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CNN host Dana Bash pushed progressive congresswoman Pramilla Jayapal to condemn Hamas’ barbaric use of sexual violence against Israeli women during the October 7 massacre.
Jayapal, a representative from Washington state and a member of the so-called ‘Squad,’ said she had previously spoken out against Hamas’ brutal crimes against women before flipping back to a talking point that targeted Israel.
‘I want to ask you about sexual violence, and it’s kind of remarkable that this issue hasn’t gotten enough attention, globally. Widespread use of rape, brutal rape, sexual violence against Israeli women by Hamas,’ said Bash during a taping of CNN’s State of the Union.
‘I’ve seen a lot of progressive women, generally speaking, they’re quick to defend women’s rights and to speak out against using rape as a weapon of war, but downright silent on what we saw on October 7. And what might be happening inside Gaza right now to these hostages. Why is that?’
Jayapal responded: ‘I don’t know that that’s true. I think we always talk about the impact of war on women in particular,’ insisting she had specifically condemned the actions of Hamas terrorists.
‘But I think we have to remember Israel is a democracy. That is why they’re a strong ally of ours,’ continued Jayapal.
She continued: ‘And if they do not comply with international humanitarian law, they are bringing themselves to a place that makes it much more difficult strategically for them to be able to build allies, to keep public opinion with them, and frankly, morally, we cannot say that one war crime deserves another. That is not what international humanitarian law says.’
In October, Jayapal voted ‘present’ on a House Resolution supporting Israel in the wake of the Hamas attacks.
She has previously been forced to apologize after facing backlash for calling the Israeli government ‘racist.’
In response to her comments on Sunday, Bash confronted Jayapal about her inability to stay on topic when discussing Hamas’ sexual crimes.
‘With respect, I was just asking about the women, and you turned it back to Israel. I’m asking you about Hamas,’ said Bash.
‘I already answered your question, Dana,’ the representative responded. ‘I said it’s horrific, and I think that rape is horrific. Sexual assault is horrific. I think that it happens in war situations.
‘Terrorist organizations like Hamas obviously are using these as tools. However, I think we have to be balanced about bringing in the outrages against Palestinians. Fifteen thousand Palestinians have been killed in Israeli air strikes, three-quarters of whom are women and children.’
‘And it’s horrible,’ said Bash. ‘But you don’t see Israeli soldiers raping Palestinian women.’
‘I don’t want this to be the hierarchies of oppressions,’ said the congresswoman. ‘This is not the way that we are going to beat terrorism.’
Images of Israeli 26-year-old Noa Argamani show her being kidnapped into Gaza on October 7
On the day that more than 1,200 Israelis were killed and hundreds were kidnapped, radical Palestinian terrorists also indicriminately used rape as a weapon of war against innocent Israeli women
Argamani is shown as a hostage in Gaza – she has not yet been released
Progressive women’s rights organizations across the globe, including those at the head of the #MeToo movement and most recently those headaing up the UN Women group, have been criticized heartily for failing to loudly condemn Hamas’ use of mass rape.
Just last week, nearly two months after the horrific October 7 attack, UN Secretary-General António Guterres announced that the organization would be investigating Hamas’ use of sexual violence against Israeli women.
‘There are numerous accounts of sexual violence during the abhorrent acts of terror by Hamas on 7 October that must be vigorously investigated and prosecuted,’ he said.
‘Gender-based violence must be condemned. Anytime. Anywhere.’
The UN Women’s organization has previously failed to take a definitive stance on Hamas’ use of rape against Israeli women.