Jayapal on Sexual Violence Against Israeli Women: We Don’t Want ‘Hierarchies of Oppression’

Representative Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) said Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union” that the sexual violence Hamas terrorists have used against Israeli women should not be turned into “hierarchies of oppressions.”

Anchor Dana Bash said, “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. 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 woman of war but downright silent on what we saw on October 7th and what might be happening inside Gaza right now to these hostages. Why is that?”

Jayapal said, “I don’t know if that’s true. We always talk about the impact of war on women in particular. In fact, I remember 20 years ago, I did a petition around the war in Iraq.”

Bash said, “Have you talked about it since October 7th?”

Jayapal said, “Absolutely. And I’ve condemned what Hamas has done.”

Bash said, “Specifically against women?”

Jayapal said, “Absolutely, the rape, of course. But I think we have to remember Israel is a democracy. That is why they’re a strong ally of ours. 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 morally, we cannot say that one war crime deserves another. That is not what international humanitarian law says.”

Bash said, “With respect, I was just asking about the women, and you turned it back to Israel. I’m asking you about Hamas.”

Jayapal said, “I already answered your question, Dana. 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. 15,000 Palestinians have been killed in Israeli air strikes, three quarters of whom are women and children.”

Bash said, “It’s horrible, but you don’t see Israeli soldiers raping Palestinian women.”

Jayapal said, “Well, Dana, I think we’re not. I don’t want this to be the hierarchies of oppressions.”

Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN


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