Mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, aunts and uncles of women murdered in Israel over the past 20 years came together on Sunday night, July 16, at Beit Leeba in Tel Aviv’s Neveh Zedek neighborhood to remember their loved ones and to launch a new campaign aimed at preventing domestic violence, which too often leads to murder.
The drawing card of the event was an exhibition of the favorite clothes of 11 of more than 130 women murdered in Israel by husbands, boyfriends or close relatives over the past two decades. The compelling exhibit is the brainchild of Keren Goldstein-Yehezkeli, a film and television director.
The exhibition, titled “She is Gone” features the favorite outfits of: Anat Elimelech, 23, murdered on December 2, 1997; Shlomit Alkobi, 26, murdered on September 30, 2005; Fatma Elhib, 13, murdered on June 12, 2014; Malkam Tasra, 26, murdered on November 7, 2010; Salamlak Tasra, 35, murdered on October 25, 2015; Iris Gorelik, 39, murdered on April 30, 2013; Doa Abu Sharich, 32, murdered in front of her children on September 24, 2016; Dafna Bar Zion, 49, murdered on August 14, 2014; Limor Rimokh, 28, murdered on January 23, 2013; Ganit Tsinman, 22, murdered on March 1, 1996; Alla Daher, 18, murdered on January 20, 2011. In most cases, the victims were murdered by jealous, fiercely possessive partners or ex-partners who couldn’t face rejection, and who decided that if they could not have her, no one would.
The women’s favorite garments were hung on coat hangers tied to nearly invisible fine wires suspended from the ceiling. Among the speakers at the event were Joint List MK Aida Touma-Slima (Hadash) who in 1992 founded the group “Women Against Violence” in Nazareth and who currently heads the Knesset Committee on the Status of Women and Gender Equality. As she entered the loft where the participants were assembled, Touma-Sliman said that it had been chilling to walk past the garments a floor below and feel something of the women who had worn them.
“The clothes we wear are an expression of who we are,” she said. She expressed regret that the public had become inured to violence. “Unfortunately we had to lose more women in order to be shaken out of our complacency,” she said, adding that since 1992, she has been involved in the struggle to curb domestic violence – a struggle that she insisted the government and all decision makers must join.