Reported homophobic incidents in Israel increased by 54 percent in 2018, report finds


JERUSALEM (JTA) — Reported homophobic incidents in Israel increased by 54 percent in 2018 over the previous year, according to a new report.

The report by the Nir Katz Center on LGBT-phobia was delivered to President Reuven Rivlin on Sunday.

The center, named after Nir Katz, a teen who was murdered in the Bar Noar hate attack in 2009, is part of the Aguda: The Association for LGBTQ Equality in Israel. Bar Noar is a center and meeting place for LGBTQ teens.

According to the report, the sixth annual, an incident of harassment or abuse against members of the LGBTQ community occurs an average of every ten hours in Israel, with social media posts expressing  hate towards the LGBTQ community going up online every four minutes.

There were 821 incidents of harassment or abuse against the LGBTQ community in 2018, representing compared with 533 incidents reported in 2017.

Twenty-five percent of the incidents, including violence, hate speech, discrimination and harassment, took place occurred in a public space, according to the report. Some 22 percent were online or in the media, 15 percent were at home or within the family, and 13 percent in the workplace, according to the report.

In addition, 8 percent of the incidents were public statements made by public figures: 46 percent were media personalities, 31 percent were rabbis, 15 percent were local lawmakers 8 percent were Knesset lawmakers.

Some 45 percent of incidents targeted men and 38 percent targeted the small transgender community. The largest number of incidents, at 33 percent, took place in Tel Aviv, with 15 percent occurring in Jerusalem.

Chen Arieli, chair of the Association for LGBTQ Equality in Israel, told Rivlin that the biggest problem was “the need to raise consciousness about the need to report. The number of reported incidents has gone up, but it is still a drop in the ocean compared to the real number of events. Only by raising consciousness and by dealing with incidents professionally can we improve our society.”

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