U.N. Condemnation

Jewish lawmakers criticize U.N. for slow pace of Hamas sexual violence report

The lawmakers called the report ‘long-overdue’ and said they ‘are appalled that it took the United Nations nearly five months to believe evidence’ of Hamas’ actions

United Nations Headquarters


A group of 24 Jewish lawmakers condemned the United Nations on Wednesday for its long delay in issuing a report on sexual violence committed by Hamas in its Oct. 7 attack on Israel, even as they described its conclusions as “welcome.”

The U.N. report, released this week, found “clear and convincing” evidence that Hamas committed sexual violence in its Oct. 7 attack. The report comes after months of frustration from U.S. lawmakers with the U.N. over its slow response to the evidence of Hamas’ use of sexual violence during the Oct. 7 assault.

The lawmakers called the report “long-overdue” and said they “are appalled that it took the United Nations nearly five months to believe evidence that includes graphic, horrifying photographs and videos taken immediately after the attack and statements from released hostages, eyewitnesses, first responders, law enforcement, and trauma experts.”

They said the U.N.’s “reluctance to acknowledge the truth was deeply disappointing,” and, quoting State Department antisemitism envoy Ambassador Deborah Lipstadt, said it echoed Holocaust denial and contributed to antisemitism.

The lawmakers said they hoped the U.N. report would “finally end the deafening silence and outright denial, in too many quarters,” about Hamas’ sexual crimes, going on to blast some international women’s rights organizations for having “refused for months to even acknowledge these crimes.”

The statement was organized by Reps. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) and Kathy Manning (D-NC).

“We reject any attempts to justify, rationalize, or ‘place in proper context’ the crimes committed by Hamas against Israeli women and girls,” the statement continued. “We will continue speaking out for Israeli women who have been victimized by Hamas and all remaining hostages, including American citizens, who remain threatened by sexual violence.”

The signatories spanned the political spectrum from progressives to Republicans. They included nearly all Jewish House members: Reps. Jake Auchincloss (D-MA), Becca Balint (D-VT), Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR), Steve Cohen (D-TN), Lois Frankel (D-FL), Daniel Goldman (D-NY), Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ), Greg Landsman (D-OH), Mike Levin (D-CA), Seth Magaziner (D-RI), Max Miller (R-OH), Jared Moskowitz (D-FL), Jerry Nadler (D-NY), Dean Phillips (D-MN), Jamie Raskin (D-MD), Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), Adam Schiff (D-CA), Brad Schneider (D-IL), Kim Schrier (D-WA), Brad Sherman (D-CA), Elissa Slotkin (D-MI) and Susan Wild (D-PA).

Rep. Sara Jacobs (D-CA), who did not sign on, issued a separate statement on the report a day prior, which did not criticize the U.N.

“Rape should never be a weapon of war. My heart breaks for the survivors, those killed, and the hostages who’ve been held for 150 days,” Jacobs said. “Hamas must release all the hostages and be held accountable. To do that, the UN needs full access to investigate all the crimes on October 7th.”

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