Action Center

Urge the Senate to condemn rape and sexual violence committed by Hamas in its war against Israel
On the morning of October 7, Iran-backed terror group Hamas launched an unprecedented and horrific attack on the State of Israel. Hamas militants infiltrated Israel from air, land, and sea, massacring over one thousand Israelis and taking more than 200 hostage including Israelis, dual nationals, and foreign nationals.

As part of this brutal attack, countless Israeli women and girls were raped and brutalized by militants. Despite knowing the multi-layered harm caused by the gender-based violence that occurs too frequently in war, the international community has been unacceptably, incredibly slow to recognize the pain and suffering of Israeli women or women who happened to be in Israel on October 7th and after.

From the first days of the war, there were credible reports of sexual violence against Israeli women and children; later reports established sexual violence against men, as well. On October 10th, just three days after the start of the war, Women of Reform Judaism released a statement condemning the targeting of women in Hamas’s initial attacks. Since then, very little has been done by the feminist, human rights, and international communities to support those who were victims of sexual violence on October 7th. Despite constant urging from the international Jewish community and our partners, it took prominent international organizations over two months to acknowledge and condemn this violence.

As Reform Jews, we know sexual assault as the heinous crime it is and acknowledge that we are all responsible for each other. In a time when there is a major lack of support for Israeli women, in particular, it is necessary to urge our members of Congress to stand up for the victims of rape and sexual violence and to condemn Hamas’s brutal attacks.

On February 14, 2024, a bill condemning sexual violence on October 7th passed the House with overwhelming, bipartisan support. Now, we urge the Senate to support similar legislation. S. Res 505, a resolution introduced by Senator Shaheen (NH) that would condemn the use of rape and sexual violence as a weapon of war against Israel. 

For more information on this issue, visit the WRJ’s webpage on gender-based violence, the RAC’s webpage on gender-based violence, or contact Legislative Assistant Rachel Landis.


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