Dr. Yoav Mazeh
Dr. Yoav MazehHezki Ezra

Israel marked the UN's International Day for Eliminating Violence Against Women this week, but one Knesset Committee took the opportunity to note that women can be victimizers and not just victims.

The Knesset's Internal Affairs and Environmental Protection Committee devoted a special session week to the subject of domestic violence, as part of the Knesset's activities marking November 25, the International Day for Eliminating Violence Against Women, which was declared by the UN in 1999.

The day was also marked by the Knesset's Committee for Advancement of Women's Status, but Internal Affairs Committee Chairwoman MK Miri Regev (Likud) took a more inclusive approach than the one exhibited in the Committee for Advancement of Women's Status. The Internal Affairs Committee is charged, among other things, with supervising the Israel Police.

MK Regev remarked to the committee that domestic violence is also perpetrated by women, and that its victims include children and men. In this, she departed from the “politically correct” line that is usually heard in the Knesset on November 25.

The committee session was attended by the Director of the Ministry of Public Security Rotem Peleg, and by Major General Manny Yitzhaki, who heads the Israel Police's Investigations Department, as well as other senior police officers.

Dr. Yoav Mazeh of the Ono Academic College, co-editor of a new book on violence against men published by Ariel University, took part in the session and stressed that domestic violence must not be described as purely anti-woman.

“We all oppose violence against women,” he explained in an Arutz Sheva interview, “but the point that passes below the radar is that there are many other kinds of domestic violence that are not discussed: violence against children, most of which is perpetrated by women, and the even less-known phenomenon of violence against men.”

"Instead of the system taking on all kinds of violence, it is only sensitive to violence against women,” Mazeh elaborated. “When the violence does not fit into this category, it is silenced, it is not treated, and there is an effort to deny that the problem even exists.”

"There is widespread violence by women against men," Mazeh insisted. “this includes physical violence and even murder. I researched 16 cases in which women murdered their husbands, and only in one of them was the woman convicted of murder. In all the other cases, the charges were amended to a less severe offense.”