TOLERANCE HAS ITS LIMITS REGARDING THE RIGHTS OF GAY COUPLES IN ISRAEL

Just a year ago Netanyahu uttered the following remarks ….

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Is this the respect and dignity he was talking about?

Israeli government opposes allowing same sex couples to adopt

Government would allow same sex couples to adopt if no hetero-sexual couples can be found to adopt children.

 Israel’s government remains opposed to allowing same-sex couples to adopt in the country, the state said in response to a Supreme Court petition.

The government did, however, say it would allow common-law couples who have been living together for three years to adopt children in Israel.

The decision to not change its stance on same-sex couples “takes into account the reality of Israeli society and the difficulty entailed with regard to the child being adopted,” the government said in a response to the court, citing Child Welfare Services.

Same-sex couples can be approved for adoption, but they can only adopt children for whom a heterosexual couple cannot be found. The result is that they are generally offered special needs or at-risk children, or older children who cannot be placed.

Many same-sex couples adopt babies from other countries.

The petition to the Supreme Court regarding same-sex and common-law couple adoption was filed by the Association of Israeli Gay Fathers, together with the Israel Religious Action Center of the Reform movement, against the Social Affairs Ministry and the attorney general, according to Haaretz.

FROM JTA

IN PHOTOS ~~ PRIDE WITHOUT PREJUDICE

Gay Pride Parade in New York City

Photos © by Bud Korotzer

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Latuff added his 2 cents ….

GAY PRIDE IN IMAGES ~~ INTERNATIONAL DAY AGAINST HOMOPHOBIA

Today, and every day, I stand with our LGBT community to stop discrimination around the world

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Live and let live.

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Canada leads the way … “Privileged to be part of a generation living in a country where I can be open about who I am, marry who I love.”

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Latuff adds the following ….

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Bottom line is …

Today, I ask all of you to fight hatred, honour love, and defend LGBTQ2 rights as human rights.

#InIsrael ~~ MORE PINKWASHING TO COVER UP WAR CRIMES

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Avi Mayer, spokesman for the Jewish Agency for Israel and a prolific tweeter, called the ad “awesomewashing.” He was playing on the term “pinkwashing,” an accusation often levied against Israel that the government uses its record on gay rights to hide its crimes against Palestinians.

Full-page ad featuring a family with two dads in the weekend edition of Israel's most-read newspaper, Israel Hayom.

Full-page ad featuring a family with two dads in the weekend edition of Israel’s most-read newspaper, Israel Hayom.

Israel’s Right Wing-Paper Features Ad With Gay Dads

Israel Hayom, Israel’s right-wing newspaper affiliated with the ruling Likud party, surprised some by printing a full-page ad for a Nissan Sentra with two gay fathers this week.

The ad depicted a family of four with two young fathers and their school-age son and daughter with the phrase “Put your family in the Sentra.”

Avi Mayer, spokesman for the Jewish Agency for Israel and a prolific tweeter, called the ad “awesomewashing.” He was playing on the term “pinkwashing,” an accusation often levied against Israel that the government uses its record on gay rights to hide its crimes against Palestinians.

Another Twitter user, @ledoorpink, replied, “The issue is not two dads, that’s natural, but a $34,000 for a Nissan Sentara, that’s very unnatural.”

Israel Hayom is funded by Sheldon Adelson, the billionaire Las Vegas casino magnate who donates to many pro-Israel causes, and is widely seen as a mouthpiece for the Likud Party.

Individual politicians in Likud have supported LGBT rights, but the party was lambasted earlier this year when the government coalition torpedoed a series of pro-LGBT bills.

MEET THE ISRAELI RABBI WHO HATES BOTH GAYS AND WOMEN

Morgan Freeman hit the nail on the head with the following Tweet …

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The rabbi newly appointed to the Israeli army’s top religious post has made a long list of racist and misogynist edicts over the years, including one permitting Jewish soldiers to rape non-Jewish women during wartime.

On the qustion of Gays … “Gays and lesbians should be treated with love and support, but they are sick or deformed.” (SEE THIS POST)

One can only wonder what Freud would say about this man …

Eyal Karim (Handout/Reuters)

Eyal Karim (Handout/Reuters)

Meet the Israeli army’s misogynist chief rabbi

The rabbi newly appointed to the Israeli army’s top religious post has made a long list of racist and misogynist edicts over the years, including one permitting Jewish soldiers to rape non-Jewish women during wartime.

The elevation of Colonel Eyal Karim to the rank of brigadier general and the position of chief rabbi was thrown into question after his past controversial statements were reported by Israeli media. After holding a private meeting with Karim, however, Israel’s chief of staff Gadi Eizenkot publicly proclaimed that he would support the appointment.

Once he is military chief rabbi, Karim will be responsible for making decisions with regards to religious matters in the armed forces. Karim currently serves as the second-highest ranking religious official in the Israeli army. His nomination to the top post has received the support of the State of Israel’s two chief rabbis and Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman.

Comments Karim made in 2003 when he was a civilian resurfaced after his appointment. In a column called “Ask the Rabbi” at Kipa.co.il, a popular Hebrew-language website catering to religious Jews, Karim responded to a number of anonymous letters inquiring about specificities of Jewish religious law, including a question about rape in times of war.

“Is it allowed nowadays for an IDF [Israeli army] soldier, for example, to rape girls during battle, or is such a thing forbidden?” Karim was asked. He answered: “Even though fraternizing with a gentile woman is a very serious matter, it was permitted during wartime … the Torah permitted the individual to satisfy the evil urge.”

Karim’s comments first attracted notice in 2012, when dissident Israeli journalist Yossi Gurvitz first published them in English at +972 Magazine. Gurvitz says that when he asked the military to comment on Karim’s statements, he was rebuked by an army spokesperson and told that his query “disrespects the IDF, the State of Israel and the Jewish religion.”

Public retraction

The day after Gurvitz’ article appeared on +972, Karim published a letter at Kipa, reported by Gurvitz, attempting to walk back his 2003 religious ruling sanctioning rape: “It is clear that in our times … this ruling is certainly not to be acted on.”

The military seemed to be satisfied with Karim’s disavowal of his previous edict; he continued to serve as the army’s second-highest religious official for the next four years. But the announcement that he was to be promoted to army chief rabbi elicited another round of outrage, as well as a more thorough examination of his previously published opinions.

In his Kipa column, Karim has promoted burning Christian bibles, killing wounded “terrorists” and torturing captives, stating: “Terrorists should not be treated as human beings, because they are animals.”

In one of his responses, Karim called for the transformation of the state into a Jewish monarchy and a genocide against the people of “Amalek.” The Amalek people mentioned in the Torah are not known to have any modern-day descendants, but some rabbis attribute their bloodline to Israel’s current enemies, dooming them to a divinely commanded death sentence.

Karim also ruled that the court testimony of females cannot be relied upon, because of their supposedly “sentimental” nature. He also ruled that Jewish men in the Israeli army may not serve under the command of a woman, as this would require them to gaze upon her.

Karim’s tenure as the second-highest-ranking religious official in the military did not pass without controversy.

In 2013, he produced a booklet for Israeli soldiers which effectively asserts that Jewish supremacy was divinely ordained and that this would always overrule the laws of democracy. The booklet states: “The concept that non-Jews have equal rights with Jews in Israel goes against the opinion of the Torah, and the state’s representatives have no authority to act against the Torah’s will.” The army later apologized for the book’s contents.

When Karim’s impending appointment was made public this month and the rabbi began to draw renewed criticism for his past comments, his detractors were again accused of “anti-Semitism” — and even of fabricating a “blood libel” — in an op-ed by columnist Dror Eydar in Israel Hayom, the highest-circulation newspaper in the country.

Threats of rape as instrument of oppression

Karim’s defenders insist that his comments on rape were misunderstood and that he couldn’t possibly have permitted sexual assaults against Palestinian women. But threats of rape have been wielded by Israeli occupation forces against Palestinians.

In June 2014, Bar-Ilan University professor Mordechai Kedar publicly suggested that Israeli forces dissuade Palestinians from taking up arms by threatening the rape of their female relatives. The military seems to have quickly adopted Kedar’s doctrine; Palestinians taken captive that same summer during Isreal’s assault on Gaza say they were threatened with the rape of their wives.

