Israeli firms strike in support of nationwide protests over Eilat rape

Among the notable companies that joined the protest are Pelephone, yes, Bezeq International, Microsoft, Delek Automotive Systems Ltd., Super-Pharm and the Israel Aerospace Industries.

Pelephone employees release balloons as a sign of showing support in the nationwide protests against sexual violence, August 23, 2020.  (photo credit: PELEPHONE)
Pelephone employees release balloons as a sign of showing support in the nationwide protests against sexual violence, August 23, 2020.
(photo credit: PELEPHONE)
Dozens of Israeli companies announced on Sunday that they will be striking over the sexual violence in Israel, following the rape of a 16-year-old in Eilat last week, and in support of the nationwide protests that have been taking place since the case was exposed.
The companies started striking at 12:00 on Sunday.
The outrage in Israel over the Eilat rape is growing every day, with many companies deciding to join the public upheaval and stop all work for different periods of time, ranging from 10 minutes to a whole hour.
Among the notable companies that joined the protest are Pelephone, Yes, Bezeq International, Microsoft, Delek Automotive Systems Ltd., Super-Pharm and Israel Aerospace Industries.
"As companies that operate as part of Israeli society and view human dignity and gender equality as major values, we consider the struggle of preventing violence against women as a highly important one. Following the recent events, we decided to join the protests and to stop all work at 12:00 as a sign of solidarity," Dganit Kremer, deputy CEO of Pelephone, yes and Bezeq International said.
Some 5,000 employees from the three companies stopped their work for 15 minutes, with employees in many branches across the country releasing balloons as a sign of support.
The Israel Electric Corporation went so far as to announce that it will be lighting up the chimney of the Reading power station in Tel Aviv on Sunday evening as a sign of solidarity.
"The Electric Corporation has a zero-tolerance policy towards any form of violence. Human dignity and freedom are major values in our society."
Staff, emissaries and Olim from the Jewish Agency for Israel and World Zionist Organization joined the national strike. Emissaries from around the world sent in photographs with the slogan "You are Not Alone" in the language of their host country. In Israel, Jewish Agency and WZO staff organized in the Jewish Agency's courtyard in Jerusalem in solidarity.
Protests in Hebrew, English, Arabic, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian and Amharic took place with new immigrants in absorption centers and Jewish Agency programs.
"We are here to put an end to violence. I turn to all men in our society - stop violence against women!" said Chairman of the Jewish Agency Isaac Herzog. "It is time for us to understand just how awful this most recent incident was. This behavior must be stopped and completely uprooted from our society."

The Israeli public was shocked to learn last week of a police investigation that alleged that 30 men had gang raped a 16-year-old girl vacationing in Eilat.
Trying to fathom the scope of the horrific attack by so many men on a 16-year-old, the Israeli public took to the streets in outrage, with thousands of Israelis gathering in dozens of protest locations throughout the country to cry out against the brutal crime, yelling, “I believe you” and “You are not alone.”
The main demand being made by protesters is that the government takes a much harder line against sex offenders.
"The days of a rape being silenced are over," several protest organizers wrote. "We are demanding a sensitive and efficient investigation. We're not interested in any more announcements of a lack of public interest and cases being closed because a lack of evidence. We're demanding that the judiciary system puts the victims first, and not the reputation of the offenders."
The announcement by many Israeli companies on Sunday expressed another blessed step in Israel's path to complete nonacceptance of sexual violence and gender inequality.
The police investigation into the Eilat rape is ongoing, with 11 suspects currently in police custody, awaiting investigation that will try to determine the  level of involvement of each suspect.