Condemning Gender-Based Violence

January 2024

Support for Israel

Civil & Human Rights

The barbaric Hamas terrorist attacks in Israel on October 7, 2023, included horrific acts of sexual and gender-based violence against women and girls. Hadassah, The Women’s Zionist Organization of America, Inc., recalls its past statements on violence and war crimes against women and reaffirms its condemnation of all acts of sexual and gender-based violence committed against women and girls — regardless of their national origin, religion, race or ethnicity. Hadassah deplores the silence of the international community and demands justice for the Israeli women and girls who were victimized during the Hamas attacks and continue to be victimized during the ongoing hostage crisis.

Only after weeks of silence and continued pressure from Hadassah and other groups did the United Nations and several bodies within it finally condemn Hamas and support an investigation into its gender-based violence. These bodies’ stated mission is to ensure women’s rights are protected and that all women and girls live free from violence, yet they repeatedly ignored and dismissed facts about Hamas’s rape, mutilation and murder of Israeli women and girls.

Unfortunately, the Commission of Inquiry (COI) on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict — a historically antisemitic, anti-Israel body — is trying to position itself to conduct the investigation. Placing the investigation of reprehensible acts of sexual violence into the hands of a biased COI will force victims to relive their trauma in an environment unsafe for Israeli women and girls.

Hadassah calls on the UN to conduct a truly independent, impartial and trauma-informed investigation into these gender-based crimes that is sensitive to survivors and will pursue a forceful prosecution to hold Hamas fully accountable. We also call on leaders across the globe to echo our demand of the UN for an unbiased investigation, underscoring the need for universal condemnation of gender-based violence and in support of justice for all women and girls brutalized by Hamas.

Hadassah's Policy Statements represent the organization's official stance on a wide variety of issues facing our nation, Israel and other international matters of concern. Policy Statements are debated and voted on at national meetings by Hadassah’s national board and delegates from our membership. Once approved, statements become official policies of the organization and serve to define Hadassah's overall agenda and advocacy priorities. Hadassah, as a charitable organization classified under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, is prohibited from any direct or indirect support of, or opposition to, candidates for public office.