More than 80 percent of LGTBQ Arabs in Israel are still in the closet because coming out might doom them to a life of social alienation – even from their immediate family. H was forced to become “a slave to older men for several hours at a time.” A fled to the big city and now she is homesick. They, and others, know the path to change is long, and they can only dream of holding their own Pride Parade. For now, they just wish leaders of the Arab community would recognize them, and for their lives to be safer. A special Shomrim report for Pride Month. Published also on Mako website (Hebrew), Followed by Kan Public Radio (Hebrew)
Hundreds of thousands of Israelis take to the streets every week to protest against the judicial overhaul. Noticeable by their absence are Israel’s Arab citizens. On the one hand, Israel’s Arab community has a score to settle with the Supreme Court, which normalized the occupation, and from its point of view failed to protect it. The same can be said about Israel’s Druze citizens, who are still furious about the Nation-State Law. On the other hand, there are growing calls in the community for Arab participation: ‘We’re not doing anyone any favors – not the left and not the center. The damage that this government is doing will harm the Arabs first.’ A special Shomrim report
While the number of Jewish-Israeli women filing sexual assault and harassment complaints climbs yearly, Arab women are still afraid to speak out. Those who do decide to share their stories often deal with families who blame them for what happened, with assailants who continue to threaten them, with police officers who don’t do their work and with negligent social and psychological services. Three women courageously agreed to share their stories with Shomrim
Without a masterplan, without rental apartments and with a shortfall of at least 6,000 housing units a year – not to mention countless illegally built homes because there was no alternative – the housing crisis in the Arab community is making life impossible for young married couples and spreading even further. The reasons are known – from state neglect to the Arab community itself – still there’s no solution on the horizon. A Shomrim report
Fifty-five years after the Six-Day War, and more than a decade after the outbreak of the Syrian civil war, the Druze population on the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights is torn between the two countries. A freedom of information request filed by Shomrim reveals a record number of requests for Israeli citizenship – but these are often submitted in secret. Sometimes, even family members don’t know. One young Druze woman who took Israeli citizenship: I have never felt any kind of affinity to Syria or Israel. I asked for citizenship to make my life easier.
Public transport is a fundamental condition for growth and development – especially in struggling communities. For decades, the State of Israel and the Transportation Ministry have ignored the needs of Arab communities. Some of them have no internal public transport and, in others, buses go around the town. What about a train station in an Arab city? Maybe in 15 years from now. The ministry’s response: Developing infrastructure is a top priority
Three years after a petition was submitted to the Supreme Court, the state responded by saying that it would grant work permits to Palestinians who have been granted asylum in Israel because of their connection to the LGBTQ community or violence within the family. At a Knesset hearing, MK Mara'ana said: "The state's response sets right a historical injustice." The hearing was attended by Shomrim's Fadi Amun, who published a report on the issue
In the West Bank, their lives are in danger and the threat often comes from their closest relatives. When Israel agrees to help, which is the best-case scenario, that help is conditional. Ninety-one LGBTQ Palestinians have been given residency permits for humanitarian reasons, but they are living on borrowed time and don't get work permits or health insurance. There are sentenced to a life of exploitation, sometimes even resorting to prostitution. Why does Israel not allow them to take legal jobs? A petition was filed on the matter three years ago, but the state has yet to respond. A Shomrim report for Pride Month