German leader Olaf Scholz repeats lie about nonexistent Hamas “rape videos”

Man holds large Palestinian flag in foreground with man on stage in background

An anti-genocide protester holds a Palestinian flag as German Chancellor Olaf Scholz speaks at a European Parliament election rally in Leipzig, 1 June.

Sebastian Willnow DPA

Despite it being definitively exposed as a lie, Chancellor Olaf Scholz has become the latest German leader to assert that Hamas fighters filmed themselves raping Israeli women on 7 October.

In fact, according to Israeli government sources and the UN, no such videos exist.

Journalist Florian Warweg posted a video of Scholz speaking at a 1 June European elections rally for his Social Democratic Party in Leipzig.

Amid protests from the crowd at his government’s role in Israel’s ongoing genocide in Gaza, Scholz claimed, “The Hamas terrorists recorded all this so that their perfidy, their murders, their rapes can be seen in the videos by the whole world.”

This comes just days after foreign minister Annalena Baerbock claimed that she had personally watched a video filmed by a Hamas fighter using a GoPro helmet camera of a rape being perpetrated.

No such videos exist

But as The Electronic Intifada has reported, no such video exists, a fact confirmed by Israeli government sources and a UN team that reviewed thousands of photos and dozens of hours of video provided by the Israeli government or obtained from open sources.

The UN team headed by Pramila Patten, the UN secretary-general’s special representative on sexual violence in armed conflict, 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.”

The following month the Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported that “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.”

Berlin stonewalling and lying

Warweg appears to be the only journalist in Germany challenging the government’s escalating atrocity propaganda.

Last week at the government’s regular press conference, Warweg asked the foreign ministry to provide details of where, when and with whom Baerbock had watched the supposed rape video.

Because no such video exists, foreign ministry spokesperson Christian Wagner could not provide an answer and instead resorted to smearing and defaming the journalist.

Warweg challenged the government again at the government press conference on 5 June.

The journalist asked foreign ministry spokesperson Sebastian Fischer to “tell us when, where and with which other representatives of the foreign office Ms. Baerbock watched this [video] sequence?”

“You have already asked my colleague Christian Wagner exactly these questions,” Fischer responded. “It was also the subject of another federal press conference. You can look it up in the minutes, or just watch your own video. Then you will have the answers.”

But as Warweg accurately responded, Wagner had provided no answer.

Reminiscent of Nazi propaganda

Germany is currently the subject of a case lodged by Nicaragua at the International Court of Justice over Berlin’s role in Israel’s genocide in Gaza – a genocide German leaders continue to cover up and deny.

Indeed on Wednesday, German government spokesperson Steffen Hebestreit asserted that “the chancellor is convinced that Israel is doing everything it can to comply with international law.”

One of the crimes under the 1948 Genocide Convention is incitement to genocide.

In 2003, three journalists were convicted by an international tribunal for their role in inciting the 1994 genocide in Rwanda, and sentenced to long prison terms.

Among the crimes, according to an official summary of the judgment, was “the portrayal of the Tutsi woman as a femme fatale, and the message that Tutsi women were seductive agents of the enemy.”

Propaganda portraying a group targeted for genocide as sexual deviants was also a tactic used by Chancellor Scholz’s predecessor as German leader, Adolf Hitler.

The Hitler administration’s propaganda portrayed Jewish men “as leering rapists, threatening pure blond girls,” according to Edna Friedberg of the US Holocaust Memorial Museum. That’s exactly what Chancellor Scholz and his ministers are doing to Palestinians now.

Given that their country is facing judicial scrutiny for its role in Israel’s extermination campaign, it is surprising that German leaders have not stopped recklessly engaging in such incitement and fabrications – at least to avoid personal legal jeopardy, if not out of any basic sense of human decency, which decades of declarations of contrition for Germany’s crimes have clearly failed to instill in them.


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