Wednesday, May 01, 2024

Disclaimer: the views expressed here are solely those of the author, weekly Judean Rose columnist Varda Meyers Epstein.

I watched Screams Before Silence* just before the final leg of the Passover holiday. I didn’t know whether I should. After all, I totally believe my recent cardiac arrest was due to the extended anguish of hearing about the atrocities of this war, and due also to thinking about what is still happening, right now, to our hostages. It has been unbearable for months, thinking these thoughts, and then chiding one’s self: ‘You think the thought is unbearable??’

Then you feel guilty for imagining that you suffer at all, for what is only in your mind, in light of what happened, is happening to them, still.

I reason with myself: ‘You shouldn’t watch—it’s almost candle-lighting time. Do you really want to go into the holiday with such darkness in your mind and heart?’

I knew the answer. That I shouldn’t watch Screams Before Silence right then, at that time. It would definitely be completely inappropriate to do so, as one is meant to be happy on a holiday. But I couldn’t help myself—I felt compelled to watch this documentary. It was a need, but also something to dread. I knew it would be bad, hard-to-watch bad.

There was time to watch all but maybe the final fourteen minutes of the documentary, so I reasoned some more: ‘I have an obligation to know, to bear witness, to internalize what happened—happens still. For me as a Jew. They are my people, a part of me.’

So I anyway watch what I can before the sun goes down. It is hard to watch and listen. I cry out, “Oh, God!” several times.

You can’t help it if you’re human.

Did watching Screams Before Silence color my yontif, my holiday? Of course it did. But I managed. By now these terrors, as well as expecting to hear of new terrors every day, are a part of life. Holiday happiness is, at any rate, for the time being, muted.  

From time to time, my mind flitted back to what Dr. Cochav Elyakam-Levy, Head of the Civil Commission on Oct. 7th Crimes by Hamas against Women and Children, had to say about the sexual violence of October 7:

This is a kind of pattern we’re seeing, that it’s not just sexual abuse, but it’s sexual abuse in its worst form. It’s like they wanted to inflict pain, in the cruelest manner possible. I think they have redefined evil and in ways that we will need to redefine international criminal law.

Then I would think back to somber recitation of the ZAKA volunteer, of how again and again, they saw the same thing. Hundreds of times. Perhaps more.

When you see one woman, then another and another, all with signs of abuse in the groin area, you understand that this wasn't a random thing. You can't reach that area unless you mean to. It's someone who has come to do different kinds of things to you.

If he doesn't have time, he'll just kill you. If he has a little time, he'll slit your throat. If he has more time, he'll cut off body parts. And if he has even more time, he'll also cause pain and defile, especially if it's a woman. He'll defile her body, not for pleasure but for humiliation. And that's what we saw.


ZAKA volunteer, screenshot from Screams Before Silence

After the holiday, and after I did my share of post-Passover tasks, I watched the last 14 minutes of Screams Before Silence. Then I thanked Sheryl Sandberg—on youtube, on X—we had all been waiting for this film, we needed this film, but she went and actually did it. She made the film.

We need this film to make the world understand. We need it to educate college protesters who don’t even know why they are protesting. After seeing Screams Before Silence, could these same young women continue to ally themselves with who yell, “We are Hamas!”?

We needed the film for the people who say it didn’t happen. For the people who say there were no rapes.

And yet, it doesn’t help. Films, photos, testimony, proof of all sorts. None of it matters. They want to believe—choose to believe—whatever fits the narrative they, the haters, prefer to, want to believe.

Some believe the atrocities happened and are exhilarated by them.

They feel Israel/Zionists/Jews deserve atrocities and genocide—they can justify it however they like. They can say we are white Europeans who should go back to Poland or Russia, even though so many of us in Israel in particular, are dark.

Erasing both history and archaeology, they say we stole land from people who were here before us. The truth inversion continues when the liars claim that Jews do to Arabs what Arabs do to Jews, only worse. They will show you a 15-year-old photo of a dead Syrian child and curse the “criminal” Zionist soldiers, implying that to love your country is a crime. If you’re a Jew.

And when you say, “They burned a baby in an oven,” they will smugly smile and say, “That was disproven.”

You can try saying, “It was NOT disproven. It happened,” but all they will do is laugh at you.

“Where’s the proof?” they will say, and you can do nothing, can show them no proof, because that would be wrong.

There are photos, I always tell them, but you can’t see them. And that’s out of respect for the victims. For goodness sake, what have they left if not for their privacy? Do they have to forever be imagined in the world’s collective mind as naked and defiled? Like Shani Louk?

