A gay couple was attacked in their apartment in Tel Aviv on Monday morning, when a neighbor broke the shutter of their window and threatened to kill them, according to the Agudah - The Association for LGBTQ Equality in Israel.
The couple filed a complaint with the police and the neighbor was detained.
Oded, one of the targets of the attack, said that their neighbor began shouting at him and his partner shortly before they left for work, shouting "Go back to Germany, I don't tolerate gays, I don't like gays."
"Members of the LGBTQ+ community are not the punching bag of extremists. This is a reality we will not accept. We will not be silent and will not allow the neglect of our right to live in full security in our country."Hila Peer, The Agudah
"I feel unsafe on the most extreme level possible," said Oded. "I have lived in Tel Aviv for ten years and have never experienced an [homophobic] attack. Only in the last few months have we come across it in protests, in recordings I receive and the peak has now come when they tried to break the window of our house, our most protected space."
The attack comes on the eve of Holocaust Remembrance Day. Homosexuals were one of the groups targeted by the Nazi regime. Between 5,000 to 15,000 men were sent to concentration camps as "homosexual offenders" and tens of thousands of others were imprisoned elsewhere, according to the US Holocaust Memorial Museum.
Those sent to camps were forced to wear a pink triangle to identify them, with many survivor accounts saying that pink triangle prisoners were among the most abused groups in the camps. It is unknown how many homosexuals were murdered in the Holocaust.
Hila Peer, the chairperson of the Agudah, stated: "Every day we receive reports of more and more cases of hate against the LGBTQ+ community. LGBTQ-phobia runs rampant and the Israel Police turn a blind eye, ignoring and closing cases without even summoning for questioning attackers identified on video cameras.
"I feel unsafe on the most extreme level possible," said Oded. "I have lived in Tel Aviv for ten years and have never experienced an [homophobic] attack."Oded, victim of homophobic attack
"Members of the LGBTQ+ community are not the punching bag of extremists. This is a reality we will not accept. We will not be silent and will not allow the neglect of our right to live in full security in our country. I call on the Israel Police to come to their senses and show a strong hand against the attacks and threats against the LGBTQ+ community."
Later on Monday, the Agudah sent an open letter to Israel Police chief Kobi Shabtai, asking him for an urgent meeting and demanding harsher penalties for LGBTQ+ hate crimes.
"Should we wait for the next murder until you will address the red flag that we have been waving for months? We demand to exhaust the legal procedures with the offenders, to be strict against attackers with LGBT-phobic motives and to hold an emergency meeting with the LGBT community's organizations in order to create a police strategy allowing the community to live without real fear for its life," the letter stated.
The attack comes shortly after police closed an investigation into the throwing of stones at an apartment where an LGBTQ+ Pride flag was hanging in Tel Aviv during a right-wing protest earlier this month, despite the suspects being photographed in multiple videos.