A Sunday interview with House Progressive Caucus Chair Pramila Jayapal quickly became tense when the discussion turned to condemning Hamas‘ sexual violence against women.
The Washington Democrat was asked by CNN “State of the Union” host Dana Bash why it seemed like progressive women, who are quick to defend women’s rights and denounce rape as a weapon of war, have been “downright silent” about Hamas terrorists raping Israeli women.
“I don’t know that that’s true,” Ms. Jayapal responded. “I have condemned all of the actions. Absolutely the rape. Of course.”
Ms. Jayapal then turned the conversation back to Israel’s counteroffensive and the high civilian death toll in the Gaza Strip. She accused the U.S. ally of violating international law.
“Morally, I think we cannot say that one war crime deserves another,” she said. “That is not what international humanitarian law says.”
Pressed further about Hamas‘ sexual violence, Ms. Jayapal said denunciations in war should be “balanced.”
“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,” she said.
“However, I think we have to be balanced about bringing in the outrages against Palestinians,” she said.
Ms. Bash responded: “It’s horrible, but you don’t see Israeli soldiers raping Palestinian women.”
Ms. Jayapal said: “I don’t want this to be the hierarchy of oppressions.”