British Gang Rape Victim Tells Israeli Interviewer, “Believe Me!” Likud Powerbroker: “I’ll Sue You!”
משפחתו של עופר איובי, פעיל ליכוד בכיר המקורב לראש עיריית ירושלים, מאיימת לתבוע את מי שיחשוף שבן המשפחה יאיר איובי הוא אחד המעורבים בפרשת איה נאפה
The British woman who has accused Israeli men of gang-raping her in a Cyprus hotel room is finally able to confront her rapists. She hasn’t done so directly in person. But she has done interviews (Hebrew) with British and Israeli media to present her narrative of her ordeal. For the first time, the Israeli public has been confronted with the victim and her suffering. It has brought a small measure of redemption.
At the time the suspects were released from custody in Cyprus, they returned to a heroes’ welcome. Parents wept and embraced them. They prayed and thanked the Lord for redeeming them. It was a shameful display. Even a female Israeli journalist defended them and smeared the reputation of the victim, as if she was a prostitute who got what she deserved. The journalist claimed that given the choice between believing a non-Jewish rape victim and a Jewish rape suspect, she would believe the Jew.
It is long past due for the victim’s story to be heard and validated. Israelis have also, for the first time, published pictures of the main suspects. I published their names here based on police documents which named them (displayed here). I also published a picture of the soccer player who was the ringleader of the bunch. Now I publish here those of the others as well.
The suspects whose pictures are featured here are:
- Yisrael David
- Ohad Ben David
- Ophir Avisrour
- Eliran Yitzhak Bar Tov
- Shimon Yusufov
- Ofek Biton
- Guy Natan
- Yonah Golub
- Oshri Dadon
- Yair Yitzhak Ayoubey
The reason there are ten men pictured and only seven on the police charge sheet is that three of them escaped Cyprus before the police had detained the others. As an aside, Mako says that 12 men are suspected of participating or being an accessory to the rape.
The parents of several of the suspects are politically well-connected. Yair Ayoubey’s father, Ofer Ayoubey, ran on Mayor Moshe Leon’s Party list in Jerusalem municipal elections. He is now Leon’s senior advisor. He is so well-connected in Likud circles that former minister Zachi HaNegbi testified to his son’s sterling character during a media interview. Further, an Israeli source tells me that at Yair’s Bar Mitzvah, senior Likud minister Gilad Erdan was an honored guest (see picture). Justice Minister Amir Ohana and former Knesset speaker are also intimates of Ofer Ayoubeh.
In another set of text messages, a “close relative” of one of the suspects brags that he will disseminate a sex video recorded the night of the assault, for the purpose of a public “shaming” campaign against her. His goal was to get revenge for her allegations of rape against his relative.
Shimon Yusufov, the ring leader of the rape gang, posted the picture below on Instagram, giving the finger to the camera. The caption said: “Fuck all of you!…Your hatred makes me unstoppable.”
Here is the account from the victim’s lawyer of her physical injuries. The mental ones you will have to imagine:
Michael Pollack, said that in text messages restored from their mobile devices, the boys specify an action plan to fulfill one goal: to torment the victim, to harm her in turn, severely and aggressively, as revenge for ignoring their sexual advances.
The hotel medical staff provided primary care to the victim. The medical report said that numerous bruises, massive vaginal bleeding, signs of struggle, and injuries where her foot was gripped to restrain her during the rape were found on her body.
There is forensic evidence linking ten teenagers to the incident. The medical report states that 35 bruises were found on her lower body and face, massive vaginal bleeding, signs of bruising and lacerations on her legs and hands.
One of the doctors who examined her wrote:
…The DNA of three of the Israeli young men was found inside a condom containing semen which was left in the room, as well as on another condom on which the victim’s blood was found.
Apparently, the suspects not only filmed the rape in the hotel room and disseminated it on social media, they also fraudulently circulated another group sex video on Pornhub which purported to be the British woman, but was filmed in an Israeli hotel room in 2015. In that video, the woman is a willing participant. The purpose of the fraud was to undermine the British victim’s claim that she was raped.
ITV has produced a documentary about the crime called Believe Me. An Israeli TV show has produced its own film (click video pause button and then click play button) based on her testimony.
An Israeli publication published a story revealing that Ayoubeh and other family members have threatened websites and individuals who’ve published these pictures. They even threatened to make them homeless. Yair Ayoubeh’s brother wrote this:
I don’t know who you are. But believe me, you will very quickly learn who I am if this post is not taken down. You will end up in the streets begging for bread, scraping up bits of food from garbage cans. You will take down this post or you will be afraid to show your face outside your home. You will end up with no home.
In my case, someone claiming he was the “Spokesperson” for the Betar soccer club threatened to sue me because in my earlier post in which I named and displayed Yusufov’s picture, I correctly noted that he wrote on social media that he’d tried out for Betar, had been sidelined by an injury and hoped to return after it healed.
The spokesperson claimed that he had never played for Betar, and merely attended tryouts with the team. Of course, that’s not how Yusufov described his relationship, and his perspective was what I reported. I did not vouch for the truth or accuracy of what he wrote, nor could I. By the way, an Israeli source tells me that Yusufov’s brother does play for Betar and his father is an honored guest at the club’s headquarters. Yusufov now plays for a Beit Shemesh municipal youth league team. Apparently, they’re not bothered that one of their players may’ve orchestrated a gang rape.
Needless to say, I will not remove the post and will not offer an apology to Betar. By the way, the club is one of the most racist in the world (and that’s saying a lot). After it’s then-owner added three Chechen Muslim players to the roster, far-right hooligans burned down the club’s offices. Fans routinely wave huge Kahanist banners during games and sing anti-Arab chants.
My portrayal of the club is probably another reason they’d like to sue me. But truth is an absolute defense against libel.
I defend women because the Israeli judicial system is deeply prejudiced against victims of sexual abuse. Police do not believe victims. Prosecutors do not bring cases to court because they don’t believe victims. Judges refuse to convict because they don’t believe victims. Even some Israeli women themselves refuse to believe the victims. There are, of course, many reasons they refuse to trust women’s accounts–from misogyny to male supremacy. But whatever the reasons, women don’t catch a break in the Israeli system. That’s why I believe resistance is critical to this rotten system. If it won’t hold male predators accountable, then I and other journalists can and will as a curative to such injustice.
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