Headline RoundupDecember 5th, 2023

UN, Progressives Accused of Downplaying Hamas Rapes

Summary from the AllSides News Team

In light of new evidence of Hamas’ use of rape on October 7, some have criticized the United Nations and U.S. progressive Democrats of not paying enough attention to the issue.

Key Quote: Responding to CNN (Lean Left bias) host Dana Bash, who said some progressives had been “downright silent” on Hamas’ use of rape, Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) said she had “absolutely” condemned Hamas and other “terrorist” organizations’ “horrific” use of sexual assault. She then added: “However, I think we have to be balanced about bringing in the outrages against Palestinians – 15,000 Palestinians have been killed in Israeli airstrikes, three-quarters of whom are women and children.” Fellow Democratic women, including Hillary Clinton and White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, criticized Jayapal’s remarks, with some accusing her of both-sidesing the issue. 

For Context: On Monday, the Israeli government released recordings of witness testimony discussing Hamas’ use of rape on October 7. Hamas dismissed the accusations as an attempt to “tarnish our humanity and moral treatment of captives.”

How the Media Covered It: Right-rated outlets often highlighted criticism of Jayapal, continuing their focus on “Squad” Democrats. Meanwhile, progressive outlet Democracy Now (Left bias) stood out by highlighting claims that Palestinian women had been raped in Israeli prisons. Coverage of Hamas rapes and the political response was found across the spectrum. 

Why the Difference: Rape has always been used as a tool of war, but in modern conflicts, reports of sexual assault can also be powerful tools for building public support. 

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