About a thousand persons gathered at two locations, Habima Square in Tel Aviv and in Rosh Pina in the Upper Galilee, Monday evening, May 18, to protest the rising tide of femicide inundating Israel during recent months. Since the start of 2020, ten women and a baby have been murdered in cases of domestic violence, the most recent crime having occurred last weekend in Ramat Gan.
The protesters in Tel Aviv were led by Einav Kagan, Hadar Gal, Or Biton and Ron Marx from the group calling itself LOTEM – the counter gender-terrorism unit, and also included members of Hadash’s Feminist Circle and MK Aida Touma-Sliman (Hadash – Joint List), former head the Knesset Committee on the Status of Women and Gender Equality and currently chair of the Special Committee for Labor and Welfare.
The organizers sought to convey a series of messages to the government, the media and the public, primarily “When we are murdered, we have no name, no identity.” Furthermore, “there are no proper government budgets to manage [femicide], and as a result, women are not safe in the streets nor in their homes. The media is also responsible for public discourse, and for pressing the government to take action.”
The protestors demanded that the new government establish an anti-violence program. However, this latter issue will be a particularly complicated task, seeing how the cabinet is already embarrassingly bloated in size, and currently no less than seven new government officials (ministers or assistant ministers) will be dealing directly with the scourge of femicide in one way or another.
MK Touma-Sliman told journalists that she has already scheduled an agenda on femicide to be debated at the Knesset as part of a parliamentary inquiry committee on the murder of women. According the Hadash lawmaker, one of the key paths will be the establishment of the Ministerial Committee on Domestic Violence, the creation of which was already decided upon three years ago. However, to date, less than half the allocated budget has been forwarded for implementation by the previous Netanyahu government.