Speaking Out: Hamas’s Horrific Sexual Violence

December 1, 2023

We are outraged by the widespread refusal of the international community to acknowledge the horrific sexual violence perpetrated by Hamas. JDCA refuses to stay silent and is convening events to discuss this topic, encouraging members of Congress to demand action at the UN, and imploring the international community hold Hamas accountable for their acts of terror against women. For more on this subject, we encourage you to read the following article co-authored by leading Jewish American women attorneys, including JDCA New Leadership Council member Julie Zebrak, which discusses Hamas’s abhorrent violent crimes targeting women and the world’s unconscionable denial and deafening silence.

This week, we were honored to host the First Lady of the State of Israel, Mrs. Michal Herzog, for our seventh community briefing since the October 7 terror attack. The First Lady, who spoke exclusively to the JDCA community, told us that “the gender-based violence was exceptionally cruel. Unfortunately, most of the victims were not there to voice out what they went through because they were murdered.” The First Lady inspired us to give voice to the voiceless by speaking up, which we are doing, and we encourage you to watch and share her full remarks.

Join us next week for our eighth community briefing with special guests Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro and Rabbi Sharon Brous on Wednesday, December 6 at 12:00 p.m. ET / 9:00 a.m. PT for a virtual event co-hosted with JDCA partner, Democratic Jewish Outreach Pennsylvania (DJOP).

Over the past week, influential leaders have called on the international community to wake up to the reality of Hamas’s attacks on women. We’re grateful for the many Democrats, including Senator Jacky Rosen and Reps. Sheila Cherfilus-McCormickAdam Schiff, and Steny Hoyer, for speaking out against Hamas’s brutal acts. Dozens of Democrats signed the letter that JDCA supported calling on UN Women to condemn Hamas’s sexual violence during the October 7 attack.

Democratic leaders have also been unequivocal in rejecting antisemitism. This week, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, the highest-ranking Jewish elected official in U.S. history, delivered a 40-minute speech on the Senate floor on the crisis of rising antisemitism in America and “to explain through the lens of history, why this is so dangerous: The normalization and exacerbation of this rise in hate is the danger many Jewish people fear most.”

Also this week, President Biden’s leadership was critical in freeing nearly 100 hostages. Yehuda Beinin, the father of one of the freed hostages, understands the role President Biden played in freeing his son. As he said, “I’m glad that President Biden is the President. I don’t see any other person around who would be able to manage the current situation as well as he has.” We strongly agree, and we urge Congress to quickly fulfill President Biden’s request for supplemental aid to Israel and Ukraine in its entirety. Join our call and write to your member of Congress urging them to fulfill President Biden’s funding request.

Thank you for continuing to support JDCA. We are here for you as the political home and voice of Jewish voters in support of Democrats who share our values, and hope you’ll continue to be here for us with your generous support and partnership.

We look forward to seeing you on Wednesday.

Shabbat Shalom,

Hon. Ron Klein
Board Chair, Jewish Democratic Council of America

Halie Soifer
CEO, Jewish Democratic Council of America