'Women Have No Security': Israelis Protest Against Femicide in Front of Politicians' Homes

Demonstrators demanded the immediate implementation of a government plan to curb domestic violence, held without funds since 2017

Protest against femicide in front of the Prime Minister's Residence, Jerusalem, October 8, 2019.
Olivier Fitoussi אוליבייה פיטוסי

Dozens of Israeli men and women demonstrated Tuesday in protest of the Israeli government's failure to curb violence against women.

The protest was sparked by the murder of 32-year-old Michal Sela, a social worker who police suspect her husband killed by stabbing her with in front of their eight-month-old daughter.

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According to the organizers of the demonstration, 12 Israeli women have been murdered since the beginning of 2019. In all the cases, the murderers were the women's romantic partners or family members. 

Protesters demanded the implementation of a 2017 inter-ministerial decision to allocate funds for a program to fight domestic violence.

Demonstrations took place in front of the homes of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan, Justice Minister Amir Ohana, Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon, as well as others throughout the country. Demonstrators carried signs with the names of murdered women and said that protests will continue until allocated budgets are transferred and all recommendations of the inter-ministerial committee are implemented.

"Public representatives are acting as if the issue doesn't concern them, while we are continuously getting murdered," said Maya Barshishat, one of the organizers of the protest in front of the Prime Minister's Residence in Jerusalem. "It is inconceivable that the required action to prevent the next murder has been sitting on a government desk for three years… The prime minister and his ministers are telling us that women are worth less, and this is unacceptable."

"Violence against women is primarily a problem of masculinity," said Yotam Constantini, who was protesting in front of Ohana's home in Tel Aviv. "If we as men will not go out and protest, it will continue to be perceived as a problem of women. The government dishonors women when it perceives 'security' as merely a matter of national conflict. Women in Israel have no security."