Earlier this year, a lawyer representing Palestinian journalist Muhammad al-Qiq said that while Israel detained al-Qiq for months without charge, his captors threatened to rape him, his wife and their children unless he confessed to crimes. Al-Qiq was only released after refusing food for 94 days.

Actual sexual assaults of Palestinian men, women and children by Israeli soldiers are not unheard of. During the early years of the state, soldier sex attacks on Palestinians were common enough that they were a source of consternation for Israel’s first prime minister, David Ben-Gurion. At a government meeting in 1951, speaking about army attacks on Palestinians, he declared, “I know some of the crimes, and I must say the situation is frightening in two areas: acts of murder and acts of rape.”

In recent years, Amira Hass, correspondent for the Tel Aviv newspaper Haaretz, and the Israeli investigative journalist who goes by the pseudonym Eishton have reported on incidents in which Israeli soldiers allegedlyraped and sexually assaulted Palestinian females. And testimonies obtained by the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel show that Palestinian men and boys held in Israeli custody have also been subjected to sexual threats and sexual abuse.

Sexual violence common

Recent high-profile cases reveal the pervasiveness of rape culture in Israel.

In April, an Israeli investigative news program revealed that the late Israeli cabinet minister Rehavam Ze’evi was a serial rapist and sexual predator during his decorated army service, in which he reached the rank of general.

Last week, a currently serving brigadier general who had been slated for promotion was indicted for rape and sexual assault against multiple female soldiers. The following day, his former commander told Israeli army radio that the accused rapist is a “hero” and cited the Torah in defense of his alleged actions.

Admittedly, the Israeli army is taking steps to stem the rate of sex assaults, or at least those occurring within its ranks. Until just four months ago, victims of sex attacks in the army would have to shell out for their own legal costs, while alleged attackers would have all their legal fees paid for. Under a new policy, the army will pay the legal fees of both accused and accuser.

In February, the army chief’s advisor on women’s affairs sent a letter to all Israeli soldiers calling upon them tostop printing out regalia that includes images and messages that objectify women and make light of rape.

The army also makes mandatory for all incoming draftees an instructional workshop on the topic of sexual assault. However, after ultra-Orthodox soldiers angrily objected to the sexual content of the workshop, the army buckled and granted exemptions to religious troops.

Meanwhile, Israel’s police force in recent years has seen a massive epidemic of sex crime allegations against top cops. In May, the Times of Israel reported:

“The past few years have seen a string of sexual misconduct cases involving top police officers, many of whom were forced to retire due to the allegations against them. In all, about half of the Israel Police’s major generals — the highest rank below that of the police commissioner — have been accused of such abuse, and many of them have stepped down.”

In 2013, after Nisso Shaham, the Jerusalem chief of police, was indicted for sexual harassment against several women, mainly subordinates, he protested that it was unfair to try him for these crimes. He argued that his behaviors were “in keeping with the conventional norms accepted by the police” and that they were “routine and common”.

Instead of combatting sexism in the police force, the top brass seems to be trying to sweep the problem of misogyny under the rug.

Roni Alsheikh, national police commissioner and former deputy head of Israel’s domestic spy agency the Shin Bet, recently reinstated a top police commander accused of sexual harassment and planned to promote another commander found guilty of harassment (that officer declined the appointment after Alsheikh’s announcement provoked outcry). Alsheikh also announced — on International Women’s Day, no less — that the force would no longer investigate allegations of sex crimes, unless accusers were willing to reveal their identities.

Rape culture

Rape culture is perpetuated by the country’s political class. Dozens of demonstrators recently gathered in Tel Aviv to protest plans to grant early release to Moshe Katsav, the former Israeli president currently serving a seven-year sentence after being convicted of two counts of rape and other offenses. Katsav has often smeared his victims in the press, and has yet to either admit his guilt or express remorse for his actions.

The case of another politician from Kiryat Malachi, Katsav’s hometown, provides sobering evidence of the nearly free pass that rapists are often accorded in Israeli society. After mayor Motti Malka was charged with multiple rapes, along with his son, his deputy mayor and four other men, he reached a plea deal with police that saw him serve no jail time at all.

In the end, Malka was not even forced to pay a monetary fine because the Kiryat Malachi city council had previously purchased a policy for “sexual harassment insurance.” Just weeks later, the council invited Malka to attend the city’s official celebration of International Women’s Day.

The army is hardly the only sector of Israeli society from which sexual assaults emanate. But rape culture in the military is especially disconcerting, as its soldiers have access to deadly weapons and the license to use them. And now its chief rabbi is a man who once gave Jewish soldiers sanction to rape Palestinian women until he was shamed into retracting it.

GAYS CANNOT BE JEWISH!

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According to the Neanderthal Sector of the Israeli Rabbinate, Gays are an abomination and individually very sick people.

Now the fascist spokesman of the Israeli settler movement adds his two Shekels to the matter ….

‘Gay marchers aim to destroy Judaism’

Marzel is not the first fascist to persecute gays, he learned it from the nazis themselves …

The forgotten victims of the holocaust

The forgotten victims of the holocaust

Modern, public gay bashing is definitely not new. In the early 60’s, David Susskind interviewed the then Premier of the Soviet Union Nikita Khrushchev and asked him  if it is true that Tchaikovsky was gay.

The Premier responded;  “Yes, but that is not the only reason the Soviet People love him”!

Bottom line is LIVE AND LET LIVE!!

Tchaicovsky

Tchaicovsky

BOYCOTTING AND PINKWASHING GAY PRIDE IN JERUSALEM

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The Mayor of Jerusalem will boycott the Gay Pride Parade in Jerusalem today …..

The following report is in his own defense of the decision (Click on link)

Jerusalem mayor defends decision to skip Pride Parade

Nir Barkat says he needs to take into consideration all of the capital’s residents to avoid causing offense

On the other hand, the arrogant Prime Minister couldn’t care less who he offends ….. so he did!

Words of the Chief Rabbi of Jerusalem; “It is simply horrendous that the Prime Minister supports these parades. It’s a huge embarrassment; he should come back and apologize in public. He cannot be the Prime Minister of Israel.”

(Click on link to see full report)

Rabbi Amar: PM’s support of gay pride parade is an embarassment

Jerusalem Chief Rabbi condemns gay pride parade, calls on Netanyahu to give ‘public apology’ after voice support for parade.

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Apologise he won’t …. this would defeat his entire purpose of Pinkwashing the entire event as can be seen in the following ….

Pinkwashing is Israel’s propaganda strategy of trying to market itself as LGBTQ friendly, while at the same time taking attention away from the occupation.

The message from the spoof is clear: “you can’t wash away the occupation.”

 

THOU SHALT KILL, THOU SHALT RAPE, AND THOU SHALT HATE THY NEIGHBOUR

OR ~~~ HOW CAN THE MOST HATEFUL COUNTRY IN THE WORLD HAVE THE MOST HUMANITARIAN ARMY?

What was no longer is ...

What was no longer is

Israel finds itself in a dilemma these days …. it wants you to believe that its army is the most humanitarian in the world, but it is a contradiction to their overall policy of hatred.

So, in an attempt to change this image a new chief rabbi was just appointed to the IDF. Following are some of his thoughts …..

It’s OK for a soldier to kill a wounded assailant …

“Suicide bombers who were wounded must be killed.”

“Terrorists should not be treated as human beings, as they are ‘animals,’ and the rule ‘He who is merciful to the cruel eventually would be cruel to the merciful’ applies to them.”

Image by Amos Biderman

Image by Amos Biderman

It’s OK to rape a non Jewish woman in time of war …

“As part of maintaining fitness for the army and the soldiers’ morale during fighting, it is permitted to “breach” the walls of modesty and “satisfy the evil inclination by lying with attractive Gentile women against their will, out of consideration for the difficulties faced by the soldiers and for overall success.”

rape

On the question of hating thy neighbour …

To continue collecting tourist dollar$, Israel wants you to believe it is the most gay friendly country in the world …. 

