Hadassah Leads 60 Organizations Demanding Impartial UN Investigation

Hadassah, The Hadassah Foundation, JWI, NCJW and 56 Additional Organizations Call on UN to Conduct Unbiased Investigation Into Hamas’ Violence Against Israeli Women

NEW YORK, NY, January 5, 2024—Today Hadassah, The Women’s Zionist Organization of America; The Hadassah Foundation; Jewish Women International and the National Council of Jewish Women; along with 56 additional concerned organizations, sent a letter to United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres demanding the UN conduct an independent, complete, unbiased investigation into the reports and documented evidence of Hamas’ rape, mutilation, gender-based violence and murder of Israeli women and girls, and pursue vigorous prosecution to hold Hamas terrorists accountable. The coalition also called for the UN to demand that Hamas release the hostages it continues to hold, including women and girls, especially in light of evidence showing continued torture and abuse.

Said Hadassah National President Carol Ann Schwartz and Hadassah CEO Naomi Adler:

“We at Hadassah are deeply concerned to see the Commission of Inquiry, a body with a long and clear record of antisemitism and bias against Israel, assert a role in investigating the sexual violence against Israeli women committed by Hamas on October 7. If the UN is serious about justice for victims, it must call for an independent, unbiased and impartial investigation and pursue a vigorous prosecution to hold Hamas accountable.”

“The delay by the UN and UN Women has cost us crucial time,” said Hadassah Foundation Board Chair Audrey Weiner and Director Stephanie Blumenkranz. “To begin to restore the trust of people everywhere who condemn all acts of rape and sexual violence, we ask that the UN establish an independent and impartial investigation into these crimes to ensure justice for Israeli women and girls.”

“There is abundant evidence that Hamas and other terrorists committed horrifying acts of sexual violence on October 7,” said Jewish Women International CEO Meredith Jacobs. “However, these atrocious acts cannot be properly investigated by the Commission of Inquiry, with its long and clear track record of antisemitism and bias. The UN and UN Women should do everything in their power to ensure a complete, unbiased, trauma-informed investigation.”

“So far, the UN’s response to Hamas’s torture, mutilation, rape, and murder of Israelis on October 7 has been delayed and tepid — and they now have an opportunity to do better. We demand the UN and UN Women live up to their international responsibility to ensure the gender-based war crimes from October 7 are properly investigated in an unbiased way, and that rape is never again used as a tool of war,” said National Council of Jewish Women CEO Sheila Katz.

Read the full letter and the full list of signatories here.

ABOUT HADASSAH

Hadassah, The Women’s Zionist Organization of America, is the largest Jewish women’s organization in the United States. With nearly 300,000 members, donors and supporters, Hadassah brings women together to effect change on such critical issues as ensuring Israel’s security, combating antisemitism and promoting women’s health care. Through its Jerusalem-based hospital system, the Hadassah Medical Organization, Hadassah helps support exemplary care for more than 1 million people every year as well as world-renowned medical research. Hadassah’s hospitals serve without regard to race, religion or nationality and in 2005 earned a Nobel Peace Prize nomination for building bridges to peace through medicine. Hadassah also supports two youth villages that set at-risk youth in Israel on the path to a successful future. Visit www.hadassah.org or follow Hadassah on FacebookInstagramLinkedIn and Twitter.

ABOUT THE HADASSAH FOUNDATION

Established by Hadassah, The Women’s Zionist Organization of America, in 1998, the Hadassah Foundation is the largest Jewish women’s foundation in the world. It has invested more than $11 million in social change organizations serving women and girls in the United States and Israel, bringing needed attention to pressing issues that impact gender equality. For additional information, visit https://hadassahfoundation.org/.

ABOUT JEWISH WOMEN INTERNATIONAL

Jewish Women International (JWI) is the leading Jewish organization working to end violence against women and girls domestically and internationally. JWI’s National Center on Domestic & Sexual Violence in the Jewish Community is the hub of resources, trainings, and research to support the field. It convenes The Collaborative, the network of all Jewish domestic violence agencies in the U.S. and established and hosts the Interfaith Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence and the Clergy Task Force to End Domestic Abuse in the Jewish Community. A Steering Committee member of the National Task Force to End Sexual and Domestic Violence, JWI’s advocacy efforts focus on the passage of legislation that supports women and girls, ensures their economic security, and protects their right to live free of violence.

ABOUT NATIONAL COUNCIL OF JEWISH WOMEN
National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) is the oldest Jewish feminist civil rights organization working for equity and justice for women, children, and families in the United States and Israel. Through the efforts of our 210,000 grassroots advocates and 50 local sections, NCJW combines education, direct service, and advocacy to affect lasting social change at the local, state, and national levels. We approach our work through the intersections of gender, economic, and racial justice to center those most impacted in a uniquely Jewish way. Learn more at NCJW.org, and on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

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