Arab-Israeli men speak out on domestic violence and masculinity

Arab-Israeli men are publicly breaking the silence on the gender-based violence in their communities. The cause is led by Tamer Nafar, a Palestinian rapper and social activist.

ACTIVISTS PROTEST against recent cases of violence against women at Habima Square in Tel Aviv last week. (photo credit: MIRIAM ALSTER/FLASH90)
ACTIVISTS PROTEST against recent cases of violence against women at Habima Square in Tel Aviv last week.
(photo credit: MIRIAM ALSTER/FLASH90)

For the first time, Arab-Israeli men are publicly breaking the silence on the taboo subject of gender-based violence in their communities by expressing an open and honest opinion on the topic, as well as the topic of masculinity in their society.

Tamer Nafar, a Palestinian rapper, screenwriter, and social activist, is spearheading a unique video campaign entitled "'Men' Talk," giving voice to Arab men living in Israel to speak out against the gender-based violence in their communities.

The goal of the campaign is to bring awareness to and discourage violence against women. So far, in 2021 alone, Israel has seen about 100 murders in the Arab sector. A third of them were women. 

The video features Nafar alongside social worker and therapist Ibrahim Agbaria and social activist Fadi Elobra. The trio share their own perspectives on masculinity, patriarchy, and violence, and what they believe should be done to prevent violence against women in Palestinian society on a political, social, and interpersonal level. 

 ‘SILENCE MAKES Perfect’ explores the troubling issue of violence against women and children. (credit: Ran Daniel Kopiler) ‘SILENCE MAKES Perfect’ explores the troubling issue of violence against women and children. (credit: Ran Daniel Kopiler)

"You're [men] not allowed to feel pain, let alone fear," says Elobra in the video.

So how do you break the cycle of violence?

"The important thing is it doesn't remain secret, hidden inside the home or when the police get involved, unfortunately," says Agbaria. "But sometimes, prison is a chance for positive change."

The campaign was produced by Itach-Ma-aki, Women Lawyers for Social Justice, and released on October 6.

The video can be viewed below.