When it comes to gender terrorism, Israel’s brave leaders stay silent

Four women have been murdered since the beginning of the week, but if you look at our leaders’ Facebook pages, you’ll notice they are spending all their time attacking Palestinians and leftists.

A theatric protest targeting violence against women following the murder of 41-year-old Maya Goren, Tel Aviv, June 11, 2017. (Flash90)
A theatric protest targeting violence against women following the murder of 41-year-old Maya Goren, Tel Aviv, June 11, 2017. (Flash90)

Fourteen women have been murdered in Israel since the beginning of 2017, four of them in the past week alone. Had the murderers been Arab and the murdered Jewish, it is likely that we would have already been in a state of emergency. Televised cabinet meetings would deal with the “wave of terror,” special forces would be spread out across the country, and politicians would compete with one another over the most effective means of putting an end to the situation.

As luck should have it, the victims’ only crime was that they were women — so our leaders remain silent. The official Facebook pages of our prime minister, education minister, and public security minister include not a single mention of these crimes. So what are they talking about?

Education Minister Naftali Bennett is busy praising the “wonderful Ayelet Shaked,” the justice minister from his Jewish Home party, who said goodbye to Supreme Court Justice Elyakim Rubinstein, writing about his speech at the Haaretz Conference on Peace, which took place earlier this week, and the need to punish Israeli academics who call for boycotts against Israel. Murderous violence against women? Nothing. As if the education system has nothing to do with this sick reality — one in which women are exposed to countless types of violence against their bodies, their dignity, and their souls.

Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan is busy with his obsession over Israel’s Arab citizens. “Arab Knesset members are trying to sabotage the revolution that I am leading to bring in police presence to the Arab sector in order to strengthen the rule of law. It won’t work! Police services and enforcement will apply in every part of the country!” Every part of the country except all the places in which women are murdered — that is, everywhere. But Erdan doesn’t feel the urge to write about these murders, as if the security of girls, teenagers, and women is not part of his job description. The man who runs to the media a minute after the killing of Yacoub Abu al-Qi’an so that he can call him an ISIS terrorist — and who continues to repeat this claim even after it has been exposed and debunked as a lie — cannot utter single word against the terrorism that kills women over and over and over again.

And, as usual, Prime Minister Netanyahu’s blockheaded behavior takes the cake. He just had to publish a Facebook post in which he wrote about how he intervened in a child cancer crisis in Jerusalem’s Hadassah Hospital thanks to his wife, yet could not find the time to talk about the terrorism against women this past week. The last post he wrote on Facebook began as such: “The State of Israel is flourishing and blossoming. In this unstable region, Israel is a quiet, strong, and stable place.” This is the same country where a woman is murdered every 12 days on average.

It is true that politicians and leaders should not be carrying out their policies through their Facebook pages. In fact, they could stand to spend less time writing statuses and actually doing the things they should be doing. But because the aforementioned three leaders spend much of their time babbling on social networks, which they use to promote their political interests, a closer look at the things they choose to write about — and particularly the topics they choose to ignore — teaches us a thing or two about their priorities.

These leaders do not see the blood being spilled because they are distracted by bloodletting of another kind. These are the people who are supposed to be responsible for our security. And it is terrifying and depressing beyond words.

“This article was first published in Hebrew on Local Call. Read it here.