They gave that photo an award. The world lapped it up like a cat with a bowl of cream. They love it when the Jew gets it. They don’t care how.

They don’t even care that they contradict themselves. There are no photos. Give the photo an award. Which of those two statements is true?? Of the widely shared photo of Shani Louk, the antisemites make excuses, because it suits their narrative. “One rape, pffft.” they will say. “That’s your proof of systematic mass rape? One rape?? One rape is nothing compared to what Zionist soldiers do to Palestinian women in Gaza every day.”

They know that’s a lie, a convenient lie. It’s so ridiculous it makes you shake your head in disbelief. It takes your breath away by its sheer, evil chutzpah. The lie serves their purpose. It allows them to look the other way when Arabs rape and deface Jewish women. They twist the truth back on you and tell you the opposite is true.

It’s not just a boldfaced lie about soldiers (who are moral, that you care about)—it’s an aggression. They are raising you one—raising the stakes as if in a game of poker, lying right in your face/computer screen that it is Israel who is the criminal, while Hamas terrorists and their sympathizers are sweet angels, having a “justifiable” moment of rage.

Now some of these people—these liars—are truly evil. Others, we must acknowledge, are merely stupid.

So we needed this movie, and we didn’t need it. Because the film purposely does not display the really graphic images. “Out of respect for the victims and their families,” reads the text at the end of the film, in plain white letters on a stark black background, “we chose not to show explicit images in this film.”

Instead we see Sheryl Sandberg reacting to such images as they are shown to her on the phone screens of ZAKA volunteers. We watch her face as she looks at each photo and hears the volunteers describe she is seeing, what happened to each woman, all that was done to her. If you’ve got a heart and a soul, you don’t need more than you are shown in Screams Before Silence to visualize what happened, and believe it to your core. It is awful. It is the truth.

The Jew-haters on the other hand, will not be persuaded. They will keep on saying, “Screenshot or it didn’t happen.”

Those are the haters. But what about the stupid, the sheep like students caught up in the spirit of the thing, which they confuse with a spirit of justice? Perhaps they have a chance, the stupid, could be educated, if they watch this documentary.

Because the documentary rings true. You know it’s true when the women say they fear rape more than death, and when a grown man, a man big and burly, says “No one can see those kinds of things,” and then breaks into sobs.

Sometimes I think that if I could, I would show the ugly-hearted, Jew-hating campus protesters October 7th footage on a loop. Such footage, after all, abounds. The terrorists themselves used their go-pros to document their own horrors. This footage is not hard to find. So I was excited when I read just this morning that an anonymous someone had done just that.

Played October 7th footage to protesters. In a loop. On a big, outdoor screen. 


Or is it? If the crowd prefers to jeer over allowing tragedy to move them, will it even matter—will it matter what you show them? No. They’ll invert the truth. Laugh at you. Say the footage is “heavily edited” or a photo is “obviously photoshopped”. Whatever lies they can throw at you, they will. That’s the game.

But we’re not playing. For us, it’s not a game. We have a duty to bear witness to the systematic torture of, and sexual violence against Jewish women by Hamas deviants, and so I remain grateful to Sheryl Sandberg. Screams Before Silence is a film that helps us to recognize Hamas for what it is, be firm in our resolve to eradicate this evil, once and for all, from our world. October 7th was a concerted, premeditated attack against the Jewish people via its women.

As we watch and listen to protesters deny the obvious truth of Screams Before Silence, it will become easier and easier to see that they out themselves, and for us to distinguish between the humans and everyone else.

Humans will care. The evil will not. And should be eliminated from God’s green earth.

*Elder of Ziyon beat me to the punch with his excellent and concise take on the subject, Screams Before Silence, the documentary with select quotes from journalist Brett Stephens. 

Buy the EoZ book, PROTOCOLS: Exposing Modern Antisemitism  today at Amazon!

Or order from your favorite bookseller, using ISBN 9798985708424. 

Read all about it here!




EoZ Book:"Protocols: Exposing Modern Antisemitism"


EoZTV Podcast

Podcast URL

Subscribe in podnovaSubscribe with FeedlyAdd to netvibes
addtomyyahoo4Subscribe with SubToMe

search eoz





For $18 donation

Sample Text

EoZ's Most Popular Posts in recent years


Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 19 years and 40,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.


Donate to fight for Israel!

Monthly subscription:
Payment options

One time donation:

subscribe via email

Follow EoZ on Twitter!

Interesting Blogs

Blog Archive