Israel: 5-fold increase in cases of LGBTphobia in public spaces – report


Thousands take part in the annual Gay Pride Parade in Jerusalem, Israel.
Yonatan Sindel/Flash90Thousands take part in the annual Gay Pride Parade in Jerusalem, Israel.

A quarter of the hostile acts occurred within two months of the elections and ,around the time the current government was sworn in

3,309 cases of hate and violence against the LGBTQ community were reported to the Association for LGBTQ Equality in Israel in 2022, according to a new report released Sunday.

25 percent of all reports of LGBTphobias occurred during the months of November and December, after the elections and around the time the new government was being sworn in. This is an increase of about 11 percent compared to 2021, when about 2,971 cases were reported. The association reports that the increase is part of a continuing trend in the number of reports in recent years.

Tomer Neuberg/Flash90
Tomer Neuberg/Flash90People participate at the annual Gay Pride Parade in Tel Aviv, Israel.

A fivefold increase in cases of LGBTphobia in public spaces

The report, written in collaboration with the Israeli Institute for Gender and LGBT Studies, headed by Dr. Sigal Goldin, indicates a 5-fold increase in cases of homophobia occurring in the public sphere. 

He also reported that in 2022, about 35 percent of reported injuries in physical space occurred in public space (on the street, in the neighborhood, in leisure and recreational spaces, on public transportation). In contrast, in 2021, only about 7 percent of injuries were reported in public space.

According to the association, these results reflect “the product of an increase in the scope of anti-LGBT expressions in discourse over the past year, and specific events around which a media echo has been created.”

“These factors produce a well-oiled and well-maintained mechanism of hate, through activists and grassroots activities, a presence on social networks, an attempt to build student cells in academic institutions around the purity of the “heteronormative” family, and an attempt to delegitimize and exclude the lifestyles and family members of girlfriends and members of the gay community,” the report points out.

Yonatan Sindel/Flash90
Yonatan Sindel/Flash90Thousands take part in the annual Gay Pride Parade in Jerusalem, Israel.

The report also shows an 8-fold increase in discrimination against the LGBT community for receiving services in businesses and a 7-fold increase in homophobic comments by public figures or the media.

“At a time when public support for the gay community is at an all-time high, extremist elements are working hard to increase hate and there is no choice but to stop them. The report clearly shows the destructive effects of politics, hateful political rhetoric and violent expression on the daily reality of members of the gay community,” said Association for LGBT President Hila Peer.

“The rise of anti-LGBT public figures inside and outside of government, while crushing justice and democracy, compels us to be vigilant to protect the existing rights we have fought to obtain, and also to act to obtain those we have not yet won. We will not back down, we will not hide and we will not apologize. We are equal citizens in the State of Israel and the role of the State is to ensure that we can exist in dignity, security and well-being. We have a long way to go and we will not stop,” she concluded.

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