But here is the reality;

“Gays and lesbians should be treated with love and support, but they are sick or deformed.”

Pinkwashing aims to appeal to Western liberal sensitivities – and attract sex tourism dollars – by portraying Israel as a haven of LGBTQ rights and fun in the region, while maligning Palestinians, Arabs and Muslims more generally as barbaric and intolerant.

Remember all of the above whenever you are tempted to support the IDF in any way!

Rabbi Eyal Karim, left, with outgoing IDF chief rabbi Rafi Peretz (Photo: Diana Hananashvilli, Defense Ministry)

Rabbi Eyal Karim, left, with outgoing IDF chief rabbi Rafi Peretz (Photo: Diana Hananashvilli, Defense Ministry)

PHOTO OF THE DAY ~~ PINKWASHING PRIDE IN NEW YORK

Racist NYPD pinkwashes with pro-LGBT SUV for gay pride parade, while it profiles people of color & harasses the poor

The NYPD is supporting gay pride with a new rainbow colored patrol vehicle.

The NYPD is supporting gay pride with a new rainbow colored patrol vehicle.

NYPD shows support for gay pride with new-look patrol SUV

The vehicle also has a heart sticker that reads “NYC Pride 2016” and the words “Pride Equality Peace” – both in rainbow colors. It carries the letters FSD, which stands for Fleet Services Division, on its side.

The NYPD has been working on its relationship with members of the city’s gay community since the June 12 attack that killed 49. Bratton was booed at a rally at the Stonewall Inn after the attack.

The NYPD sent top officials to an event held at police headquarters by the Gay Officers Action League – a group for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender cops.

PINKWASHING ISRAELI WAR CRIMES

Tel Aviv Pride can’t pinkwash Israel’s crimes

This video by Israeli Queers Against the Occupation features a cover of the Aerosmith song “Pink” playing over jarring images of Israel’s violence against Palestinians.

It is a spoof and remix of the official 2016 Tel Aviv Pride promotional video.

It takes on pinkwashing, Israel’s propaganda strategy of trying to market itself as LGBTQ friendly, that will reach its annual peak this Friday with the government-sponsored pride parade in Tel Aviv.

The message from the spoof is clear: “you can’t wash away the occupation.”

By Ali Abunimah

Pinkwashing aims to appeal to Western liberal sensitivities – and attract sex tourism dollars – by portraying Israel as a haven of LGBTQ rights and fun in the region, while maligning Palestinians, Arabs and Muslims more generally as barbaric and intolerant.

It’s a strategy to win sympathy for Israel that involves a good deal of distortion, outright fabrications and bizarrehoaxes.

Pinkwashing has been called “an attempt to change the subject: ‘don’t look at Gaza where we’re besieging [1.8] million people, look over here where we’re having a gay pride parade!’”

Israel has invested heavily in it, even planning to charter a special airplane painted in rainbow colors to bring gay tourists to Tel Aviv this year.

This has elicited growing resistance from Israeli activists who have called for the cancelation of the pride parade in protest at the government’s plan to spend millions on pinkwashing stunts while neglecting the needs of LGBTQ communities who continue to suffer from discrimination and violence.

Israeli academic and LGBTQ organizer Aeyal Gross has observed, for instance, that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu never spoke about LGBTQ issues at home, in Hebrew, while constantly talking about gays in speeches he delivered overseas in English.

Boycott Tel Aviv Pride

Pinkwatching Israel, an initiative of queer Arab activists, has also put out a series of videos to support its Boycott Tel Aviv Pride campaign.

“Tel Aviv is known as a ‘top gay destination,’” the campaign website notes. “However, gay pride brochures fail to mention that it is also an hour away from the world’s largest open prison, Gaza, and that it is built on stolen land.”

“They forget to mention that the gay soldiers you dance with in the pride parade check, arrest and kill Palestinians on a daily basis,” it adds.

Among the videos is this one, that makes the point that Tel Aviv Pride is funded by the Israeli government, the same government that funds settlements, war and occupation in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Watch the rest at the Pinkwatching Israel website.

HATE ON JERUSALEM STREETS GONE VIRAL ON THE NET

Video of Jerusalem gay couple makes headlines worldwide

A Ynet video of two gay men walking the streets of Jerusalem and absorbing abuse from passers by has generated attention around the world, raising questions about Israel’s acceptance of LGBT people.

Gay couple walks Jerusalem streets

The recently published Ynet video clip, showing two gay men walking hand-in-hand in the streets of Jerusalem and being stared at and showered with curses and obscenities, has been generating interest around the world.

Even inside Israel, widely considered to be the most tolerant Middle East nation on LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) matters, many expressed shock.

The video, filmed by a concealed camera, shows two men, Shay and Ofir, walking in the heart of Jerusalem – Jaffa Street, the Mahne Yehuda Market, and The Midrahov – just days after the murder of Shira Banki at the city’s gay pride parade. The two men were cursed, and even death was wished upon them by Israelis from various sectors of society.

The video was published on The Huffington Post, one of the most popular news sites in the United States and the world. The article’s headline read, “This Is What It’s Like For Gay Men To Hold Hands In Jerusalem”, with editors mentioning that the clip is reminiscent of the video shot a few months ago in Russia, which documented two Russian men being shoved and berated by people as the walked the streets of Moscow.

The Independent mentioned that the Video looks similar to violent videos in Russia and Ukraine, two countries associated with intolerance toward sexual minorities. “One of the pair has a pony tail and both are wearing vests, but they only give a mild display of affection,” the report emphasized.

The British newspaper cast doubt on Israel’s image as an Island of tolerance in the region, writing, “Israel is widely perceived to be one of the most tolerant countries in the Middle East. However a survey in 2013 suggested that only 40 per cent of Israelis think LGBT people should be accepted.”

The British tabloid Mirror titled their story on the subject, “Footage displaying the shocking level of homophobia in Jerusalem.” Like others, Mirror tried to analyze the obscenities that were hurled at the couple on Jerusalem’s streets. “Israel is one of the only countries in the Middle East to have openly gay communities and the gay pride event in relatively secular Tel Aviv usually passes without incident,” they wrote. “But in conservative Jerusalem, attitudes are not as liberal.”

The Video was also published on Jewish news sites and LGBT-related news sites around the world.

 

Source

 

Meanwhile ….. (Pending his next release)

Jerusalem Gay Pride Stabber To Be Transferred to Psychiatric Ward

Yishai Schlissel, who stabbed six marchers at the annual Jerusalem gay pride parade, will be admitted to a hospital psychiatric ward.

The Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday ordered Schlissel’s transfer to a psychiatric institution and extended his police custody by 10 days. During his 48-hour stay in the psychiatric ward, doctors will observe Schlissel and determine his fitness to stand trial, the Hebrew-language news website Ynet reported. An examination ordered last week failed to arrive at a conclusion.

Schlissel, from Modiin Ilit in the West Bank, declined to be represented by an attorney and has refused to recognize the court’s authority.

He had been released from prison three weeks before the July 30 stabbings, which left a 16-year-old girl dead, after serving 10 years for a similar attack at Jerusalem’s 2005 gay pride parade.

 

PRIDE AND PREJUDICE

Actually, Pride and Hatred

To religious Jews, these are more powerful than mere hate speech. They classify us as criminals under Jewish law, and thus enemies of Israel who will bring divine collective punishment. Gays have even been blamed for Hurricane Katrina, tsunamis, and earthquakes. Killing us is an act of self-defense.

 

The Ultra-Orthodox Hatred Behind the Stabbing at Jerusalem Gay Pride

If a community’s respected religious leaders preach, over and over again, that gay people deserve to be killed, isn’t it inevitable that someone will try to kill them?

That’s one of the lessons from today’s stabbing of six people at the Jerusalem Pride Parade. Of course, it was also the lesson ten years ago at the same parade, when the same criminal did the same thing, with the encouragement of some of the same rabbis.

I was there ten years ago, marching with my boyfriend about 50 feet behind the people who were stabbed. The situation was tense from the beginning. We were pelted with rotten eggs (some reported being hit with feces), shouted at, jeered.

