ali Abunimah, reposted from Electronic Intifada, May 27, 2024

Baerbock was speaking at a so-called Democracy Festival in Berlin, celebrating the 75th anniversary of the federal republic’s constitution, when she was confronted by citizens protesting the government’s support for Israel’s genocide in Gaza.

Trying to justify Germany’s complicity, Baerbock hit back with a dose of atrocity propaganda, claiming she had seen the nonexistent rape tape during one of her at least seven visits to Israel since October 7, 2023.

“I was shown the film, which was not recorded by me or the Israeli government but by Hamas fighters with their, what are they called, GoPro cameras on their helmets,” Baerbock asserted.

“And do you know what I saw there? It was the worst thing you can imagine,” the foreign minister claimed. “I watched it because I wanted to know, because I wanted to know what happened there. And to see a woman being raped on camera.”

“Do you want to interrupt me when I am speaking about women being raped, being raped on camera?” Baerbock scolded as the protests continued.

The exchange can be seen in the video at the top of this article, with English subtitles.

At least eight anti-genocide protesters were forcibly removed from the venue by security agents, according to the German news agency DPA, which failed to notice or report on Baerbock’s lie.

No sexual violence caught on camera

Since Israel began propagating the October 7 mass rape hoax, at no point has any official Israeli source claimed that a video exists of any rape in progress.

This was confirmed in an article in Haaretz last month.

“From inquiries put to three bodies in the defense establishment by Haaretz, it emerges that the intelligence material collected by the police and the intelligence bodies, including footage from terrorists’ body cameras, does not contain visual documentation of any acts of rape themselves,” the Tel Aviv newspaper stated.

The UN team headed by Pramila Patten also reviewed thousands of photos and videos provided by the Israeli government and concluded in its report published in March that “in the medicolegal assessment of available photos and videos, no tangible indications of rape could be identified.”

Despite the UN report’s pro-Israel biases, it also confirms that “no digital evidence specifically depicting acts of sexual violence was found in open sources.”

Yet the fake rape narrative remains an important touchstone for supporters of the Israeli genocide, allowing them to give a feminist justification and spin for Israel’s slaughter in Gaza, where the most numerous victims of the killing and starvation campaign are women and children.

Nazi-like propaganda

It ought to be particularly shocking that a senior minister in Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s government would be using propaganda tactics familiar from the time of Adolf Hitler, his predecessor as German leader.

As the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum points out, Germany’s Hitler administration used lurid atrocity propaganda that “portrayed Jews as wandering cultural parasites, consumed by sex and money,” as “subhuman” and as “dangerous enemies of the Reich” in order to mobilize public support or acquiescence for the German government’s anti-Jewish persecution.

The Hitler government’s lies built on pre-existing anti-Semitic stereotypes, just as its successor in Berlin today led by Chancellor Scholz relies on widespread anti-Muslim bigotry to make its anti-Palestinian atrocity claims seem credible.

Baerbock’s lies should be seen in this context and should also be criminally investigated as incitement to genocide under the 1948 Genocide Convention.

EU official spreads rape lies

In the complete absence of credible evidence to sustain Israel’s mass rape atrocity propaganda, pro-genocide Western officials have increasingly resorted to lying outright.

Last week, for instance, Israel released a video of five of its female soldiers being taken as prisoners of war by Hamas fighters on 7 October.

According to Reuters, the Israeli government “saw the release of the subtitled three-minute clip to national and international media as an opportunity to shore up support.”

Except the Israeli-provided subtitles were mistranslations, manipulations and fabrications apparently aimed at suggesting the captured soldiers were being taken as sex slaves – a lie eagerly pushed by pro-Israel Western media.

Even with these obvious distortions and mistranslations, it is clear that the video does not show anyone being raped, yet that did not stop Katharina von Schnurbein, the European Union’s “anti-Semitism coordinator,” putting her own false spin on it.

“Today’s video of brutalized and raped Israeli women of 7 Oct is horrific,” the notoriously pro-Israel official claimed. “Knowing that some are still in the hands of their tormentors is sickening.”

Biden lies again

Note: This section contains very graphic images

US President Joe Biden, the chief arms supplier and enabler of Israel’s genocide, also continues to disseminate atrocity propaganda, claiming last week in a commencement address at Morehouse College that he saw “saw pictures of [Palestinians] tying a mother and a daughter in a rope, pouring kerosene on them, burning them and watching as they died.”

Since October 7, 2023, no photos or video of such an incident have ever been published or credibly reported to exist.

Biden’s latest fabrication is reminiscent of his false claim soon after 7 October that he had seen photos of Israeli babies beheaded by Palestinian fighters, a lie that the White House retracted at the time.

This atrocity propaganda aimed at justifying and inciting support for Tel Aviv’s ongoing extermination campaign comes as Israel intensifies its attacks on Rafah, just days after the International Court of Justice ordered Israel to halt its military assault on Gaza’s southernmost city.

The absolute horrors coming out of the attack include real images of burned bodies and beheaded children – Palestinian children beheaded by weapons undoubtedly provided by the United States or Germany.

German official admits Israeli crimes

That such atrocities are routinely taking place is known to the German government, as is unambiguously clear from comments made by Vice Chancellor Robert Habeck a day earlier.

“Of course, Israel must adhere to international law, and the famine, the suffering of the Palestinian population, the attacks in the Gaza Strip – as we are now seeing in court proceedings – are incompatible with international law,” Habeck said on Saturday. “That means, it is indeed the case that Israel has crossed the line there and it must not do that.”

Speaking of Israel’s ongoing assault on Rafah, Habeck asserted, “the federal government has said several times that this is wrong, that Israel is not allowed to carry out this attack, at least not in the way it did this in the Gaza Strip before: bombing refugee camps and so on.”

Alongside the Biden administration, Germany has been Israel’s staunchest supporter from the start of the Gaza genocide, approving vast quantities of military sales to Tel Aviv.

Habeck’s belated reservations cannot cover up or mitigate Germany’s role in this genocide and in the atrocity propaganda that is fueling it.

[See update here: German leader Olaf Scholz repeats lie about nonexistent Hamas “rape videos”]

Ali Hasan Abunimah is a Palestinian-American journalist who has been described as “the leading American proponent of a one-state solution to the Israeli–Palestinian conflict”. A resident of Chicago who contributes regularly to publications such as the Chicago Tribune and the Los Angeles Times, he has served as the vice-president on the board of directors of the Arab American Action Network, is a fellow at the Palestine Center, and is a co-founder of The Electronic Intifada website.


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