by VR Sreeraman on  August 9, 2009 at 10:06 AM Lifestyle News
 Almost Half of Israelis Consider Homosexuals Deviants: Poll
Almost half the Israeli population considers homosexuals to be deviants, according to an opinion poll published on Thursday, five days after an attack at a Tel Aviv gay centre killed two people.

Forty-six percent of the 498 people interviewed answered yes to the question "do you see homosexuality as a perversion?" and 42 percent said no, the Haaretz newspaper said.

Among ultra-Orthodox Jews, 71 percent said yes, as did 64 percent of Arab Israelis, and 24 percent of people who described themselves as secular.

Camil Fuchs, who conducted the poll, said it showed a certain decline in homophobia in Israel, but said this could be tied to Saturday's attack by a gunmen who killed two people and another 15 wounded.

"It is possible that what we have here is a reaction to the trauma and also that hate-filled people think this is not the moment to admit it," Haaretz quoted him as saying.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, flanked by police chief Duddy Cohen on Thursday visited the centre, where leaders of the gay and lesbian communities gave him a letter urging him to crack down against any "incitement to violence" against homosexuals.

Homosexuals in Israel, particularly men, say they encounter hostility from the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community, which considers homosexuality an "abomination."

Israel repealed a ban on consensual same-sex sexual acts in 1988 and certain rights of gay or lesbian couples have since been recognised by the courts.

The Haaretz survey, conducted early this week, has a 4.5 percent margin of error.

Source: AFP

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