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Homophobic attacks occur every 10 hours in Israel, shocking figures show

Homophobic attacks occur every 10 hours in Israel, shocking figures show

A photograph of LGBTI pride parade in Tel Aviv in 2015

A homophobic attack occurs every 10 hours in Israel and a homophobic social media post every four minutes, a report showed.

The Affiliation for LGBTQ Equality in Israel, or Aguda, submitted the damming report to Israel’s president last week.

The group also found a 54% rise in LGBTI hate crime over the last 12 months in the country.

Aguda chair Hen Arieli told Gay Star News the report is an ‘important step’ towards equality in Israel. 

Arieli said: ‘Even today, in elections time, we are witnessing homophobic propaganda by radical parties, and the government does nothing in order to stop it.

‘First way to enable a bad habit is not to act against it.’

‘Makes us stay put’

Around 25% of homophobic incidents – which include physical and verbal assault – occurred in public.

15% occurred inside a home, 13% at work, and 22% online.

Notably, 69% of all online abuse was posted by male users, the report found.

Of all complaints of hate crime submitted, 45% were from males and 38% from trans people.

In fact, 24% of online harassment was directed at trans people.

Aguda submitted the report to President Reuven Rivling and called for changes in the law.

She said: ‘First, to correct legislation which discriminates gay people. The fact which the law is backing up these homophobic approaches is what makes us stay put.

‘The government should be the macro sight for a healthier society and not to deep cleavages.’

Though, Aguda stress the figures do not mirror the variety of hate crimes precisely as many go un-reported.

‘Not enough’ change

Aguda has published this report annually for the last six years.

Arieli slammed the government for doing ‘not enough’ for LGBTI rights. 

Submitting the report ‘was an important step it is only another one in the way towards a real change in the approach of parliament.’

The highest and most varied hate crime was recorded in Tel Aviv, with 33% of all attacked recorded there.

However, Arieli explained this is because ‘we are hearing’ from the victims more rather than necessarily more attacks occurring.

‘People in the center are more aware to the reporting option than in the peripheries,’ she added.

15% occurred in Jerusalem, 9.5% in Haifa, 7.5% in Beersheba and 5% in Ashkelon.

‘I always fought against LGBT-phobia’

It is not just Aguda campaigning for LGBTI rights in Israel.

Hen Mazzig is a 29-year-od queer Jew living in Israel.

‘I always fought against LGBT-phobia, racism and all other forms of bigotry. Being who I am, I felt like I never had any other option,’ he told Gay Star News.

See also

Israeli religious group denounces LGBTI community for ‘destroying family values’

Israelis protest exclusion of LGBTI couples from surrogacy bill

LGBTI racism: How to fix the exclusion of black and Asian people