Israeli Women Protest Domestic Violence

24 women have been murdered in Israel since the start of the year. Protesters observed a moment of silence to mark the deaths as a nationwide strike takes place to demand an end to domestic violence in Israel.

Background

Twenty-four women have been killed in Israel in 2018 by a partner, family member, or somebody they knew. Many of these women had told the police prior to their deaths that they were concerned for their safety. According to figures released by the Women’s International Zionist Organization (WIZO) last month, 200,000 women in Israel are thought to be victims of domestic abuse, with around half a million children witnessing violence in their homes. 

Analysis

Thousands of Israeli women have protested against domestic violence in a nationwide strike, calling for more action and state funding to deal with the problem. The strike came after two girls were killed last week, bringing the number of women and girls murdered in Israel this year to 24, according to Israeli media reports.

Women were staying home from work and holding demonstrations in cities throughout Israel, some blocking roads.

On 2 December, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu mentioned a recent visit to a women’s shelter, following which he decided to head the governmental committee to combat domestic violence.

“We will convene the committee time after time,” he pledged, “to bring a better future and hope for these women.”

The women who organised the strike are demanding 250 million shekels ($67 million), which were approved last year to fund a program to combat violence against women, be transferred and put to use. 

Assessment

Our assessment is that the protestors will not be satisfied by assurances from the government, and that taking constructive actions, such as funding the existing  program to combat violence against women is the only way in which Netanyahu’s government can prevent the protests from escalating.