UN Ambassadors Erdan, Thomas-Greenfield join forces against domestic violence

Guest speaker Gal Gadot said at the event: "Alone, we’re strong – but together, we’re stronger.”

Israel’s Ambassador to the United States and United Nations Gilad Erdan and US Ambassador to the UN, Linda Thomas-Greenfield (photo credit: ISRAEL AT THE UN)
Israel’s Ambassador to the United States and United Nations Gilad Erdan and US Ambassador to the UN, Linda Thomas-Greenfield
(photo credit: ISRAEL AT THE UN)
Israel’s Ambassador to the United States and United Nations Gilad Erdan and US Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield called on the world to unite and adopt the latest technologies and innovations in the fight against domestic violence, during an event in New York on Wednesday.

The virtual and in-person event, featuring Israeli actress Gal Gadot and Google.org president Jacquelline Fuller, among others, was organized together with the UJA-Federation of New York and the Michal Sela Forum, an Israeli NGO named for a young woman murdered by her husband in front of her young daughter. It was attended by dozens of ambassadors, senior UN officials, employees of technology companies around the world and representatives of the Jewish community.

“Domestic violence is a despicable and horrifying phenomenon, and eliminating it from our homes and societies must be a priority for all of us,” Erdan said. “We need to fight this in the same way we fight against COVID-19 and terrorism. Terror at home is terror. We can no longer wait for a life to be ruined or taken before we act.
"If combating domestic violence was a priority for UN member states they would modify and apply existing technologies to fight against it," he said. "They would also use the wiretapping capabilities applied to preventing terrorist attacks to prevent the next case of terror in the home. 
"We call on all countries to adopt the necessary tools to bring an end to it," Israel's ambassador said. 
Thomas-Greenfield declared that “stopping gender-based violence is a top priority of the Biden-Harris administration. For President Biden, this is a commitment that goes back decades.
“It is time to bring gender-based violence out of the shadows," she said. "It is time to shine a light on it. And it is time to treat this like an emergency, with the urgency that it demands.”

Lili Ben Ami, chairwoman of the Michal Sela Forum, intervened during the event, saying that she was excited "to see the wall-to-wall international support for the efforts led by the Michal Sela Forum, to save the lives of women through innovation and technology. 

"Tonight's event at the UN is the culmination of a collaboration with Ambassador Gilad Erdan, who has been involved from the beginning in standing with us at the forefront of this innovative move,” Ben Ami added.
Michal Sela was murdered by her husband in October 2019 in their Motza home outside Jerusalem in front of their eight-month-old baby.
"The initiatives of the Michal Sala Forum are already cross-country, and we are on the way to the goal we have set of zero murders a year. When we finish, we will all say, ‘Once upon a time there was a phenomenon of murder of women and domestic violence,’” Ben Ami continued, adding that "Wonder Woman" joined the meeting, speaking of the Israeli actress Gal Gadot who also spoke at the event.
Gadot made a special appeal for action that the world must unite to fight violence against women. 
“More than ever, this event is so essential," said Gadot. "It is time for a global forum like the United Nations to become involved in such an essential fight, a battle between life and death. We must share our knowledge and tools to prevent even one more woman from being a victim of abuse."
"Alone, we’re strong – but together, we’re stronger,” the actress added.

Fuller announced that Google’s philanthropic arm would provide a $300,000 grant to the Michal Sela Forum as part of a strategic collaboration between the Forum and Google. 

The grant will be used to design and deliver an end-to-end tech empowerment program for survivors of all types of domestic violence.
Also participated in the event were UN Women Deputy Executive Director Asa Ragnar and EU Ambassador to the United Nations Olof Skoog, who also chairs the UN's Elimination of Violence Against Women and Girls' Organization.