Rep Pramila Jayapal slammed for asking for ‘balanced’ criticism in response to question on Hamas rapes

Rep Pramila Jayapal slammed for asking for ‘balanced’ criticism in response to question on Hamas rapes

Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) was slammed by both Democrats and Republicans Sunday after calling for “balanced” criticism of the Israel-Hamas war when asked about progressives’ alleged silence over Hamas rapes of Israeli women.

Jayapal, chair of the progressive caucus, quickly condemned the sexual violence against Israeli women by Hamas militants on Oct. 7 before moving on to note that Israel has killed 15,000 Palestinians — two-thirds of whom are women and children — during an appearance on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

CNN host Dana Bash said she has noticed that progressive women have largely remained silent on the horrific sexual assaults Hamas committed during its deadly invasion of the Jewish State.

Jayapal replied that she didn’t think that accusation was entirely true.

“I think we always talk about the impact of war on women in particular… I’ve condemned what Hamas has done. I’ve condemned the actions absolutely — the rape, of course,” she said before shifting the conversation back to Israel and accusations that it has not been complying with international humanitarian law.

“Morally, I think we cannot say that one war crime deserves another. That is not what international humanitarian law says,” Jayapal said.

Bash pushed back at the congresswoman’s deflection.

“With respect, I was just asking you about the women and you turned it back to Israel. I’m asking you about Hamas,” Bash said.


Rep. Pramila Jayapal and Dana Bash on CNN's State of the Union
Bash and Jayapal had a heated exchange after the CNN host pushed back on Jayapal’s deflection. CNN

“I already answered your question, Dana,” Jayapal replied in a heated exchange. “I said it’s horrific and I think that rape is horrific. Sexual assault is horrific. I think that it happens in war situations, terrorist organizations like Hamas, obviously are using these as tools.”

“However, I think we have to be balanced about bringing in the outrages against Palestinians,” she added while bringing out the colossal death toll in Gaza.

Bash interjected, acknowledging that the mass casualties are “horrible” and again brining up the Hamas terrorists’ rapes of young Israeli women.

“Well, Dana… I don’t want this to be the hierarchy of oppression,” Jayapal said before describing the deaths, destruction and displacement of Palestinians in Gaza caused by Israeli airstrikes.

The Democrat’s deflection was quickly condemned on social media.


Tweet from Christine Pelosi that reads: I should not have to say this in 2023 but here we are:  RAPE IS RAPE. 

Do not minimize, excuse, “balance” or “both sides” sexual assault - that is victim blaming we have spent decades trying to undo in the laws, the courts and the hearts and minds of the people. #WeSaidEnough
Jayapal’s comments were knocked by both Democrats and Republicans.

CNN anchor Bianna Golodrya praised her colleague for continuing to press Jayapal during the interview.

“Jayapal repeatedly said she spoke out specifically against the [Hamas] sexual violence but has apparently not done so, at least on X,” she tweeted. “Furthermore on [‘State of the Union’], she seemed to do the minimum condemnation possible before shifting topics.”

Conservative and former communications advisor to Ted Cruz, Steve Guest, called the clip of the interview horrifying, while Fox News anchor Jessica Tarlov said it was “beyond f*cked up.”

“HOLY SMOKES. The clip is HORRIFYING. Jayapal scolds Israel: ‘If they do not comply with international humanitarian law…’,” Guest wrote on X.

The backlash came from both Democrats and Republicans.

Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s daughter was one of the voices who spoke out.

“I should not have to say this in 2023 but here we are: RAPE IS RAPE,” Attorney Christine Pelosi tweeted. “Do not minimize, excuse, ‘balance’ or ‘both sides’ sexual assault – that is victim blaming we have spent decades trying to undo in the laws, the courts and the hearts and minds of the people.”

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