Like today’s parade, we didn’t march near any of Jerusalem’s holy sites. We started at the downtown pedestrian mall, not far from the Burger King, and ended in a park near my apartment in Southern Jerusalem. We didn’t go anywhere near the Ultra-Orthodox neighborhoods, or the Old City.

But yes, we were in Jerusalem – not Tel Aviv, where we “belonged.” Jerusalem, the holy city, with a 30% ultra-Orthodox population whose rabbis routinely spouted hateful words about us. I don’t mean words like “faggot” – I mean words like impure, whore, fornicator, idolater, abomination, enemy of Israel, animal, beast.

To religious Jews, these are more powerful than mere hate speech. They classify us as criminals under Jewish law, and thus enemies of Israel who will bring divine collective punishment. Gays have even been blamed for Hurricane Katrina, tsunamis, and earthquakes. Killing us is an act of self-defense.

Ten years later, none of this has changed.

It’s not just the same would-be murderer who brandished a knife at the parade. It’s also some of the same rabbis, making the same comments. It’s the same posters plastered on the walls of Ultra-Orthodox neighborhoods. It’s the same newspapers – including The Jewish Press, Hamodia, Yated Neeman, and Yeshiva World Publications – the last of which, even today, described the parade as the “Abomination Parade.” “Abomination,” by the way, is actually a poor, hateful translation of the Hebrew word Toevah, which is used in the Bible to describe not only male anal sex but idolatry, the eating of shellfish, and Israelites and Egyptians having a meal together. A better translation is “taboo.”

But then, we know that this murderer wasn’t going after shrimp-eaters.

It’s also the same mystifyingly thin police coverage. In 2005, there was no one standing between us and the protesters; it was a terrifying encounter. That seems to have been the case in 2015 as well. How could the same man who attacked in 2005, who was released from prison only three weeks ago, who wrote a “warning letter” to Pride March participants, and who even went on Haredi radio saying “these impure people want to defile Jerusalem,” not be under surveillance?

How could any man dressed in the distinctive all-black Ultra-Orthodox costume not, at the very least, be stopped and questioned by police? (Apparently, the murderer was, in fact, briefly accosted – and then let go.)

The Jerusalem police have never liked the Pride Parade – more on security grounds than anti-gay ones, although motives are always hard to discern. For several years, they refused to grant a permit at all, forcing the “parade” to take place in an athletic stadium miles from the center of town.

And although formal investigations into the 2005 stabbing absolved them of responsibility, it seems odd that a police force charged with maintaining public safety in a country at war with three of its five contiguous neighbors can’t guard a parade that travels less than one mile along a route routinely cordoned off for politicians, holiday celebrations, even a ludicrous Formula One race.

But I don’t blame the police.

Nor do I blame the government. Agree or disagree with his foreign policy, Prime Minister Netanyahu has been the most pro-gay leader in Israel’s history, visiting an LGBT Center after an attack several years ago, and issuing strong condemnations today. Some of his pro-gay statements may be dismissed as propaganda ( “pinkwashing” ), and he has dragged his feet at times. But no one can deny the many pro-LGBT actions of the governments he has led. Considering most of those have been made up of the Right and the Far Right, that is no small feat. (Further-Right politicians such as Naftali Bennett also condemned the attack.)

Nor do I blame the mainstream rabbinic establishment. The Chief Rabbis have condemned the attack. Most poignantly, Rabbi Benjamin Lau (first cousin of Ashkenazic Chief Rabbi David Lau) addressed the parade participants directly, speaking at the end of the route and saying , “I ask forgiveness in the name of the Torah.”

Nor do I blame every Orthodox or Haredi Jew. As Tom Canning, Director of Development at the Jerusalem Open House and one of the organizers of the March, said, “We don’t see them as our enemies and we don’t think this act is a sign of the sentiment in Ultra-Orthodox Communities.”

I do, however, blame the leaders of those communities, here and in Israel, for an unremitting chorus of hate speech, hateful actions, and, at best, standing by idly while their neighbors’ blood is spilled.

It is one thing to have an expansive view of the halachic prohibition on male anal sex, or even to believe that the secular legitimation of same-sex relationships will impact public morality for the worse. It is quite another to tolerate (or promote) the kinds of statements routinely made about LGBT people in the Haredi (and sometimes, Modern Orthodox) press and public square.

Just as a torrent of anti-semitic exhortations will inevitably lead to violence – an article leads to a chant leads to a swastika leads to an attack – so too a torrent of anti-gay exhortations.

Erez Harari, a psychologist who works with gay Orthodox Jews, agreed, saying he sees the effects of communal anti-gay animus every day. “The entire Orthodox community is responsible for this attack when it cultivates a culture of hatred toward fellow Jews rather than acceptance and tolerance,” he told the Forward. “Major changes need to happen and the leaders of the Orthodox community need to step up and do more to put a stop to these atrocities. Silence is complacency.”

Indeed.

Hatred once again reared its ugly face yesterday during the Gay Pride Parade in Jerusalem ….. this time in a repeat performance.

Post-hoc condemnations are nice, but a meaningful response will have to go further than handwringing (or handwashing, as the case may be), and prevent the next attack before it happens. Specifically, individual Haredi rabbis and organizations such as the Agudath Israel, Rabbinic Council of America, and Orthodox Union should:

1) Ban as assur (forbidden) as lashon hara (evil speech) all incitement against LGBT people, by individuals or organizations.

This includes the exploitation of children by the Israeli far-right group Lehava. It includes any pashkevil (poster) that distorts our lives and encourages violence. It includes any use of the term “homo” or “toevah” to describe gay people in the media. And condemn means condemn: in a public statement, reiterating that while we may disagree about Halacha, such speech can lead to violence and must be cut off at the source.

2) Share the stories of actual Orthodox LGBT lives.

While still maintaining the halachic opposition to homosexuality, depict what Haredi LGBT people are actually like, as opposed to the horrible stereotypes common in the Orthodox and Ultra-Orthodox media. Samples: the films DevOUT , Trembling Before G-d, and Eyes Wide Open.

3) Support, or create, organizations like Eshel to provide meaningful, affirming counseling for LGBT Orthodox Jews and their families, finding ways to get along and maintain relationships.

Conversely, do not advise any family to disown their gay child, and do not accept those who do. Eshel (which, full disclosure, I co-founded) is a small, independent organization. It should be a program at every large Orthodox shul, and officially sanctioned by the RCA, Yeshiva University, and others. (Eshel does not take a position on Halacha.) Relatedly, the RCA, OU and Agudath Israel must stop standing in the way of Jewish Family & Children’s Services from helping LGBT Orthodox Jews.

4) Officially, on “letterhead,” renounce all forms of “reparative therapy.”

Interestingly, none of the Orthodox or Ultra-Orthodox press even reported that JONAH, a Jewish “reparative therapy” group, was found guilty of fraud. Meanwhile, Aish.com, one of the most visited Jewish sites on the Internet, has only three articles on homosexuality, all of which are by people who have claimed to change their sexual orientation.

5) Stop trying to use the secular government to discriminate against LGBT people .

You know that there is no halachic problem with providing health insurance to a gay family, or providing gay people healthcare and other services. So stop pushing for “religious exemptions” in order to do so. Stop pushing to delegitimize same-sex civil marriage when you’ve been fine with interfaith civil marriage for decades. And stop fear-mongering about the effects of LGBT equality on your values. When it comes to the secular government, how about you just leave gay people alone?

6) Modern Orthodox rabbis are implicated too.

Mordechai Levovitz, Executive Director of JQY and one of the tireless activists on behalf of LGBT Orthodox Jews, said today that moderate Orthodox leaders have a responsibility as well. “If a rabbi is “tolerant” and “welcoming” then he needs to take on the responsibility of caring for those hurt by his own community,” Levovitz said, “not relegate all the support work to fringe outside gay groups that they don’t want to be officially connected to. It’s offensive to hear these moderate Orthodox rabbis make themselves seem so good by saying that they are welcoming. We don’t need welcoming. We need protection, defense, healing, clinical work.”

These steps would be a productive start. But to be honest, even neutrality would be better than what we’ve got now. Since the last attack, we’ve had ten years of Ultra-Orthodox hate speech. Today we saw some of the results.

