Immediately upon its establishment on 29 December 2022, Israel’s 37th Government began a process of accelerated legislation heralding a regime revolution that will fundamentally change the balance of power between the executive and the judiciary.
This position paper seeks to shine a spotlight on the numerous violations of women’s rights, based on an analysis of the legislation that is already being advanced as part of the plan to weaken the justice system, as well as additional legislative proposals presented by the coalition and resolutions passed by the government since its establishment.
Israeli women will be totally helpless if and when legislative proposals go through that trample on their basic rights to equality, family life, due process, freedom of expression, freedom of movement, and the right to vote and be elected. The decline in women’s representation in the country’s decision-making and administrative centers will definitely lead to diminished consideration for the unique characteristics of women’s lives in Israel, to lesser representation of their interests in policy-making and legislation, to the violation of women’s rights, and to less efforts to promote gender equality in Israeli society.
- The Construction and Housing Minister’s decision not to renew the law allowing public housing tenants to purchase their apartments at a discount totally ignores the damage this will cause to women given that in Israel, as in many countries, their proportion in the ranks of the poor is higher than their proportion in the general population.
- There is good reason to fear that the change in gun licensing criteria will lead to a rise in the number of home-kept firearms, thereby increasing handgun homicides of women and significantly reducing the safety of victims of domestic violence.
- Articles in Prime Minister Netanyahu’s coalition agreements with the Religious Zionist Party and Shas show that the government has no intention of fighting gender violence; that women might be excluded from the public space, academia, and cultural events; that refusal to provide a service or product for religious reasons might be permited; that proprietors might be allowed to refuse to rent apartments to divorced women or single mothers; that the abolition of the ‘Directors Team’ set up in 2013 might downgrade the representation of women, their views and interests on SOE boards; and that empowerment of the rabbinical courts to discuss civil matters might expose women to different forms of built-in discrimination in religious law.
In view of the real risks discussed in this position paper and the speed with which the coalition factions seek to enact their plans, opposing the proposed legislation is an urgent need and a civic duty. This position paper joins the calls throughout Israeli society to stop the speeding train. This is an emergency!