“Who Will Save the Family?” This was the name of a gathering held in Ramat Gan, at which MK Yulia Shamalov-Berkovitch of Kadima stated opinions that are diametrically opposed to those of some of her female Knesset colleagues who are trying to promote a radical feminist agenda.
Though the assembly was held last month, it made the news recently because of some of the more controversial statements the Knesset Member uttered – which have only now been publicized by the media.
The seminar was organized by Gil Ronen and the Familism organization he founded. Familism's website says that MK Shamalov is “the first female MK who wants to take upon herself the liberation of men from their current situation, as part of a pro-family process whose main goals are children’s welfare and the nation’s future.”
Among other things, MK Shamalov said: “It’s become some kind of bon ton to be a single mother who decided to have a child out of wedlock and then to come to the State and ask for benefits for this and for this and for that - and then everyone [mothers and women’s rights advocates – ed.] is happy. And in the Knesset, there is a competition who can pass the most laws for the ‘sector.’ I can promise you that I will never be Number One in that race.”
The Familism organization has made it its goal to fight what it calls the “[radical] feminist trend to teach women to be egotistical, demanding, suspicious and small-minded… We object to propaganda and legislation that are designed to poison the relations between the sexes and to render them based on suspicions and competition… We oppose the ongoing attempt to create a ‘new man’ who is more feminine, and a more masculine ‘new woman.’” The reference to feminism is not qualified and actually refers to left-wing radically feminist groups.
The website also explains that Familism "is a belief that the father-mother-children nuclear family is the basic building block of society and that society has a vested interest in making the family unit work: that is, having as many people as possible date, marry, and have children, and having them stay together, at least reasonably happily, for as long as possible."
“One of the major problems facing our society,” MK Shamalov said at the assemblage, “is the crisis of trust. People don’t trust their neighbors, spouses don’t trust each other, people don’t trust policemen, etc… It stems from a loss of values – and little by little, this loss of values harms the value of ‘family.’”
Shamalov was the founder and chief editor of the Russian-language Channel 9: “But none of my accomplishments came about because feminism caused me to feel that I can stand up for myself. I believe that a woman deserves everything, that she can achieve any accomplishment because there is a type of balance in society – but this balance is being totally destroyed, because of feminism… I say to the feminists: Dear friends, I am willing to ask for equal rights in everything – but only after I see a man give birth.”
She also said she doesn’t view every compliment given to a woman as “sexual harassment;” criticized the latest accusations by a woman against a public figure (a former police commander during the Gush Katif expulsion); and concluded, “What I’m saying could cost me; it’s not politically correct. I told [Kadima head] Tzippy Livni that she won so many votes partly because the women’s groups were behind her… For me to go against the women and be supported by men could mean the end of my career.”