Rashida Tlaib votes ‘present’ on nearly unanimous vote to condemn Hamas’ use of rape as weapon of war

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The House on Wednesday passed a bipartisan resolution condemning Hamas terrorists’ use of rape and sexual violence as weapons of war during — and since — the attacks in Israel on Oct. 7. 

The resolution, introduced by Rep. Lois Frankel, D-Fla., and endorsed by 200 co-sponsors from both sides of the aisle, passed in a vote of 418 to 0. 

Democrat Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., voted “present.”

“Our bipartisan resolution says it loud and clear: rape and sexual violence are crimes against humanity and should never be used or accepted as weapons of war,” said Rep. Frankel. 

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The resolution “condemns all rape and forms of sexual violence as weapons of war, including those acts committed by Hamas terrorists” and calls on “all nations to criminalize rape and sexual assault, and hold accountable all perpetrators of sexual violence, including state and non-state armed groups.” 

“There are some subjects that are so difficult to talk about, but it is our responsibility to do so,” Rep. Frankel said from the House floor Wednesday.

“Hamas’ actions on Oct. 7 and continuing is almost too difficult to speak about, raping, mutilating and burning to inflict psychological pain and unleashing trauma that continues to plague a grieving Israel,” she said. 

“Shockingly and alarmingly, Hamas’ violence has been met with a shrug from many corners in the world, and many deny it. Such weapons have been used throughout history and around the world to terrorize and traumatize victims, but that doesn’t make it OK. It must never be normalized. Our resolution makes it clear sexual violence is a crime against humanity,” Frankel said. 

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Rep. Tlaib said she was “disturbed” that the resolution “completely ignores and erases any sexual violence committed” allegedly committed by IDF forces. Those claims are unsubstantiated. 

The resolution also calls on all international bodies to “unequivocally condemn the barbaric murder, rape, sexual assault, and kidnapping by Hamas and other terrorists” on and since Oct. 7 and hold accountable all perpetrators.”

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It also reaffirms the United States Government’s support for independent, impartial investigations of rape and sexual violence committed by Hamas and reaffirms its commitment to supporting survivors of rape and sexual violence, including those brutalized on and since the Oct. 7 attacks. 

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