 

Source and more photos HERE

PINKWASHING PALESTINE

Last week, in an article on the controversial rainbow flag mural a Palestinian artist painted on Israel’s apartheid wall, the Associated Press made this claim: “A 1951 Jordanian law banning homosexual acts remains in effect in the West Bank, as does a ban in Gaza passed by British authorities in 1936.”

In fact, there is no law in the West Bank, or in Jordan, that bans sexual relations between consenting adults of the same sex.

Khaled Jarrar’s rainbow mural “Through the Spectrum” painted on the Israeli separation wall near Qalandiya checkpoint in the occupied West Bank. (Khaled Jarrar)

Khaled Jarrar’s rainbow mural “Through the Spectrum” painted on the Israeli separation wall near Qalandiya checkpoint in the occupied West Bank. (Khaled Jarrar)

AP corrects story falsely claiming homosexuality is illegal for Palestinians

Last week, in an article on the controversial rainbow flag mural a Palestinian artist painted on Israel’s apartheid wall, the Associated Press made this claim: “A 1951 Jordanian law banning homosexual acts remains in effect in the West Bank, as does a ban in Gaza passed by British authorities in 1936.”

In fact, there is no law in the West Bank, or in Jordan, that bans sexual relations between consenting adults of the same sex.

Yesterday, several days after I contacted AP to inform them of this, they issued the following correction:

In a story June 30 about Palestinian protesters whitewashing a gay pride rainbow flag, The Associated Press reported erroneously that homosexual acts are banned by law in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. While homosexuality is largely taboo in Palestinian society, there are no laws specifically banning homosexual acts.

This may surprise people, since the notion that homosexual activity is criminal – and even punishable by death – is a staple of a form of anti-Palestinian propaganda called pinkwashing.

Pinkwashing is a rhetorical strategy that deploys Israel’s supposed enlightenment toward LGBTQ issues todeflect criticism from Israel’s human rights abuses and war crimes and to seek to build up support for Israel among Western liberals and progressives.

In a 2 July email, I pointed AP editors to the annual publication State-Sponsored Homophobia, from international LGBTQ advocacy group ILGA. Its 2014 edition states (emphasis added):

The British Mandate Criminal Code Ordinance, No. 74 of 1936 is in force in Gaza.

Section 152(2) of the Code criminalizes sexual acts between men with a penalty of up to 10 years.

This Code was in force also in Jordan until 1951 and in Israel until 1977, before they adopted their own Penal Codes. Note that in the West Bank (including East Jerusalem), however, the Jordanian Penal Code of 1951, largely modified in 1960, is in force, having no prohibition on sexual acts between persons of the same sex.

AP editors were initially skeptical and pushed back, insisting that various clauses in the Jordanian Penal Code that applies in the occupied West Bank indirectly outlawed homosexual activity.

I’m glad that after they delved deeper into the matter, they have done the right thing and made a correction.

Expert views

The AP’s mistake also led me to look deeper into the issue.

I asked two experts for some background on the law in Jordan as well as the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip and the kinds of claims made about it.

Anis F. Kassim is one of the foremost experts on international, Jordanian and Palestinian law and long-time editor-in-chief of the Palestinian Yearbook of International Law. He was also an adviser to the Palestinian legal team in the successful 2004 case against Israel’s wall in the West Bank at the International Court of Justice in The Hague.

Kassim confirmed that the Jordanian Penal Code “is silent on acts committed by adults of the same sex with their own respective free will.” But I also wanted to know if any other clauses, not explicitly mentioning homosexual activity, had been used to target people who engage in such activity.

“Having checked the reported cases – as published – and with the old and young practitioners, I have not found any court case involving homosexuality,” Kassim told me.

As regards the 1936 law still in force in Gaza, Kassim said that it “could be interpreted as allowing homosexuality.” But he noted that such acts in Gaza would potentially be “punishable if the act was committed by force against the victim. By implication, if it is committed with free will of the victim it may not be a criminal act.”

“Chain of fabrications”

I also spoke with Joseph Massad, the foremost academic authority on Jordan who has written the classic book on the country Colonial Effects: The Making of National Identity in Jordan. Massad is also author of Desiring Arabs and Islam in Liberalism.

Massad says that the original, incorrect AP report “is part of the more generalized racist campaign by Western pro-Israel news organizations that want to insist on pinkwashing Israeli crimes with the added benefit of propagandizing against neighboring Arab countries.”

He observes that ILGA itself “used to be part of such propaganda efforts, claiming without evidence” in the 1993 edition of its annual Pink Book that Jordan criminalized homosexuality.

“It seems the Associated Press was simply repeating such propaganda and might very likely have relied directly on it, not having updated its sources,” Massad states.

Massad says that ILGA’s website later corrected the mistake, “by referring to a mostly ignorant Orientalist book written by a German and an Israeli collaborator – even if in this one case the authors got the story right – rather than by referring to the actual text of the law.”

The bigger point, he says, is that since “Western propaganda is based on a chain of propagandistic fabrications, you end up getting [organizations like] AP quoting ILGA quoting other German and Israeli sources. What is always absent is an actual Arab documentary source.”

Massad notes that, as in the AP story, “the law itself is never quoted nor is a history of its case application even explored, but rather what is presented is anti-Arab propaganda buttressed by any opinion that would help the AP Jerusalem bureau prove Israel’s superiority over the Arabs.”

The 1936 British Mandate criminal code for Palestine makes it illegal for men to have sex with women or men in a way that “contravenes natural laws.” That law remained in effect in Israel until 1977, in contrast with Jordanian law that did not criminalize such acts at all.

Yet, Massad observes, “we never read stories by AP and other Western news organizations between 1951 and 1977 about how retrograde and repressive Israel was toward homosexuals compared to its Arab neighbors, including the West Bank before and after Israel occupied it. This could very well be because the US and Western Europe also repressed their homosexuals during this period.”

“Who knows?” Massad observes dryly, “Maybe Israeli homosexuals fled to the West Bank between 1967 and 1977 to avoid prosecution in Israel.”

“But after Israel replaced the law in 1977, not only does AP not contrast it negatively with its Jordanian and Palestinian neighbors who had not criminalized such acts for decades before Israel,” he says, “but AP fabricates a story to make Israel look superior to both of them.”

No asylum

Even the corrected story still asserts that “Gay Palestinians tend to be secretive about their social lives and some have crossed into Israel to live safely.” This claim, often based on unverifiable anecdotes, is also a staple of Israeli pinkwashing.

But a 2008 Tel Aviv University study of the handful of known cases – “Nowhere to Run: Gay Palestinian Asylum-Seekers in Israel” – found that Israel subjects Palestinians to particularly atrocious treatment, expelling them precisely because they are Palestinian. There is no legal framework that allows any Palestinian to seek asylum in present-day Israel.

Israel’s foundational laws and policies are designed precisely to keep Palestinians out, as they are considered a “demographic threat.”

Massad says it is worth asking how the “error” was committed in the first place, “and how the news organization initially came to decide that there was an anti-homosexual law in Jordan and the West Bank where none existed.”

“Indeed, AP, the largest and perhaps the richest news organization in the world, has consultants and fact checkers that often check claims made by those who oppose US and Israeli policies,” he states, “but it seems little is made of their expertise when it comes to endorsing US and Israeli propaganda, and it had to be left to The Electronic Intifada to alert them.”

ABE FOXMAN ~~ FATHER OF THE GROOMS

OR ~~~ THE PINKWASHING OF THE FOXMAN CLAN

"Orthodox Boys" (1948), Bernard Perlin Photo by bernardperlin.com

“Orthodox Boys” (1948), Bernard Perlin Photo by bernardperlin.com

A hearty Mazal Tov (congratulations) is in order for Abe Foxman on the marriage of his son to his new son-in-law ….

One would think that a reactionary bastard like himself would be opposed to gay marriages, but how could he when Israel itself is now the world’s gay capital …. It would be downright anti-Semitic on his part.

In his toast at the wedding, Foxman “thanked the grooms for the opportunity to be sensitive, and thanked Cardet-Hernandez for converting to Judaism, reminding him that the Jewish people had lost so many people in the past,” the Times reported.

