Anti-wife Beating Measure Proposed

Marcia Freedman, of the Independent Socialist faction, proposed legislation in the Knesset yesterday that would provide severe penalties for husbands who beat their wives. She claimed that “The number of women beaten up by their husbands can be counted in the thousands rather than hundreds” and charged that there was a “conspiracy of silence” on the matter.

Although she was greeted with derision and what she called “bad jokes” in the predominantly male legislature, the Knesset rejected a motion by Police Minister Shlomo Hillel to strike Freedman’s bill from the agenda. It was referred to an appropriate Knesset committee for debate. Opposition came mainly from Likud but also, unexpectedly, from Meir Payil of the leftist Moked faction. Payil suggested that if a woman beats her husband, the husband should be detained.

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