Gloria Steinem, Mariska Hargitay, Ashley Judd and numerous other Hollywood personas and politicians have signed a statement by women’s rights leaders condemning the atrocities of Oct. 7, when Hamas violently invaded Israel and took women and children hostage, in addition to other horrific acts.
“As women’s rights activists and leaders, we stand for the right of every woman and girl, of every nationality, religion, and community, to live free of all forms of violence, including rape and sexual assault,” the statement begins. “In the weeks since October 7th, overwhelming evidence has emerged that widespread, horrific acts of rape and sexual violence were systematically perpetrated by Hamas attackers against Israeli women and girls during the October 7th assault.”
Linked evidence includes a Reuters story about forensic examinations of Israeli victims’ bodies, eyewitness testimony as reported in the New York Times by survivors of the attack, as well as first responders’ reports from CNN.
Male signatories include Paul Rudd, Seth Meyers, Jason Alexander, Tom Colicchio and others.
The signatories, who have “marched, organized, and spoken out for women of every race, religion, identity, and nationality,” list principles that unite them, despite their different backgrounds.
Those principles include the denouncement of the use of rape as a weapon of war; the call for an unbiased, thorough investigation into the acts of rape and violence perpetrated by Hamas and other terrorist groups starting on and after Oct. 7; and the demand of an immediate, unconditional release of all remaining hostages.
“We long for a just peace. To denounce rape as a weapon of war is not to express approval or alignment with the governing coalition in Israel, nor does it signal support for the bombings in Gaza. But as feminists we are committed to the universal principle that rape must always be condemned,” the statement continues. “We bear witness to the mountain of evidence that Hamas and other terrorist groups used rape as a weapon of war against Israeli women and girls; and we demand accountability for crimes that must never be tolerated by the world community. Most of all, we stand with the victims of gender-based atrocities, with the survivors and with those who did not survive, and we raise our voices in solidarity with them.”
Those signing the statement include numerous New York state politicians. More notable signatories include Sheryl Sandberg, Mayim Bialik, Helen Hunt, New York State Attorney General Letitia James, New York State Gov. Kathy Hochul, Founder of Moms Demand Action Shannon Watts, Lisa Collins, Rob Greenberg, Stephanie Jacobs and more.