Hadassah and The Hadassah Foundation Respond to Recent Statements Made by the UN Secretary General and UN Women

Thursday, October 26, 2023

Media Contact:
Lilly Freemyer


NEW YORK, NY—Hadassah national president Rhoda Smolow and CEO Naomi Adler together with Hadassah Foundation board chair Audrey Weiner and director Stephanie Blumenkranz issued the following joint statement in response to recent public remarks made by United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and the group UN Women:

“It is outrageous that UN Women – an organization that calls itself a ‘global champion for women’ – could issue a statement following the barbaric Hamas terrorist attacks that so callously disregarded the lives and safety of Jewish and Israeli women. In violation of international law, Hamas launched a brutal terrorist attack on October 7, massacring more than 1,400 people, from babies to the elderly. Hamas kidnapped and continues to hold hostage over 200 people, including women and girls, and has circulated footage celebrating violence and the sexual abuse and rape of Israeli women.

“As the largest Jewish women’s organization and the largest Jewish women's foundation in the United States, Hadassah and the Hadassah Foundation call on UN Women to speak out for the protection of Israeli women – who were left out of its previous statement – and to condemn Hamas’ inhuman attacks, denounce rape and call on Hamas to immediately release all hostages.

“At the same time, we urge United Nations Secretary-General Guterres to apologize and retract his recent statements, which only serve to excuse terrorism. There is no justification for terrorism, rape and other crimes against humanity. The international community once vowed ‘Never Again,’ yet the UN has largely failed to support Israel in its response to the execution of the largest number of Jews in a single day since the Holocaust.”

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Established by Hadassah, The Women’s Zionist Organization of America, in 1998, the Hadassah Foundation is the largest Jewish women’s foundation in the world. It has invested more than $11 million in social change organizations serving women and girls in the United States and Israel, bringing needed attention to pressing issues that impact gender equality. For additional information, visit https://hadassahfoundation.org/.

About Hadassah, The Women’s Zionist Organization of America:

Hadassah, The Women’s Zionist Organization of America, is the largest Jewish women’s organization in the United States. With nearly 300,000 members, donors and supporters, Hadassah brings women together to effect change on such critical issues as ensuring Israel’s security, combating antisemitism and promoting women’s health care. Through its Jerusalem-based hospital system, the Hadassah Medical Organization, Hadassah helps support exemplary care for more than 1 million people every year as well as world-renowned medical research. Hadassah’s hospitals serve without regard to race, religion or nationality and in 2005 earned a Nobel Peace Prize nomination for building bridges to peace through medicine. Hadassah also supports two youth villages that set at-risk youth in Israel on the path to a successful future. Visit www.hadassah.org or follow Hadassah on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Threads and X.