A same-sex couple from Tel Aviv was dismayed to find themselves the target of homophobic and racist graffiti Thursday, but were delighted to find solidarity and support from their neighbors.
Hateful and homophobic comments were spray-painted on the couple's door and trash cans. The police investigators dusted the scene for fingerprints and filed a complaint.
At first, Idan and Lior did not notice the graffiti. "Thursday I left for work like I do everyday. I didn’t look at the door, only later when my husband called to tell me that hateful and inciting remarks against the (LGBTQ) community were spray-painted on our door did I learn what happened," Idan said.
Lior recalled the moment he exited his home and spotted the vandal's handiwork: "They called for the death of homosexuals and said that homosexuals and Arabs are the same s***."
He described the positive response of his neighbors: "Despite the hateful remarks, we learned that there are kind people. Without even asking, our neighbors began to clean the graffiti. People who passed by shouted their support. One of our neighbors even placed a bouquet of flowers on our doorstep in a sign of solidarity."
The two say that they are not afraid, but are concerned that next time the victim may not be as strong. "At the end of the day, this is a cowardly act done by somebody who arrived in the dead of night but was afraid to face us," Idan said.
"I am convinced that someone walked by, saw us together and then decided to do something about it. We are strong enough to take it, but I'm afraid this type of violence will rear its ugly head and take aim at the weaker public."
The two have been together for three and a half years. They met while serving as combat soldiers in the IDF.
They both claim to have never suffered discrimination because of their sexual orientation.
"We live in central Tel Aviv, we have always received support. I don't think that it's because were are homosexuals, but rather because we're a nice and friendly people – so we get treated the same way," Idan said.
"The public atmosphere and new legislation being put forth now to benefit the (LGBTQ) community have already led some lawmakers to claim that we harm Israel's
Jewish character. There are people who think that when they attack us they help the country, but that is absurd. These types of events should not happen again," he said.