Thousands of educators & students joined a peaceful demonstration in Tel Aviv protesting domestic violence. Rally held in response to the vicious murder of MayaVishniak (21) in May.
On Monday evening, June 1, thousands of women and men gathered in central Tel Aviv for a women’s march protesting domestic violence. Despite its name, the women’s march was more of a rally, as its organizers took care to ensure the demonstration was in line with COVID-19 restrictions. Participants were instructed to wear masks and keep two meters distance from one another. Official police estimates suggest around 3,000 people joined the rally.
The Women’s March Against Violence was an immediate response to the murder of Maya Vishniak (22), who was brutally murdered by her boyfriend in May. Vishniak’s murder is added to the dozens of Israeli women killed by their domestic partners over the past few years, as well as an unprecedented uptick in domestic violence complaints filed since the beginning of the COVID-19 lockdown in Israel. The lockdown exacerbated tensions and added friction to many family homes, threatening the lives of many women who live in fear of their partners every day.
Women including the sisters and relatives of the victims addressed demonstrators from the stage. One of the most moving speeches was that of Lili Ben-Ami, sister of Michal Sela, who was stabbed to death by her husband in November 2019.
Dror Israel, including its youth movement, and the Naamat women’s organization brought thousands to the rally in order to protest the murder of women in Israel. Hundreds of Dror Israel educators and participants made the journey to Tel Aviv from all over Israel to join their voices to those being raised in protest against the horrors of domestic violence. Preparing for the rally, Dror Israel programs including schools and youth movement groups held discussions and educational programming about domestic violence. Many of our students decided to attend the rally together, making signs, and preparing chants to join the protest.
Liraz Gato, a student at Dror Israel’s Humanity, Society and Nature High School in Carmiel and the Eshbal boarding school, told us about her experience at the women’s march. “After hearing about the awful murder of Maya, I decided that I could not remain silent. The thing that most touched me during the rally were the three amazingly strong women who had the courage to stand in front of thousands of men and women and tell their stories. One of them moved me so much that I just couldn’t remain indifferent. I think that if everyone sees how strong women are and how much they can handle, there will be an end to abuse and violence against women.”
Dror Israel continues to combat violence against women in Israel, and to educate its tens of thousands of students and participants – Jews and Arabs, from all sectors of society – towards the values of equality, feminism and solidarity.