The nuptials as reported in HaAretz

Abe Foxman’s son marries partner in same-sex wedding

Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League, thanked both grooms for ‘the opportunity to be sensitive.’

Abe Foxman

ADL national director Abe Foxman. Photo by AP

What does ADL national director Abe Foxman do when he’s not hunting anti-Semites and exposing racists?

Well, one thing he did earlier this month was give away his son Ariel, 40, editor of InStyle magazine, in a same-sex wedding with his Cuban-American partner Brandon Cardet-Hernandez.

“Their marriage brings together things that were less easy to understand even 10 years ago,” the elder Foxman was quoted as saying in the New York Times’ Vows column. “Now it’s just so normal, comfortable and loving.”

In his toast at the wedding, Foxman “thanked the grooms for the opportunity to be sensitive, and thanked Cardet-Hernandez for converting to Judaism, reminding him that the Jewish people had lost so many people in the past,” the Times reported.

Brandon Cardet-Hernandez, 29, the principal of the Urban Assembly Bronx Academy of Letters, a public high school. He studied with a rabbi for several months in order to convert to Judaism.

The 260 guests at the high-chic wedding, which was held at the Brooklyn Museum, included many well-known faces from the world of fashion, as well as actors, musicians and journalists.

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An interesting take on Israeli ‘Pinkwashing’ can be read HERE from the Forward

TEL AVIV DONS ITS GAY APPAREL

1946088458

Israel has gained the reputation as being the world’s champion of …

APR (Anti Palestinian Rights)

ABR (Anti Black Rights)

AWR (Anti Women Rights)

AGR (Anti Gentile Rights)

BUT

To guarantee its flow of foreign currency, it had to become ‘Pro Something’ …

SO

Perhaps taking the lead from one of its foremost supporters, Shmuley Boteach (See yesterday’s post), it is now attempting to take the lead as the foremost champion of Gay Rights.

Or perhaps this liberal attitude was historically developed because of a common enemy ….

NiemollerQuote

Whatever the reason might be, here is the latest manifestation as reported in  HaAretz

Known as the gay capital of the Middle East, Tel Aviv’s pride week and parade in June draws tens of thousands each year, but this is the first time the city has also organized a winter festival.

Dreaming of a pink Christmas: Tel Aviv launches winter LGBT festival

Tens of thousands expected to attend opening day street party.

A beach in Tel Aviv, December 24, 2014. The 'Snowman' marks the start of a two week

A beach in Tel Aviv, December 24, 2014. The ‘Snowman’ marks the start of a two week Gay Winter Festival taking place from 24 December to January 7, 2015. Photo by AFP

Tel Aviv launches a two-week festival for gays and lesbians on Friday in a bid to draw tourists during the relatively warm and sunny holiday season in the Mediterranean metropolis.

Tens of thousands of revelers are expected at the opening day’s street party, said Hannah Confino, a spokeswoman for the Pink Winter festival.

Known as the gay capital of the Middle East, Tel Aviv’s pride week and parade in June draws tens of thousands each year, but this is the first time the city has also organized a winter festival.

The Israeli coastal city is known for its ever-growing gay summer event, but “what we say is that Tel Aviv stays gay all year around,” said Confino.

“So we’re tapping into the potential of people from Europe during the holiday season, where it’s cold right now, and the average temperature in Tel Aviv is going to be 20 degrees, relatively hot, especially compared to Europe,” she said.

Pink Winter will last until January 7 and include a gay film festival, a Eurovision song night, beach chill-out parties, exhibitions, open studios and workshops.

A discount ticket for 30 euros gives entrance to all main events, including parties, theatre and dance performances, and screenings.

A closer to reality of the zionist attitude towards the Gay Community can be seen in THIS post from the archives.

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Interesting to see how Israel’s right wingers seem upset at our accusations of Pinkwashing …

This is but one aspect of the Jewish state that illustrates its openness and pluralism – something that would be less striking if the tiny democracy were not surrounded by barbaric regimes. Naturally, it is the very freedom of Israeli society that most irks those regimes which aim to destroy Western civilization as a whole and to wipe out Zionism in particular.

That they oppose all forms of human rights makes perfect sense. It is impossible to wield the kind of power required to subjugate masses of people when individuals have a say in how they lead their lives.

What makes no sense at all, however, is the phenomenon of leftist apology for those regimes, and simultaneous bashing of Israel, in the name of human rights. Because it is now indisputable that Israel is LGBT-friendly, a convoluted tactic has been employed by the Left to attack the Jewish state on this score. This involves accusing Israel of “pinkwashing.”

Full report from the Jerusalem Post HERE

RABBINICAL PINKWASHING

Boteach's 'Gay Poster Child'

Boteach’s ‘Gay Poster Child’

I expect to be attacked from two camps this week. The first, as usual, is the Israel haters who follow my trail on the internet like dogs in heat.The second is people who love Israel but who think homosexuality is Judaism’s greatest sin.

When he’s right he’s right ….. but normally he’s wrong!

Here’ the ‘good rabbi’ in action just a week ago ….

So, it’s been established that the man is 100% against Palestine and Palestinian Rights in particular …. but isn’t it odd that this same person is now super concerned about Gay Rights …. something is questionable about his agenda. Not really if it fits his sick barbaric Hasbaric viewpoints.

Pinkwashing has become #1 issue in his pro Israel stance as can be seen by his add in the New York Times (paid for by Sheldon Adelson)

Here’s the add followed by its justification in the Jerusalem Post …

HAMAS, ISIS and Iran
kill gays like me.

My name is Rennick Remley. I’m a gay American. And I support Israel.If I lived in Gaza or Israel’s neighboring states, I would be thrown in jail, mutilated or killed.

Though I am not Jewish, Israel is the only country in the Middle East where I can live without fear. I am free to adopt children, serve openly in the military, advocate for my community’s rights and be accepted as a human being.

I visited Israel and marched with thousands of people from around the globe in Jerusalem’s Gay Pride parade, and all were treated with dignity. The freedom I experienced made me feel at home.

That’s why I’m appalled that so many in the Western world – including the media, Hollywood, and self-proclaimed human rights activists – fail to hold terrorist organizations like Hamas and autocratic governments like Iran accountable for their persecution of LGBT communities.

Have you no decency?

Hamas calls homosexuals subhuman, accusing us of engaging in a “filthy practice” that is punishable by death.

It’s not an empty threat. Gay Palestinians have been tortured and killed. That’s why many gay Palestinian men risk their lives to cross the border and seek refuge in Israel.

If I lived in Iran, or under Hamas’ ideological cousin ISIS, chances are you’d be seeing my picture.

Not in this ad, but hanging from a crane in a public square. That’s a regular practice against gay men by the Iranian regime.

The only way for gays to avoid persecution in Iran is to undergo a forced sex change operation.

To those who scapegoat Israel while pretending to care about human rights yet remain silent about the oppression and violence Hamas, Iran and other Middle East countries inflict on the gay community:

Shame on you. You are letting them murder us, literally.

Your misguided actions ensure that LGBT people in the Middle East continue to live in hiding under constant threat of violent death.

It’s time to hold oppressive dictators and religious fanatics accountable for their homophobia and violence against LGBT communities.

As a nation that respects the rights and humanity of every citizen, Israel is a model for the rest of the region. Speak up for Israel. You don’t have to be Jewish to love the only democracy in the Middle East.

Join the fight for justice and human rights in the Middle East at shmuley.com, thisworld.com and StandWithUs.com.

In Israel, I am free.

HERE’S the background of the add from the Jerusalem Post

MARTIANS YES! ~~ LESBIANS NO!!

Another in the long line of rabbinical misrulings ….

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Pope Francis is apparently ready to accept Martians into his church, but an Israeli rabbi just ruled that it is forbidden to rent apartments to lesbians ….

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kiss-prevention

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Nonetheless, the rabbi added that renting an apartment to a single lesbian is allowed, on the condition she is the sole renter – but even such a case, a straight renter is preferable.

