Rashida Tlaib refuses to condemn Hamas sexual violence in House vote

The resolution passed unanimously, 418-0.

By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

Anti-Israel congresswoman Rashida Tlaib (D-Mi) refused to condemn Hamas’ sexual violence on and after its October 7 invasion of Israel in a House resolution Wednesday that ultimately passed 418-0.

Tlaib only voted “present,” posting to X that she did so because H.R. 966 “falls well short of also acknowledging the sexual abuse of Palestinians” by Israeli forces, a charge that has never been substantiated. As she has done before, she then accused the IDF of breaking international law in its fight to destroy the Gazan terror organization, saying, “War crimes cannot justify more war crimes.”

Introduced by Rep. Lois Frankel (D-Fl), who gathered 200 co-sponsors, the resolution “calls on all international bodies to unequivocally condemn the barbaric murder, rape, sexual assault, and kidnapping by Hamas and other terrorists on and since October 7th, and hold accountable all perpetrators.”

It also reaffirmed U.S. support for “independent, impartial investigations” of Hamas’ sexual crimes “on and since” the day its terrorists invaded southern Israel and committed mass rapes and horrific genital mutilations before massacring many of the women among the 1,200 people they slaughtered.

Survivors and witnesses of the original Hamas attacks have spoken out since, and those who collected the bodies as well as forensic pathologists have attested to the sexual violence inflicted on the victims. Hostages who were freed have also testified to the ongoing sexual abuse they and others suffered in captivity, which they have every reason to believe is continuing with the female abductees who are still being forcibly held in the Gaza Strip.

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IDF forces also found documentation that Muslim religious figures gave the terrorists dispensation to rape their victims although rape is a crime in Muslim law, and some captured Hamas combatants have admitted that they were encouraged to commit sexual atrocities.

In her speech before the vote, Frankel stated, “Shockingly and alarmingly, Hamas’ violence has been met with a shrug from many corners in the world, and many deny it. Such weapons have been used throughout history and around the world to terrorize and traumatize victims, but that doesn’t make it OK. It must never be normalized. Our resolution makes it clear:  sexual violence is a crime against humanity.”

The American Jewish Committee immediately applauded the overwhelming passage of the resolution and urged the Senate to pass a similar bipartisan resolution that has already been introduced to the chamber, saying, “The whole of Congress needs to make clear that the U.S. is united in demanding accountability for the perpetrators of these heinous crimes.”

CEO Ted Deutsch called out the international community’s “utter failure to adequately condemn and address Hamas’ use of sexual and gender-based violence” as “a dereliction of duty for all who claim to stand for human rights and humanity.”

Prior to the vote, Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (D-Fl) hosted a roundtable discussion at the Capitol to raise awareness about Hamas’ sexual atrocities.

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“It’s unacceptable that skepticism still follows survivors, and unconscionable that hate and bias are driving people to ‘believe only some women.’ We cannot equivocate,” said Wasserman-Schultz. “We cannot let this revolting ideology create a permission structure for premeditated and intentional rape, and we cannot give an inch to those who would overlook sexual violence specifically against Jews, because they are the heirs to the darkest moments in our history. Today we helped lift that silence and confronted the hate that feeds it.”

Other speakers at the event included Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff, Israeli Ambassador to the US Michael Herzog, and Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Antisemitism Ambassador Deborah Lipstadt.