A Voice for the Oppressed
The coronavirus lockdown has put a spotlight on a vital issue in Israel: domestic violence against women. Worldisraelnews.com said ten women and a baby were murdered in Israel as victims of domestic violence in the past year. Calls to emergency domestic violence hotlines have surged in the past three months, including a 122% increase in the hotlines of Israel’s Labor and Social Services. WIZO, Israel’s leading nonprofit for serving battered women, has seen a 400% increase in calls for counseling and assistance to violent men, plus a 60% increase in calls for battered women. They also reported their shelters are fully occupied and have waiting lists.
On Monday 12,000 people gathered in Charles Clore Park in Tel Aviv to protest such violence against women. Protesters demanded harsher punishments for domestic abusers and funding for domestic violence-prevention programs. Speaking at the rally, Labor and Social Services Minister Itzik Shmueli demanded government intervention: “In order to defeat [domestic violence], we need to mobilize the entire government in order to provide the necessary resources.”
Israel’s dedication to protecting its abused women is honorable. This protest is a celebration of that fact. It’s eerily similar to the current climate in America over the past week, too. The protests in both nations make it clear that oppression and abuse of power cannot be tolerated. The peaceful protests are certainly much more honorable than the violent ones, but one thing is for sure: Since oppression will exist as long as humans with sin nature exist, we must always stand up for those who suffer unjustly. While we can’t make any high-level changes to society on our own, we can always remember to act in a way that pleases God. That means both showing mercy in love as well as pursuing justice, as Micah 6:8 says. Let us remember to love at all times and to seek justice according to God’s Word.