Why is everyone talking about the Istanbul Convention?

The European Council has officially invited Israel to join the Convention against Violence against Women and Domestic Violence (the “Istanbul Convention”). The invitation is currently on the Government’s table, awaiting the final vote – to join or not.

Minister of Justice, Gideon Saar, Foreign Minister, Yair Lapid, and Welfare Minister, Meir Cohen, have publicly stated their commitment to combating violence against women and domestic violence and to work to complete Israel’s accession to the Convention.

Now that the Convention is facing its final vote, conservative elements in Israel, including Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked, oppose the move based on a campaign full of inaccuracies, fear tactics and straight-out lies.

The Istanbul Convention clarifies that violence against women and domestic violence are not private matters, but rather a phenomena that the state has an obligation to eradicate through a comprehensive and integrated policy.

Signing the Convention will allow Israel to take a significant leap in the way it deals with the phenomenon of violence against women and domestic violence. It will make the State of Israel a place where women’s right to live with dignity and security is not just a right on paper but is actually implemented.

In practice, this means:


  • Women living in violent situations will not have to flee to a shelter. Rather, it will be possible to evict a violent man from the home and move him to a therapeutic and rehabilitative setting.
  • Survivors of violence will be able to testify in court with confidence without their attacker sitting in the courtroom and staring at them.
  • Children will be protected from a violent parent, including in the context of custody arrangements.

The Rackman Center stands beside the Minister of Justice, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Minister of Welfare and the other government ministers that back signing the Istanbul Convention. We call on them to complete the move and send a clear message of zero tolerance for violence against women in Israel.

We invite you to read more on the subject here in Ha’aretz English.



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