Asia » Israel
Gay Guide Israel
In Israel 16 is the legal age of consent. Israel's gays and lesbians typically enjoy freedoms similar to their counterparts in European countries. This has included civil partnerships for homosexuals since 2002. In legal terms they are on an equal footing with heterosexual marriage in many respects, including the option of benefiting from tax privileges, granted by a 2006 decision of the Supreme Court, or the right to adopt. The country of Israel is hence playing a pioneering role in the Near East where homosexual equality is concerned. Tel Aviv holds a festive annual gay parade, rainbow flags can be seen around the city and there is a city-funded community centre for gays. However not everything is as harmonious as it seems. In 2005 and in 2015, an ultra-Orthodox protester stabbed marchers at a Jerusalem Gay Pride Parade. In 2008 a member of the ultra-Orthodox Shas party commented in parliament that earthquakes were divine punishment for homosexual activity. The worst attack against the gay community in Israel took place on the 2nd August 2009, where a masked gunman killed two people at a centre for gay youth in Tel Aviv. Eleven people were wounded, four of them critically. Despite these isolated attacks, Gay Pride has grown into a large-scale event in Tel Aviv over the years, drawing as many as 200,000 visitors by 2016, which can indeed be considered an indication of societal acceptance. The lesbian and gay protest march in Jerusalem cannot be compared to the celebrations in Tel Aviv. In 2011 the Gay Pride here was merged with other demonstrations critical of social conditions in Israel, leading to a much more pronounced political element than in Tel Aviv.
Cities in Israel
Name: Yisra'él/Isra'il · Israël · Israele
Location: Middle East
International country code: 972 (omit 0 from area code)
International access code: 00, 012, 013, 014, 015, 018
Language: Modern Hebrew (Ivrit), Arabic, English and Russian are widely spoken
Area: 20,991 km² / 8,473 sq mi.
Currency: 1 New Shekel (NIS) = 100 Agorot
Capital: Jerusalem (Yerushalayim)
Religions: 76% Jewish, 17% Moslem, 2% Christian
Climate: The best time to visit is spring/fall. Apr-May/Sept-Oct). Summer (June-Aug) is quite warm along the coast, cooler in Jerusalem. Winter is mild along the coast, but it can snow in Jerusalem.
Important gay cities: Tel Aviv