A gay couple was attacked in the Israeli town of Jaffa Port on Saturday and partially captured on video by bystanders, which a local boat owner that came to the couple’s aid said numbered in the hundreds.
Video shared to the internet showed the attack as it was already underway. One of the assailants (there were originally around 20, according to the victim) is thrown into the water by a nearby boat owner trying to intervene, while another man is seen punching and kneeing one of the victims in the head. A woman can be heard screaming in horror in the background.
Itzik Avneri, the boat owner who tried to intervene said that the gay couple had gone on a sailing cruise, returned to port, and were relaxing on the dock with each other, and people spat on them, according to Haaretz.
Avneri had asked someone why they were spat on, and the man responded, “Because we’re Arabs and they’re gays, and there won’t be gays among the Arabs, it gives Arabs a bad name.”
One of the victims told the paper that they began to be taunted after getting off the boat, and they went to a restaurant to eat. When they returned from the restaurant they were jumped by a group of about 20 people, but the victim fought most of the group off with pepper spray.
That’s when Avneri stepped in and tried to help the couple because two attackers remained. This is where the video above appears to begin. He put them over a private fence, the attackers jumped the fence and started attacking them, so Avneri threw one of them into the water.
Said Avneri to Haaretz: “What I saw brought me back to the dark 80s in Tel Aviv. There was no conflict before, there was nothing going on between them. It wasn’t just that [the couple] didn’t curse at them, they didn’t understand what was happening – it was a complete surprise. What you don’t see in the video is 500 people, not a single one of them lifted a finger. They wanted to throw me into the water. They wanted to kill me. I thought I would die… The port was full of people. No one helped.”
A 16-year-old has been arrested by police, the Jerusalem Post adds: “The suspect was arrested on Monday and brought in for questioning at the Jaffa police station. The suspect was charged with aggravated assault and racist offenses. The Bat Yam Juvenile Court extended the suspect’s arrest on Tuesday morning after a request by Israel Police, as the investigation continues.”