Suspect Arrested in Attack on Two Gay Arab Men in Israel

by Kevin Schattenkirk

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Tuesday August 4, 2020

Jaffa Port
Jaffa Port  (Source:Associated Press / Oded Balilty)

The Jerusalem Post reports that two gay Arab men were attacked at the Jaffa port by a group of Bedouin passersby on Saturday. One suspect, a 16-year old Israeli, has been arrested for taking part in a violent attack against the men.

Video of the attack emerged, which appears to show two men beating the two gay men on a pier. The gay men were reportedly harassed, spat on, and pushed into the water. A witness, Itzik Avneri, who owns a boat harbored at the pier where the incident took place, gave testimony to authorities that the attack was indeed homophobic.

The Aguda - The Association for LGBTQ Equality in Israel issued a statement:

"This attack should be a red light for us all... If we don't take concrete steps to improve the status of LGBTQ+ people in Arab society it could end a lot worse. Violence against LGBTQ+ people in Arab society is not destiny, it is the result of neglect, denial and disregard by Arab leaders and the government from an entire public that needs a response and is not receiving it."

According to a report by The Aguda, anti-LGBTQ incidents last year rose 36% from 2018.

Kevin Schattenkirk is an ethnomusicologist and pop music aficionado.

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