The year 2021 saw a 10 percent increase in homophobia-related incidents, according to a new report published by Aguda, an umbrella organization representing the LGBTQ community in Israel. According to the report, almost 3,000 homophobic incidents were reported in 2021, compared to 2,696 incident reports the previous year. “This is a resounding warning light to the state and government in a situation where community members are subject to hatred and ongoing incitement for no reason other than due to their way of life,” said Hila Pe’er, chairwoman of the Aguda.
The highest number (35.5%) of all reported incidents took place in Tel Aviv and its surrounding metropolitan area. About 15% of all reports were made in the area of Haifa, 10% in Beersheba, 9% in Jerusalem and 4% in Sharon region.
Hadash and Communist Party of Israel activists in a demonstration for LGTB rights (Photo: Zo Haderech)
Some 24% of reported incidents were classified as taking place on a national level — in the press and in statements made by public figures. This category only made up 8% of reported incidents in 2020, the report noted. Among all reported incidents, about 43% happened within the family, compared to 28% in 2020. The report noted a 41% increase in youngsters leaving their homes and moving to LGBT-friendly hostels — 444 reported cases in 2021, compared to 315 cases the previous year.
The LGBTQ prejudice experienced in the healthcare system included: prevention of receiving treatments due to a gender reassignment procedure, doctors who advise not to have sex between men, and therapists who perform conversion therapies .The year 2021 saw five times more homophobe-related incidents — 7% in 2021, compared to 1.7% in 2020 — take place in the public health system, which may reflect the COVID pandemic and the time people were forced to spend in health clinics and hospitals as a result.