Influential feminist calls October 7 raping and murder „armed resistance”

Influential feminist and gender studies academic Judith Butler described the October 7 rapes and murders by the Hamas terrorist organisation as „armed resistance” against state violence.

Influential feminist and gender studies academic Judith Butler has prompted outrage after she described the rapes and murders that took place on October 7 as acts of „armed resistance” against state violence, reports The Jewish Chronicle.

The longtime Israel critic’s comments during a discussion on the conflict hosted by the French YouTube show Paroles d’Honneur sparked outrage.

While Butler said the attacks were „anguishing” and „terrible”, she added: „We can have a debate about whether we think it’s right.

„It was an act of armed resistance. It is not a terrorist attack, and it’s not an antisemitic attack; it was an attack against Israelis.”

„You know I did not like that attack. I have gone public with this [and] I have got in trouble for saying it was for anguishing. It was terrible.”

Butler continued by implying that the violence of Hamas militants was not the only violence on the scene, referring to the alleged violence of the Israeli State.

„This was an uprising that came from a state of subjugation and against a violent state apparatus. Now, you can be for or against armed resistance, you can be for or against Hamas, but let us at least call it armed resistance and then we can have a debate.”

Dave Rich, Head of Policy at the Community Security Trust, wrote in response: „This is the thinking by which Hamas, an intolerant, reactionary organisation whose beliefs and actions ought to repel every left-wing value and principle, gets redefined as progressive.”

Spokesman for Israel, Eylon Levy, wrote: „If you believe burning whole families alive and raping girls is an act of armed resistance, you are not a voice for peace. Whether you’re a Jew either is arguable.”

Butler’s remarks have been widely shared, including by Hamas media outlet Quds News Network.

As a professor of Comparative Literature at the University of Berkley, Butler’s ideas have been incorporated into most UK undergraduate arts and humanities courses.

Butler is Jewish, and many of her opinion pieces and interviews about Israel and Palestine include the phrase „as a Jew”.

While in October, the academic wrote in an publicised essay regarding the Hamas attacks: „The only possible response to such killings is unequivocal condemnation”, in the same piece she argued that Palestinians were „subject to apartheid rules, colonial rule and statelessness”.

Butler is an advocate of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS) and, in October, called Israel’s war against Hamas in Gaza a „genocide”.