October 7 marked a sad day wherein Hamas terrorists entered Israeli territory, killing Israeli civilians in the deadliest attack perpetrated against Jewish people since the Holocaust. The war between Hamas and Israel has continued, further dividing politicians and voters alike. In a bipartisan effort, Florida Rep. Maria Elvira Salazar (R) and New Jersey Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D) sent a letter to Secretary-General of the United Nations António Guterres, calling on an investigation into the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women).
Reps. Salazar and Gottheimer are calling for the investigation because it allegedly took the UN Women more than fifty days for it to acknowledge the sexual violence perpetrated by Hamas against women and girls.
In the letter, Reps. Salazar and Gottheimer writer that “on October 7, Hamas terrorists committed unspeakable and repulsive acts of murder and torture, including sexual assault, rape, and genital mutilation,” warning that “sexual violence is a recognized war crime and must always be condemned.”
“We urge you to investigate the failures of UN women to condemn these heinous attacks and take remedial action to ensure that in the future all acts of sexual violence in armed conflicts are condemned, without hesitation,” they added.
At the end of last year, the New York Times released a report that details the sexual violence perpetrated against Israeli women by Hamas.
A press release from Rep. Salazar’s office informs that “under normal circumstances, UN Women is quick to condemn violence against women used as a weapon of war. However, in the case of Israel, this condemnation was delayed and tepid.”
As previously mentioned, the ongoing war between Hamas and Israel has pitted lawmakers against each other. Lawmakers like Michigan Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D) has faced scrutiny over her calls for a ceasefire. This resulted in her being censured.