100s protest violence against women in Tel Aviv
By LAURA KELLY
"Take Back The Night" march marks World Awareness Day for Violence Against Women; Meretz leader addresses crowd.
Hundreds gathered Sunday night in a “Take back the night” march that went from
Rabin Square and culminated in Tel Aviv’s Cinematheque square. The rally was to
mark World Awareness Day for Violence Against Women. The crowd was a mix of
genders and races, with activists and politicians uniting against the injustice
of violence towards women.
A stage was set up for speakers and activists
who gave speeches, poems and demonstrations to break the silence surrounding
what a victim looks like.
Meretz leader Zehava Gal-On spoke to
the crowd to advocate for women and to not stand by for violence of any kind.
Happy with the turnout for the cause, she said, “It’s amazing so many people
gathered here against violence towards women.”
Meretz members stood in
the crowd holding signs of support. “I am here tonight to stop violence against
women, rape, chauvinism and sexism,” said Nitay Sheinenzon, a party
Not everyone thought the liberal political side was being
“Where are the activists who are demonstrating
against the war?” asked Maya Welledstein, a leftist activist and feminist. “It’s
a disappointment every year.”
“Regardless of any security issues and wars
in Israel,” Welledstein continued, “Jewish and Palestinian women can unite in
their fight against sexual violence against women.”
“I think the
important thing about this march is to increase awareness,” a member of the
Queer Anarchist Group said, declining to give her name. The group joined the
march from Levinsky Street at the Central Bus Station.
The neighborhood was the
scene of the rape of a minor in May this year and the group wanted to continue
“One speaker said she was raped in South Tel Aviv and no one paid
attention,” she continued.
Before leaving the rally for the night, she
made a final statement of the importance of reaching out for help in any
“Any woman who feels any kind of harassment needs to know it
is OK to call. They need to call to prevent the same abuser or rapist from
harming other women. No one deserves this kind of
Singer and actress Dana Berger closed the event singing a
capella and then with an acoustic guitar.
Her lyrics spoke about the
importance of standing up for yourself no matter how alone you feel. Berger
wanted to get the message across to never give up one’s freedom or happiness for
anything. Coming off the stage, she said it was an amazing feeling to be able to
perform for such a cause. “It’s a privilege to be with all these courageous
The website of the association of rape crisis centers is www.1202.org.il/English.