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Politics

White House says rape as a weapon ‘reprehensible’ in response to Jayapal’s CNN exchange

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Monday that President Biden finds the use of rape as a weapon of war “reprehensible” when asked about Rep. Pramila Jayapal’s recent comments (D-Wash.) on the rapes committed by Hamas. fighters.

CNN anchor Dana Bash on Sunday pressed the silence of some other progressive leaders on Hamas’ use of rape as a weapon of war against Israeli women, but Jayapal steered her response to focus on Israel. Bash pointed out this diversion and Jayapal responded, “I think rape is horrible,” adding that the United States needs to show balance because of the number of Palestinians killed in Israeli airstrikes.

Bash responded directly: “And it’s horrible, but you don’t see Israeli soldiers raping Palestinian women. Jayapal responded, “Well, Dana, I think we’re not – we’re not – I don’t want it to be the hierarchy of oppressions. »

Jean-Pierre said Monday that the White House has been clear in its position on the rapes that occurred on October 7, when the U.S.-designated terrorist organization Hamas launched a surprise attack on the southern border of Israel, killing 1,200 Israelis and taking more than 240 hostages.

“What Hamas did is absolutely reprehensible. And full stop. We will continue to be clear about this. When we think about rape and the use of rape as a weapon, that’s also wrong, and that’s full stop,” she said. “And that speaks for the President of the United States, I think I’ve been very clear on that.”

When asked if she had any comment on Jayapal’s comments in particular, Jean-Pierre added: “I just commented on him. I have just outlined what we consider unacceptable.

The exchange between Jayapal and Bash has attracted attention and criticism over the past day. Jayapal’s colleague in the House, Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-Mich.), said she plans to discuss the issue with Jayapal after she said she was doxed because of his condemnation of the use of rape by the Hamas against Israeli women.

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