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Ramat Gan rabbi: Don’t rent apartments to lesbians

After Rabbi Yaakov Ariel issues discriminatory ruling against lesbians, Justice Ministry say it will work on legislation against discrimination in field of housing; Livni: ‘Any discrimination is a criminal offense.’

Ynet

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Ramat Gan’s Chief Rabbi Yaakov Ariel decreed Monday that renting an apartment to a lesbian couple who plan to “live in sin” is forbidden.

Nonetheless, the rabbi added that renting an apartment to a single lesbian is allowed, on the condition she is the sole renter – but even such a case, a straight renter is preferable.

In the section Ask the Rabbi of the Yeshiva website, a user published the following query: “A young woman is interested in renting my property, however, she has informed me that she is in a relationship with a woman. Is there a religious prohibition preventing me from leasing the apartment in light of her relationship situation?”

Rabbi Ariel, a senior member in the religious-Zionist movement, whose name was even mentioned as a its candidate for the position of Israel’s chief rabbi, responded to the question by saying that “If they are renting as a couple – don’t lease. If only one of them is renting than you can lease, but if you have another offer, take it.”

Justice Department mulls legislative amendment

Following the rabbi’s ruling, Justice Minister Tzipi Livni instructed the ministry’s legal experts to examine a legislative amendment which would define discrimination in housing as a criminal offense, punishable with up to six-month in prison.

According to Livni, discrimination is, unfortunately, a very common and difficult phenomenon, and the war against it is of great importance in a democratic country.

“The housing issue is not included in the Prohibition of Discrimination Law,” said the justice minister, “but a reality where rabbis urge people not to lease apartments to non-Jewish residents or members of the gay community, require us to respond and make it clear that any type of discrimination, including in housing, is a criminal offense and a civil injustice,” Livni added.

Chairwoman of the Orthodox-Jewish feminist organization Kolech (Your Voice) Ayelet Vider-Cohen said in response to the event that “the women of the LGBT community have equal right in all aspect of life – both in the religious sector and outside of it. This type of religious ruling is contrary to the Jewish world view which advocates respect for any man or woman.”

Mickey Gitzin, executive-director of Israel Hofshit (Free Israel) – a group promoting religious freedom in Israel – contacted the mayor of Ramat Gan, Yisrael Zinger, Wednesday, demanding he fire the rabbi.

“Ramat Gan is a city of different groups which include a big gay community that wants to be reassured that its tax money is not used to fund the salaries of public servants who use their authority to encourage discrimination and violation of LGBT community’s rights,” Gitzin said.

IT’S OUR HOLOCAUST! NOT YOURS!!

See yesterday’s post …. COMMEMORATING THE RAINBOW HOLOCAUST
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martin-niemoller-first-they-came-quote
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Honoring non-Jewish victims could dilute the persecution faced by Jews.

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Despite Protests, Non-Jewish Victims Of Holocaust Honored In Memorial Park After Long Struggle

A group of activists unveiled five new stones memorializing non-Jewish victims of the Holocaust at Sheepshead Bay’s Holocaust Memorial Park this weekend, capping off nearly two decades of fighting for the right against a local committee opposed to the installation.

The stones, dispersed throughout the public park, remember the persecution of homosexual victims, Jehovah’s Witnesses, the disabled, Roma and Sinti, and “asocials.” The unveiling ended nearly 20 years of struggle for broader recognition within the park. Members of the Holocaust Memorial Committee, charged with reviewing and approving the placement of new names and markers, held a protest led by City Council candidate Ari Kagan, who complained that the group of “outsiders” went over the committee’s head in getting approval to place the stone, and represented a threat to the memory of Jewish victims.

Kagan led a protest against the placement of the new stones.

Despite the protest, the activists who pushed for the markers’ placement held a solemn service on Sunday and viewed the unveiling as a victory for the memory of lesser-known victims of the Nazi atrocities – and for social acceptance of those groups today.

“Things have changed in the last two decades,” said Richard Landman, the gay son of two Jewish Holocaust survivors who has spearheaded the initiative for inclusion. He noted the smaller size of the protest compared to previous years and the acceptance from politicians including former Mayor Ed Koch and Congressman Jerrold Nadler.

“I’m looking at this toward the future. This is a city park, where there are many people who are affected by the Nazi-era of the Holocaust. I want that, in the future, other groups should come here and learn their lessons of the Holocaust,” he added.

Landman was joined by represenatives from Congregation Beit Simchat Torah, Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen, Lambda Independent Democrats of Brooklyn, Disabilities Network of NYC, Disabled in Action and Voice of Roma.

The proponents of inclusion have been fighting for the addition of the stones at Holocaust Memorial Park at Emmons Avenue and West End Avenue since the early 1990s, before the memorial had even been completed. Landman formed the International Association of Lesbian and Gay Children of Holocaust Survivors in an era when gay and lesbian people were being given the boot from second generation survivors organizations. Around that time he also learned that the original plans to honor non-Jewish victims had been nixed, and he began fighting to have them reinstated.

The battle made headlines as early as 1996 – a year before the park was officially dedicated by Mayor Rudolph Giuliani. The committee, which sponsored the project in conjunction with then-Borough President Howard Golden, claimed that recognition on the base of the eternal light in the memorial’s centerpiece was sufficient – clashing with the wishes of the park’s architect. The New York Times reported at the time:

”We felt it was redundant and did not have to be included because it was in the summary,” said Ira Bilus of Manhattan Beach, a committee member.

Besides, Mr. Bilus said, the architect, George Vellonakis, was not responsible for content. ”He was commissioned to do the architecture and the design,” he said. ”We were commissioned to do the writing.”

Mr. Vellonakis has continued to press for separate recognition of other groups. ”I really felt it was my responsibility to recognize every group and represent history properly,” he said. ”As the artist and designer, it’s my concept.”

As the project went forward, the committee initially won out with the aid of sympathetic politicians like Assemblyman Dov Hikind, who also didn’t want non-Jewish victims recognized with additional stones in the park.

“It was part of the original plans, but because of politics it never got done and I thought that was a shonda,” Landman said.

Still, Landman made a request, he said, nearly every year for approximately 15 years, which was denied by the group without justification. Finally, in the early 2000s, Landman appealed to the Parks Department and the Mayor’s Office, appealing with an Article 78 proceeding, which charged that the committee’s decision was “arbitrary and capricious,” and in violation of the state constitution.

The Parks Department established an appeals process for the memorial as a result, and created a Blue Ribbon advisory panel to review Landman’s request – ultimately greenlighting it.

The stones were quietly installed in the park in July 2012, but Landman held off having a formal dedication for a year to test the community’s reaction. He also tried to keep this weekend’s ceremony quiet, hoping to avoid the ire of opponents.

“I wanted it to be a memorial, a commemoration of those victims who died,” Landman said. “I don’t want it to be a big, loud protest. It’s done. We’ve done it. It was done last year.”

Still, a protest was had.

Led by District Leader Ari Kagan, a candidate for City Council and member of the Holocaust Memorial Committee, a crowd of about two dozen gathered before the stones’ unveiling for a series of speeches delivered largely in Russian.

Kagan has been outspoken about the placement of the stones. He did not respond to a request for an interview as this article went to publication, but did express his concerns via Facebook.

He wrote:

I am outraged that the City of New York completely ignored the opinion of the Holocaust Memorial Committee, but preferred to listen to the opinions of the International Association of Gay and Lesbian Children of Holocaust Survivors, and groups like the Communist Party – USA and LAMBDA Democrats.

The Nazis killed many people during the war, but this sacred park at Sheepshead Bay is the Holocaust Memorial Park – not the “Nazi Victims Park” or the “WWII Victims Park”. The Committee made sure that all non-Jewish victims of Nazi atrocities were acknowledged in this park.

In 2009, Mayor Michael Bloomberg and City Council Speaker Christine Quinn tried to impose on us their decision to install these five new markers. Unlike every other stone or inscription, these five markers were to be installed without any review by historical committees or without the involvement of the communities of South Brooklyn.

We protested and the Mayor backed off. But today -four years later- we learned that the City once again ignored many local Holocaust survivors organizations and caved in to the demands of outsiders who clearly have a political agenda.

It is very sad!

