Gay Guide

Israel
Pink Star Rating

7

Capital

Jerusalem

Other Main Cities/Resorts

Tel Aviv-Yafo, Haifa, Holon, Peta Tiqwa, Bat Yam, Eilat

Scene and Culture

Israel is the only country in the Middle East that has legalised gay sex. In fact Israel is much more progressive on the issue of homosexuality than you might think. There is a western style gay scene in Tel Aviv and annual gay pride marches in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. But for the continuing instability of the country (with the ever worsening conflict between Israel and the Palestinians) it would make a good gay and lesbian destination. Until matters resolve themselves we would probably advise against visiting Israel at this time.

Gay Age of Consent

16

Lesbian Age of Consent

16

Straight Age of Consent

16

Legal Notes

The nineties have seen considerable progress for the lesbian and gay movement, with the establishment of a Knesset subcommittee on LGB rights in 1993, the passage of employment protection legislation in 1992, the ending of discriminatory rules in the military in 1993, a Supreme Court judgement in 1994 in favour of equal domestic partner employment benefits and the passing of anti-discrimination legislation making homophobic remarks or actions illegal in 1998. In 2000 the age of consent was lowered to 16 and most recently in 2005 a court allowed a lesbian couple to adopt a child.

Population

5.84 million

Currency

New Shekel NIS

Climate

Generally, the best time to visit Israel is during the long hot summer from March to October. If heat is problem for you then avoid mid-summer. Remember that Jerusalem being high is cooler than the coastal regions whilst Eilat is always dry and scorching so is best visited during the winter months.

Israel has a Mediterranean climate characterized by long hot dry summers and short warm wet winters. Around 17% of the annual precipitation occurs between November and February in violent storms, while further inland rainfall is heavier than the average annual precipitation of 550 mm and snow may occasionally fall. Average temperature ranges in Jerusalem are from 5c to 13c in January to 18c to 31c in August.

Jerusalem
Tel-Aviv