update deskIsrael at War

Cochav Elkayam-Levy meets with senior White House officials

"The group discussed the imperative to unequivocally denounce sexual violence by Hamas," the White House stated.

White House in Washington, D.C. Photo by Menachem Wecker.
White House in Washington, D.C. Photo by Menachem Wecker.

Senior White House officials met on Dec. 6 with Cochav Elkayam-Levy, chair of Israel’s civil commission on Oct. 7 crimes by Hamas against women and children, per a White House readout.

Jennifer Klein, assistant to the president and director of the gender policy council, was part of the meeting, according to a White House readout that misspelled Elkayam-Levy’s name.

“From the earliest days of the conflict, the Biden-Harris administration has been deeply concerned by the horrific reports of sexual violence used by Hamas against Israeli women and children as part of the Oct. 7 attacks,” the White House stated. “As [U.S.] President [Joe] Biden has again underscored, the world cannot look away from the accounts by survivors and witnesses detailing the brutality of that day.”

“During the meeting, Dr. Elyakam-Levy spoke about her work to gather testimony and document evidence of the events of Oct. 7 and develop a comprehensive accounting of gender-based violence committed by Hamas,” the readout added, again misspelling the name.

“The group discussed the imperative to unequivocally denounce sexual violence by Hamas, and the need for broad commitment across the international community to hold perpetrators accountable and support survivors,” the White House stated.

Klein “reiterated the president’s commitment to exercising all financial, diplomatic and legal tools to address sexual violence in conflict, and the ongoing efforts by the administration to secure the release of the women and girls that continue to be held as hostages by Hamas,” it added.

Biden has not issued a statement directly after a progressive member of Congress twice hedged while referring to the rape of Israeli women.

Elkayam-Levy, a law professor at the Davis Institute for International Relations at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, spoke recently at a rally outside of U.N. headquarters in New York City.

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