Hundreds Protest in Israel to Demand Government Act on Violence Against Women

Demonstrators take to streets after two women murdered in single day ■ Organizers: 'This is not a women's protest. It's a social protest'

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Protesters in Tel Aviv on October 21, 2020.
Protesters in Tel Aviv on October 21, 2020.Credit: Ofer Vaknin

Hundreds of people demonstrated throughout the country on Wednesday to demand that the government take action to address violence against women, following the murders of two women this week.

within hours on Monday, one in Be'er Sheva and one in Haifa, with police suspecting their partners of killing them in both cases.

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The group Ani Isha, which organized Wednesday's demonstrations, noted in a statement that the government has a budget of 250 million shekels ($74 million) to help address violence against women, which was approved by an interministerial committee in 2017.

"We will not remain silent about two murders of women in a single day," the organization said. "This is a phenomenon that has become a scourge in the country and there is no response or attention from the state. We call on law enforcement and the justice system to create deterrence and ensure appropriate punishment to prevent the next murder, the next rape and the serious violence that women experience solely because of gender. This is not a women's protest – this is a social protest on a national scale, which must be made a higher priority, or else more women will pay with their lives. We are in the midst of a protest against the government, but the protest against violence against women and for gender equality remains marginal."

Tzameret Hershko of the Haifa-based organization Isha l'Isha, who was involved in organizing the protest in Haifa, said it seemed as though the level of violence was on the rise. "There is a lot of anger, because we have been working for years and nothing is changing," she said. "The conversation on the street is changing, but it's not enough. There's still a lot to do."

Protesters in Haifa on October 21, 2020.
Protesters in Haifa on October 21, 2020.Credit: Rami Shllush

Another protest in the north included relatives of two women murdered by their partners – Tehila Nagar and Einav Rogel. Nagar's sister, Natalie, said: "I am here tonight because a woman is murdered every day and there's no one to deter the murderers. They're not afraid and we are. We are raising a generation of girls in an unsafe world."

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