Words: Steve Brown
Homophobic incidents in Israel increased by 36 per cent in 2019, according to a new report.
In a new report by Israel’s LGBTQ Task Force, Aguda, anti-LGBTQ incidents saw a 36 per cent increase last year with around 2,125 cases being reported – estimating one almost every four hours.
According to the Times of Israel, most incidents happened on social media with online attacks spiking by 58 per cent in August – which came a month after the new appointed Education Minister Rafi Peretz backed gay conversion therapy.
The new report also added that around 39 per cent of the incidents came from state branches, particularly discrimination by employees of the Administration of Border Crossings, Population and Immigration (PIBA) who would deal with marriage, parenthood records, requests to change one’s gender listing and surrogacy abroad.
Around 29 per cent of the incidents happened within the family, according to the report, which added that around 272 teenagers were forced to leave their homes due to anti-LGBTQ harassment.
Up to eight per cent of the cases happened in public spaces and five per cent occurred in education institutions.
Only three per cent of incidents happened in workplaces, with about half of the offenders being managers or bosses and half being colleagues.
A shocking 60 per cent were recorded in the Tel Aviv area – which boasts one of the biggest Pride celebrations in the world.
“LGBT-phobia kills and hurts thousands of victims who are physically and verbally assaulted, thrown out of their homes and pushed to the edge — sometimes to the point of total despair and suicidal thoughts,” Aguda chairperson Hila Peer and CEO Ohad Hizki said in a joint statement.
“This reality doesn’t come out of nowhere — there are those who choose to feed it,” they added.
“It grows stronger when Israel’s education minister wants to convert an entire part of society.
“We won’t allow ourselves to be erased from the public sphere, we will protect the personal safety of the community members and we will continue taking action for equality and freedom.”