Today is going to be a big day for women's rights and the struggle to end violence against women in Israel. It may well be a moment we never forget.
Across the country, tens of thousands of women and men will go on strike. At 10:00am they will get up from their seats, go out into the streets, and stand in silent protest for 24 minutes. And at 7:30pm they will gather for a mass demonstration in Tel Aviv's Rabin Square.
This is an all-hands-on-deck moment for women's issues in Israel. You and I can join them by contributing. The resources we provide today will help fuel this movement and other social change efforts that need our support.
Today’s strike protests the government's failure to act to defend women from domestic abuse. Nearly 200 women in Israel have been killed by a family member or partner in the last decade. And 24 have been murdered so far in 2018. (Per capita this makes it even worse than the crisis facing women in Australia.)
That’s reason enough for action. And women's rights advocates have been working on this issue for a long time (many of them with the support of NIF).
But the government keeps standing in our way: They have spent only 10% of the 250 million shekel budget allocated to address domestic violence. And less than two weeks ago, the government voted unanimously to block a proposed Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry on preventing violence against women.
Inaction comes with a price. Within a week of that vote, two more women were dead.
You and I aren’t the only ones who know this is unacceptable. Israelis are coming out of the woodwork to stand up and say that it’s time for action. NIF is standing with them. We exist to support Israelis pressing for equality. And, right now, we need you to be a part of it too.
NIF has always supported the women's rights movement in Israel – from rape crisis centres, to civil rights litigators, to grassroots organisers. We've poured resources into efforts led by women from different backgrounds within Israel, including Bedouins and other Palestinian Israelis, the Orthodox Jewish community, and the secular Jewish majority.
We do this because we know that the need to defend women's rights is not limited to one part of the population, and because we know that the struggles of women from each of these communities are part of the same battle for equality.
We are stronger when we stand together. Fighting for the safety and equality of women is part of the fight for the rights of everybody in Israel. I hope that today you will stand with me for the women of Israel.
President, NIF Australia