Online hatred against Israeli LGBT community rises dramatically

Experts at the Berel Katznelson Foundation attributed this rise to recent comments made by public figures relating to the gay community, and the Jerusalem Pride Parade that was staged on Thursday.

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July 24, 2016 18:05
2 minute read.
Jerusalem annual gay pride parade

Jerusalem annual gay pride parade. (photo credit: REUTERS)

 
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A research project monitoring online hatred in Hebrew noticed a severe uptick in rhetorical attacks against the LGBT and the haredi communities in the last few days following the Jerusalem Pride Parade and anti-gay comments made by Rabbi Yigal Levenstein, a prominent national-religious educator.

The Hatred Document, an online collaboration between the Berel Katznelson Foundation and the Vigo research group, reports on specific words of hatred, incitement, racism and calls to violence made in Hebrew on Facebook as well as in talkbacks on news websites.

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According to the report, the average monthly percentage of all hatred online in Hebrew directed towards the LGBT community is 9 percent.

On Saturday however, hateful comments against the LGBT community jumped to 16%, and such sentiment reached 18% of all hatred online in Hebrew on Sunday.

Experts at the Berel Katznelson Foundation attributed this rise to the Jerusalem Gay Pride Parade that was staged on Thursday and recent comments made by public figures relating to the gay community.

An increase in hatred against the haredi community was also noticed, from a monthly average of 9%, to 12% on Saturday and 16% on Sunday, although it remains unclear what the proximate cause of this increase is.

Separately, in a survey of the national-religious sector conducted by the Miskar Institute for the Tzohar rabbinical association and published over the weekend, an overwhelming majority of respondents said they believed that parents in the community would be extremely troubled if their children told them they were gay.



Of those asked, some 67 percent said that they thought parents in the sector would find it extremely hard to deal with one of their children being homosexual, and 24 percent said they would be very troubled.

By comparison, respondents said they thought national-religious parents would be less troubled if their child became a “hilltop youth,” the moniker given to radical youths from the national-religious community who establish isolated, unauthorized settlement communities and who have been accused of perpetrating severe violence against Palestinians and Christians.

Respondents said that they also believed national-religious parents would less upset, although still troubled, by one of their children becoming irreligious, with only 60% being extremely or very upset.

Asked where, if at all, their children get instructions and guidance on healthy sexuality, almost 10% said their children get no such instruction or very little, 16% said they did not know if their children get this kind of instruction; 25% said at home with the parent of the same sex; 30% said at home from both parents, 37% said at school from a designated educator on such issues.

The poll was conducted on a sample of 450 people aged 16 and above with a margin of error of 4.5%.

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