Following a controversial tweet by Internal Security Minister Gilad Erdan, in which he wrote that “data should not be distorted” regarding statistics on the number of women murdered in Israel, leading Gender Counterterrorism Unit (GCU) activists claim that “it reduces the phenomenon in the eyes of the Israeli public.”
On Monday night, GCU said, “This is the first response given by the Minister of Public Security, the one responsible for the security of citizens of the country, in the month in which three women were murdered in cold blood by their spouses.
“No expression of grief, no responsibility, no shock and no mourning,” the statement continued. “[Nothing] but a shameful and disrespectful response aimed at removing the responsibility for all those women who were murdered because of their gender throughout his years in office and reducing the phenomenon [in the eyes] public.”
GCU said that Erdan advocates a long-standing policy of grossly disregarding the phenomenon of gender-based violence, and that he has come under criticism in the past for not doing enough.
“This disparaging tweet indicates that women’s blood is not equivalent to Erdan’s and should not be taken seriously and is unrelated to his responsibilities,” added GCU.
The GCU directly addressed the minister, as well.
“Erdan, instead of focusing on statistics and criticizing the women’s organizations working to save the lives of the next murder victim, it is time for you to fulfill your role and maintain the internal security you were trusted with,” it said. “Pass [a] full budget for the Domestic Violence Prevention Program… The ankle monitors will promote a policy that protects women’s lives and does not abandon them to murder.
“If you were wondering why women continue to be murdered as a matter of routine, how does it make sense that the budget approved to prevent violence against women was not already passed in 2016, and how nothing could have changed after a year of intense protests – the answer is that this is the person responsible for our security after four and a half years,” GCU continued. “Shame on the state, shame on the government and shame on … Gilad Erdan.”