CNN Anchor Engages in Heated Debate with Progressive Democrat on Hamas and Sexual Violence

During their Oct. 7 attacks, CNN host Dana Bash and progressive Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., clashed on the issue of widespread condemnation of Hamas’ use of sexual violence against Israeli women.

“I want to ask you about sexual violence, and it’s kind of remarkable that this issue hasn’t gotten enough attention, globally. Widespread use of rape, brutal rape, sexual violence against Israeli women by Hamas. I’ve seen a lot of progressive women, generally speaking, they’re quick to defend women’s rights and to speak out against using rape as a weapon of war, but downright silent on what we saw on October 7. And what might be happening inside Gaza right now to these hostages. Why is that?” Bash asked.

The “Squad” Democrat refuted the claim, asserting she had previously condemned Hamas’ treatment of women but swiftly redirected the discussion back to Israel.

“But I think we have to remember Israel is a democracy. That is why they’re a strong ally of ours. And if they do not comply with international humanitarian law, they are bringing themselves to a place that makes it much more difficult strategically for them to be able to build allies, to keep public opinion with them, and frankly, morally, we cannot say that one war crime deserves another. That is not what international humanitarian law says,” Jayapal said.

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

The lawmaker said she had already answered the question and added, “we have to be balanced about bringing in the outrages against Palestinians. Fifteen thousand Palestinians have been killed in Israeli air strikes, three-quarters of whom are women and children.”

“And it’s horrible,” Bash said. “But you don’t see Israeli soldiers raping Palestinian women.”

“I don’t want this to be the hierarchies of oppressions,” Jayapal said.

The official UN Women X account faced widespread criticism this week for explicitly condemning the Hamas massacre in Israel and the terrorist group’s treatment of women, nearly two months after the attack. On Wednesday, U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres announced an investigation into the Hamas attacks and their use of sexual violence against Israeli women.