Largest ever Arabic language LGBTQ campaign launched across Israel

Beit el-Meem has placed dozens of signs around the country, including in Nazareth, Iksal and Kafr Kanna, with the slogan "There is a home for all sexualities and gender identities in Arab society."

Arab LGBTQ organization Beit Al-Mim placed signs in support of LGBTQ people across dozens of locations in Israel, June 12, 2022 (photo credit: BEIT AL-MIM)
Arab LGBTQ organization Beit Al-Mim placed signs in support of LGBTQ people across dozens of locations in Israel, June 12, 2022
(photo credit: BEIT AL-MIM)

Israel's largest-ever public campaign in support of LGBTQ people in Arab society has been launched across the country by Beit el-Meem - the organization set up specifically to help LGBTQ people in Arab communities. 

The organization has placed dozens of signs around the country,  including in Nazareth, Iksal and Kafr Kanna, with the slogan "There is a home for all sexualities and gender identities in Arab society" in the largest campaign of support for LGBTQ people that Israel's Arab sector has seen.

The campaign is part of a larger project aimed at creating solutions, institutions and infrastructure for LGBTQ Arabs in Israel.

Beit el-Meem operates an Arabic language hotline five days a week from Sunday-Thursday and offers both free psychological and legal assistance to those who need. They also hold various meetings and social events year-round.

"The LGBTQ Arab community has lived in secret in the past, but today our community is beginning to organize, as it deserves, to promote the rights to equality and security that all of us have," said the organization in a statement regarding the new project.

 People march during the annual Gay Pride Parade in Haifa, June 18, 2021.  (credit: RONI OFER/FLASH90) People march during the annual Gay Pride Parade in Haifa, June 18, 2021. (credit: RONI OFER/FLASH90)

Israel's Association for LGBTQ Equality in Israel - widely known as The Agudah - also reacted to the project, saying they were "proud of the activists who are making their voices heard and leading the way for a safe space for LGBTQ Arabs. We all deserve the right to be who we are, wherever we are, in every city, village and locality."

Back in February of this year, Israel announced that they were set to open the country's first-ever shelter designated specifically for LGBTQ Arab-Israeli youth who were forced to leave home due to their sexualities or gender identities.

The idea for opening shelters geared specifically toward the Arab sector first arose in 2019 following a violent incident outside of a gay youth hostel in Tel Aviv, Or Keshet, the director of government relations at the Agudah, said at the time. 

The project is being overseen by the Welfare and Social Affairs Ministry and is heavily supported in Knesset by MK Ibtisam Mara’ana (Labor), who places a focus on both the LGBTQ community and Arab society in her political work.

The shelter is set to open in the coming months.