“Friends” alumnus David Schwimmer took to Instagram on Friday to call out people who continued to deny increasing reports and evidence that the terror group Hamas used sexual violence as a weapon against Israeli women — both during the October 7th attacks and on hostages in Gaza.
Schwimmer is Jewish in real life in addition to playing a Jewish character (Ross Geller) on the decade-long NBC sitcom, but he also has a long history of working as an advocate for victims of sexual abuse and sexual violence — and he voiced his concern that Hamas’ victims were being “re-traumatized” as they were ignored.
“I served on the Board of Directors for The Rape Foundation for almost 20 years, and have been an advocate for child and adult survivors of sexual violence for almost 30,” Schwimmer said, praising the bravery and the resilience of the people he’d been privileged to work with – some of whom had survived unimaginable horrors.
“With the right treatment and care, refused to let their trauma define them and went on to lead incredibly loving, healthy and productive lives,” Schwimmer continued — and he pointed out that the most important aspect of working to turn victims into survivors was simply believing them when they shared their experiences.
“Regardless of age; Regardless of race; Regardless of gender; Regardless of religion; Regardless of sexual orientation; Regardless of nationality; Regardless of education; Regardless of economic status,” he clarified.
Schwimmer went on to note that while there were many he would consider “allies” — “Who for years have stood up and fought for survivors of rape and sexual assault, demanding justice” — many still would not accept the testimony of so many witnesses and survivors who have documented the sexual violence perpetrated by Hamas.
“Why do so many REFUSE TO BELIEVE — despite all the evidence on camera and in testimony — the women, children and men brutally assaulted by terrorists on Oct. 7th?” he asked. “Where is their outrage?”
“In the weeks and months that followed, it became clear that their activism, their advocacy, is conditional. They’ll fight like hell for ALL victims of sexual violence — unless they’re Jews,” he said. “For many of them, denying it even happened is a convenient way of avoiding compassion and personal responsibility.”
“As they know better than most — their refusal to believe the survivors has RE-TRAUMATIZED them, as well as their families, friends, and those of us who did believe them,” Schwimmer concluded. “It would be great to know who the real allies are.”
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