Sisterhood Blog

Domestic Gun Violence in Israel

By Renee Ghert-Zand

  • Print
  • Share Share
Thinkstock

Back in December 2011, I wrote here at The Sisterhood about the lack of attention in Israel toward violence against women. At that time, there had been 12 cases of women murdered by their husbands or other family members as a result of security guards taking their weapons home after work. Now that number is up to more than 30.

Israel Social TV, an independent media non-profit organization, recently aired a segment highlighting the Israeli government’s latest attempt at curbing this particular type of domestic violence. From what was reported, it looks like the fix is not the right one.

According to Smadar Ben-Natan, an attorney working for the Gun-Free Home Coalition, there are 40,000 firearms in the possession of private security guards in Israel. The number keeps growing as the demand for security at schools, commercial establishments, entertainment venues and other places constantly increases. There are more guns in the hands of security guards than there are in the hands of Israel’s police force.

In 2008, the government banned security guards from taking their weapons home with them. However, there is a loophole that allows security firms to make exceptions, and according to the report, most guards routinely take their guns home at the end of their shifts.

Ben-Natan asked why security firms have not installed safes at the guards’ places of work so they can safely store their guns before heading home. Research into the price of the purchase and installation of small safes showed that such a move would not be financially prohibitive for the private security firms, which Ben-Natan accused of being motivated more by profit margins rather than by public safety.

In what seems to be a kind of compromise move, the government has mandated that as of this month, a safe be installed in the house or apartment of every security guard so that they will be able to lock up their weapon when they get home. How this will prevent more domestic murders, when there is no way to ensure that the guns will actually be locked in the home safes, Ben-Natan wanted to know.

A safe salesman interviewed suggested that if a hot-headed husband or domestic partner had to go find the key to the safe or remember the lock’s combination, it would give him a few seconds to think again about what he was going to do. Maybe … but not likely.

The current heated debate in the United States about gun control legislation was proceed by quite a bit of post-Newtown talk about how Israel’s gun culture is relatively safer. It is important to highlight this particular exception.


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print

The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.




Find us on Facebook!
  • Novelist Sayed Kashua finds it hard to write about the heartbreak of Gaza from the plush confines of Debra Winger's Manhattan pad. Tough to argue with that, whichever side of the conflict you are on.
  • "I’ve never bought illegal drugs, but I imagine a small-time drug deal to feel a bit like buying hummus underground in Brooklyn."
  • We try to show things that get less exposed to the public here. We don’t look to document things that are nice or that people would like. We don’t try to show this place as a beautiful place.”
  • A new Gallup poll shows that only 25% of Americans under 35 support the war in #Gaza. Does this statistic worry you?
  • “You will stomp us into the dirt,” is how her mother responded to Anya Ulinich’s new tragicomic graphic novel. Paul Berger has a more open view of ‘Lena Finkle’s Magic Barrel." What do you think?
  • PHOTOS: Hundreds of protesters marched through lower Manhattan yesterday demanding an end to American support for Israel’s operation in #Gaza.
  • Does #Hamas have to lose for there to be peace? Read the latest analysis by J.J. Goldberg.
  • This is what the rockets over Israel and Gaza look like from space:
  • "Israel should not let captives languish or corpses rot. It should do everything in its power to recover people and bodies. Jewish law places a premium on pidyon shvuyim, “the redemption of captives,” and proper burial. But not when the price will lead to more death and more kidnappings." Do you agree?
  • Slate.com's Allison Benedikt wrote that Taglit-Birthright Israel is partly to blame for the death of American IDF volunteer Max Steinberg. This is why she's wrong:
  • Israeli soldiers want you to buy them socks. And snacks. And backpacks. And underwear. And pizza. So claim dozens of fundraising campaigns launched by American Jewish and Israeli charities since the start of the current wave of crisis and conflict in Israel and Gaza.
  • The sign reads: “Dogs are allowed in this establishment but Zionists are not under any circumstances.”
  • Is Twitter Israel's new worst enemy?
  • More than 50 former Israeli soldiers have refused to serve in the current ground operation in #Gaza.
  • "My wife and I are both half-Jewish. Both of us very much felt and feel American first and Jewish second. We are currently debating whether we should send our daughter to a Jewish pre-K and kindergarten program or to a public one. Pros? Give her a Jewish community and identity that she could build on throughout her life. Cons? Costs a lot of money; She will enter school with the idea that being Jewish makes her different somehow instead of something that you do after or in addition to regular school. Maybe a Shabbat sing-along would be enough?"
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.