LGBTQ + youths violently attacked in Jerusalem en route to trans conference

A group of LGBTQ + youth were violently attacked near the central bus station in Jerusalem on Friday, while on their way to a conference on transgender issues being held in Tel Aviv.

In a Facebook post, Tsion Eliash stated that they were walking with their friend to the bus stations in front of the International Convention Center in Jerusalem on Friday to wait for a shuttle to the convention in Tel Aviv, when a group of teenagers started yelling at him. . them “This is not Tel Aviv!” and “Go to Gaza, be a lesbian there!”

As Eliash and his friend, Noam, tried to ignore the group, one of the teens violently collided with them from behind, causing them to spill the coffee they were holding on them, and Eliash wrote that the teens started laughing and seemed “pleased with themselves. . “

“I said ‘what the heck’ [and] we started walking faster, “Eliash wrote on Facebook.” They all ran after us. One of them cupped Noam in the groin. Another began to moan and grab his genitals. Noam yelled at them not to touch him. They threw small rocks at us and started pushing and touching us randomly, just to show they could. “

At this point, Eliash and Noam arrived at the bus station and saw three of their friends and expected the teens to leave them alone if they grouped together, but the teens continued to attack them.

Members of the LGBTQ + community and supporters participate in a protest march in support of the transgender community, in Tel Aviv on July 22, 2018 (credit: MIRIAM ALSTER / FLASH90).

“They crowded around the five of us, cursing, yelling insults, pushing,” Eliash wrote, adding that they threatened to call the police, but the teens simply responded by taunting them and making sexual statements. After a member of the LGBTQ + youth group told the teens to leave, the teens pushed them to the ground.

Eliash described how bystanders in the area watched and did nothing as the teens attacked them. “All this time there were people around us, some watching, but only then did someone intervene. Just when he was thrown on the sidewalk, some soldiers passed by who immediately responded, hey hey, what are you doing to him? and it just swept them away, “they wrote.

“We just stood there scared, trying to get up. I was in a conference and workshop at the conference and I had no idea what was being said, we were disconnected all day,” Eliash wrote. “Physically we are all fine, emotionally we are working on it.”

The Jerusalem Open House for Pride and Tolerance has filed a complaint with the Israel police about the incident and Eliash has asked anyone who witnessed the attack to contact them.

The open house and Aguda, the Association for LGBTQ Equality in Israel, emphasized that such violence and LGBTQ phobia could not be accepted, saying that “this severe attack is in addition to other cases of LGBT phobia in Jerusalem in recent months, while the silence and inaction of the Jerusalem Municipality is particularly jarring. “

“We hope that the Jerusalem Municipality and the Israel Police will act resolutely and exhaust full justice with the attackers. It is inconceivable that members of the LGBTQ + community do not feel safe in the capital of the State of Israel. We ask anyone what have experienced an LGBTQ- phobic case to contact the Aguda complaint center and not treat it alone, “said the two LGBTQ + organizations.

The attack came just before the start of Transgender Awareness Week, which runs from November 13-20. The two-day conference in Tel Aviv that took place over the weekend included panels, speeches and presentations on a number of topics related to trans people. community in Israel, including employment, social assistance and health resources and education.

A one-of-a-kind survey conducted by the Geo-Cartography Company and published by Aguda’s Israel Institute for Gender and LGBTQ Studies and the Gila Project for the Empowerment of Transgender People recently found that 80% of Israelis said it would be difficult. or even impossible for them to accept knowing that their child is transgender.

On the other hand, 67% of Israelis said they would have no problem working with a transgender colleague.

About half of Israelis stated that they believe there are only two genders established by biology. One in six Israelis knows a transgender person, and Israeli women tend to know more transgender people personally than men.

Meretz MK Gaby Lasky and Labor MK Naama Lazimi are scheduled to hold a special discussion in the Knesset on Tuesday at 10 am that will assess the needs and existing resources for the transgender community. Representatives from various government offices and LGBTQ + organizations, as well as other relevant officials, were invited to the discussion.

“The data that we present to the public today is not encouraging at all,” said Gila Project Director Bar Awasker. “We demand that the government and relevant ministers identify and monitor gaps in government systems that harm people on the trans spectrum. The challenges facing the trans community are unacceptable in 2021.”

“This data is supposed to concern decision makers in the State of Israel who must act now,” said Ran Shalhavi, Aguda’s CEO. “It is time to stop the exclusion, discrimination and hatred that people on the trans spectrum face even today.”

“We call for a full and comprehensive implementation of the findings of the inter-ministerial team for the trans community: from training doctors and medical personnel to community needs and appropriate treatment, including a national program to encourage the largest employers of the economy to integrate community members into positions appropriate to their qualifications, “added Shalhavi.

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