newsOctober 7

Tlaib ‘present,’ as House votes unanimously to condemn Hamas for rape

"Rep. Tlaib isn't content to 'All Lives Matter' the mass rape of Jewish women by Hamas. She has actually appropriated the atrocities perpetrated against Jews," wrote Batya Ungar-Sargon, Newsweek's opinion editor.

Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) speaks on the House floor against a resolution condemning Hamas terrorists for rape and sexual violence on Feb. 14, 2024. She voted "present" that day on H.Res.966. Source: C-SPAN.
Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) speaks on the House floor against a resolution condemning Hamas terrorists for rape and sexual violence on Feb. 14, 2024. She voted "present" that day on H.Res.966. Source: C-SPAN.

The U.S. House of Representatives voted unanimously, 418-0, to condemn Hamas terrorists for rape and sexual violence on Oct. 7.

Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.), a progressive member of the “Squad” who has a long history of antisemitic comments, voted “present,” as the House passed H.Res.966 on Wednesday.

“On Oct. 7, Hamas terrorists attacked Israel, mercilessly killing 1,200 people; raping, mutilating, burning and assaulting their victims to inflict physical and psychological pain, unleashing trauma that continues to plague a grieving Israel,” stated Rep. Lois Frankel (D-Fla.), who introduced the resolution.

“The brutality was planned and calculated,” Frankel added. “Sadly, Hamas’s savagery has been met with a shrug—and even denial—from many corners of the world. Our resolution loudly and clearly condemns all rape and forms of sexual violence as weapons of war, including those acts committed by Hamas terrorists on and since Oct. 7.”

Frankel introduced the resolution, which received 200 co-sponsors from both sides of the aisle, with Reps. Mario Díaz-Balart (R-Fla.), Kathy Manning (D-N.C.) and Jen Kiggans (R-Va.).

The resolution condemns all rape and sexual violence “as weapons of war,” including those Hamas committed on and after Oct. 7; calls on all countries to criminalize rape and sexual assault and hold both state and non-state armed groups accountable for such attacks; and tells international groups to “unequivocally condemn the barbaric murder, rape, sexual assault and kidnapping by Hamas and other terrorists on and since Oct. 7 and hold accountable all perpetrators.”

It also reaffirms the U.S. government’s “support for independent, impartial investigations of rape and sexual violence committed by Hamas on and since Oct. 7” and “reaffirms its commitment to supporting survivors of rape and sexual violence, including those brutalized on and since Oct. 7.”

Díaz-Balart, the Florida Republican, stated that Congress “stands in strong, bipartisan solidarity with the victims of terrorism and sexual violence” and called Hamas’s atrocities “shocking in their depravity.”

“I’m heartbroken, outraged and devastated for the victims and survivors,” stated Manning, the North Carolina Democrat. “I’m proud that a bipartisan majority of representatives voted to pass this important resolution.”

Kiggans, the Virginia Republican, stated that Hamas’s sexual violence on Oct. 7 is “shocking and truly horrifying,” and said “as a woman serving in Congress, I believe it is my duty to use my voice to condemn such sickening violence.”

“Today’s strong bipartisan vote sends a clear message that the United States stands against the despicable acts committed by Hamas terrorists against women and girls in Israel,” Kiggans added.

Lois Frankel
Rep. Lois Frankel (D-Fla.) speaks at an event about the sexual and gender-based violence perpetrated by Hamas on and since Oct. 7, ahead of a vote on H.Res.966, which passed the House, on Feb. 14, 2024. Credit: Courtesy.

Accountability for perpetrators

“The international community’s utter failure to adequately condemn and address Hamas’s use of sexual and gender-based violence as a weapon of war on and since Oct. 7 is not merely disappointing—it is a dereliction of duty for all who claim to stand for human rights and humanity,” stated Ted Deutch, CEO of the American Jewish Committee.

“The world cannot turn a blind eye to this brutality and such atrocities,” Deutch added. “The whole of Congress needs to make clear that the United States is united in demanding accountability for the perpetrators of these heinous crimes.”

The AJC also noted that Sens. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Katie Britt (R-Ala.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and Deb Fisher (R-Neb.) introduced a similar resolution, S.Res.505.

Tlaib, who voted “present” rather than to condemn Hamas terrorists for rape and sexual violence, explained her vote on social media. “We all have a responsibility to denounce sexual violence in all forms, regardless of who is responsible,” she wrote. “War crimes cannot justify more war crimes. This resolution falls well short of also acknowledging the sexual abuse of Palestinians.”

In her post, Tlaib not only adopted an “all lives matter” approach to the mass rape of Jewish women, according to Batya Ungar-Sargon, the opinion editor of Newsweek. “She has actually appropriated the atrocities perpetrated against Jews in an attempt to reverse the truth to fit the woke narrative in which Jews are perpetrators and Palestinians victims,” Ungar-Sargon wrote.

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