Main findings of the report:
* Every four minutes on average an LGBT-phobic post is published
* Every ten hours on average an incident of LGBT-phobia is reported
* Over 180 young men and women left home last year because of LGBT-phobia
President Reuven (Ruvi) and Nechama Rivlin – Sunday 10 February / 5 Adar I – received the annual report of the Nir Katz Center on LGBT-phobia for 2018. This is the sixth report of its kind, and the first time it has been presented to the president. The report was presented by the center’s director Moshe Hajaj and program director Efrat Frank. Ayala Katz, mother of Nir ז”ל, his stepfather, Gilad Moshe Shenhar and chair of the Association for LGBTQ Equality in Israel Chen Arieli and Ran Shelhalvi, its deputy director-general, also took part in the event.
the Nir Katz Center publishes a report on LGBT-phobia in Israel. The center, named after Nir Katz ז”ל, who was murdered in the BarNoar hate attack, is part of the Aguda. The center receives reports throughout the year on LGBT-phobic incidents and its staff deal with dozens of cases each year. This year’s report covers LGBT-phobic incidents in 2018 and shows a significant rise in reported serious incidents (up 26%) as opposed to 2017. In addition, there was a sharp increase in reports of events in Jerusalem and the north (up over 100%).
chair of the Association for LGBTQ Equality in Israel stressed 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.” Referring to the suicide last night of a member of the transgender community, Chen added that the transgender community faces the most extreme violence in the LGBT community as a whole.
“I receive this report with great trepidation,” said the president. “Despite the fact that the issue has become more open than in the past, we must ensure that we speak out against every voice of hatred of this kind, on this background, and say out loud that we are not prepared to accept it as a society. Beit HaNasi is Israeli society’s open house, for all groups and societies that live here and you are, of course, an inseparable part of the society and that is why you are here today.”
Nechama also thanked the participants for coming to this important meeting and said that she and the president were there to strengthen and support them.
Nir’s mother, said that when she found out her son was gay there was less public consciousness, and this was the case until the attack on the Barnoar. “I knew there were parents who threw their kids out, that there was murder and violence, but I didn’t really know how harsh it was and I did not understand how hurtful it can be when elected officials or Rabbis speak. Perhaps their intentions are good, but the way they speak expresses their revulsion for the LGBT community.”
At the end of the meeting, the president expressed his hope that next year’s report will show that Israeli society is more accepting and respectful of those who are different, and that we will learn to look inwards and improve our ability to face challenges together.
Attached photo credits: Haim Zach (GPO)