In response to a commenter on his post, Kagan suggested that honoring non-Jewish victims could dilute the persecution faced by Jews. He wrote:

You don’t put on the same level political prisoners, asocial elements and Jews. You could change your political views, but Jews could not change their Jewishness.

But at the protest itself, when some members of the crowd argued against the inclusion of homosexual victims in the park, Kagan said that their opposition has nothing to do with the broader inclusion, but with the fact that the group went over the committee’s head. He claimed that the group was not consulted on the installation of the stones, a point also made in a 2009 statement from the committee, in which they wrote:

The Holocaust Memorial Committee strongly objects to what appears to be the politically motivated manner in which this proposal has been unilaterally approved by the City and the Parks Department – without consultation or cooperation with the Holocaust Memorial Committee and without consideration for the community that has supported this Memorial since its inception – and without adhering to the provisions of the city’s own Memo of Understanding guiding the Park’s operation.

Landman, though, said the group needs to get its facts straight.

“I did it through the memorial committee for 15 years. For 15 years I was rejected. I am an attorney and a law professor. I said enough already. So I went to the government, to the mayor and to the Parks commissioner and to the Constitution of the State of New York. They cannot delegate their power to a committee, to a community group,” he said.

Landman has copies of some of his letters to the committee on his website.

The protest ended just as Landman began his ceremony, and there were few exchanges between the two groups. But a passerby who stopped to speak with the opponents and watch the ceremony began shouting anti-gay remarks at the group. In an e-mail to Sheepshead Bites, Landman later said the protesters not only had their facts wrong, but created an atmosphere of intolerance.

“Besides setting a climate where unstable people could feel comfortable riding their bikes and yelling ‘Faggot’ and anti-Obama and anti-non-Jewish slogans during our Unveiling Ceremony due to their protest, it was bizarre and embarrassing,” Landman wrote. “They are totally off base with the facts, history, laws, procedures, etc. and shouldn’t be misusing the lessons learned from the Holocaust for their personal reasons.”

Still, he said, he prefers to remember the day optimistically.

“Finally, I lived to this day that this could finally get done,” he said. “I think this is a kernel of history that’s going to grow. It has taken 20 years just to have the climate that I don’t have that many people screaming, and even the people screaming are clearly the minority.”

Richard Landman and Petra Gelbart of Roma Voice.

Landman and Robert Wagemann, a Jehovah Witness and T-4 survivor, unveil the stone dedicated to Jehovah Witnesses.

Landman with members of the Lambda Independent Democrats of Brooklyn.

The unveiling of the stone dedicated to Roma and Sinti.

Edith Prentiss of Disabled in Action reads the text of the marker for disabled victims.

Found AT

COMMEMORATING THE RAINBOW HOLOCAUST

They died too …..

OfqG984789

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Israel Inaugurates First Memorial to Gay Holocaust Victims in Tel Aviv

Monument Pays Tribute to Jews and Non-Jews Alike

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First of Its Kind: The new monument stands in front of the municipal community center for the gay community in Meir Park.
HAARETZ
First of Its Kind: The new monument stands in front of the municipal community center for the gay community in Meir Park.
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Under gray and rainy skies, without fanfare, history was made in Israel on Tuesday with the inauguration in Tel Aviv of the country’s first memorial to victims of the Nazis that commemorates not only their suffering as Jews. After Berlin, Amsterdam, Sydney and San Francisco, Tel Aviv now has a memorial to the thousands of people who were persecuted by the Nazis for their sexual orientation – Jews and non-Jews both.

The memorial stands in front of the municipal community center established in Gan Meir (Meir Park) for the gay community in 2008, ahead of Tel Aviv’s centennial. The driving force behind the memorial, which was established and funded by the municipality, is attorney Eran Lev, an activist in the gay community who was a city councilman for Meretz. “It’s important to me that people understand that persecution of gay people was not the usual story of the Holocaust that we know from the final solution, and from the Wansee Conference. This is a different story, more modest, but still an important one,” he said. “It’s important that people in Israel know that the Nazis persecuted others as well, not because they were Jews, but because they were gay,” Lev said.

The memorial was planned by the landscape architect Prof. Yael Moriah, who has been in charge in recent years of the renovation of Gan Meir. It consists of three triangles – the symbol of the gay community. One is concrete, and on it appears a explanation of the persecution of homosexuals during the Holocaust. The second, which is painted on a concrete triangle, is an upside-down triangle painted pink, of the type the Nazis forced homosexuals to wear. The third triangle faces the other two and consists of three pink benches.

On each of them a sentence is written in Hebrew, English and German: “In memory of those persecuted by the Nazi regime for their sexual orientation and gender identity.”

The memorial’s main text was written by Hebrew 
University Prof. Moshe Zimmermann, the project’s historical adviser.

The inscription states that special steps were taken against gay people and that “according to Nazi ideology, homosexuality was considered harmful to ‘public health.’ The Gestapo had a special unit to fight 
homosexuals and the ‘Center for the Fighting of Homosexuality and Abortions’ kept a secret file on about 100,000 homosexuals.” The memorial states that gay people were sent to concentration camps and made to wear a patch featuring a pink triangle.

It is difficult to know the precise number of victims the Nazis persecuted for their sexual orientation. Zimmermann notes that the text on the memorial states that 15,000 such people were sent to the camps and more than half were murdered. He adds that medical experiments were carried out at Buchenwald concentration camp to “cure homosexuality.” The memorial cites the names of prominent Jewish homosexuals, including the sexologist Magnus Hirschfeld, an anti-Nazi activist who was persecuted, and Gad Beck, who saved the lives of many Jews in Berlin, and who died in the German capital last year.

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WHAT DO WOODY ALLEN AND VLADIMIR PUTIN HAVE IN COMMON?

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There’s an old saying that ‘politics makes for strange bedfellows’ …..
Could this be the case of a strange connection between Woody Allen and Vladamir Putin?
One is on the list of nominees for the Nobel Peace Prize … where he obviously wants to stay, while the other is a long standing member of the infamous S H I T List which he seems not too happy about.
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Putin wants to stay on the list he’s on …. but he must gain support from zion to win the Prize …. at the same time possibly even try to get support from Russia’s LGBT Community for his archaic positions against them.
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Here’s what’s happening in Russia;
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The flag, designed in 1996 for the Birobidzhan region, boasts colorful stripes on a white background. It was under review for its possible violation of Russia’s ban on LGBT propaganda.
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Russian Jewish Region’s ‘Gay’ Flag Is Kosher!

By Anne Cohen

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The Kremlin’s self-styled flag experts have declared that the flag of Russia’s Jewish Autonomous Region —which bears an uncanny resemblance to the rainbow gay pride symbol — is in fact 100% kosher, Buzzfeed World reported.

The flag, designed in 1996 for the Birobidzhan region, boasts colorful stripes on a white background. It was under review for its possible violation of Russia’s ban on LGBT propaganda.

“Regarding the similarity of this flag with the symbol of the gay movement, we explain that not every rainbow image is linked to sexual orientation,” Georgy Vilinbakhov, a Kremlin advisor, wrote in a letter published by local website EAOMedia.ru.

“Obviously, the above described flag, the flag of the Jewish Autonomous Region, whose foundation is a white cloth, has nothing to do with that,” he wrote. “This flag does not contradict the current law of the Russian Federation and so there is no basis to cancel or change it.”

The Jewish Autonomous Oblast, or region, was designated by Stalinist Soviet authorities in 1934 as a “Jewish socialist republic.”

Interviewed by the same local outlet, the flag’s creator, Alexander Valyaev defended his design. “On its flag the gay movement uses seven stripes, not six,” he pointed out. “The rainbow is a divine symbol, taken from the Bible. God threw the rainbow from the sky into the wilderness of the desert as a symbol of hope.”

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As for Allen ….
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Woody Allen on Israel Criticism, Anti-Semitism

The filmmaker drops some knowledge in an interview with Channel 2 Israel

By Adam Chandler
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While promoting his latest film Blue Jasmine in France, Woody Allen was interviewed by Israel’s Channel Two. As the Times of Israel reported, when the conversation turned to life in America and anti-Semitism, Allen had some noteworthy remarks. Specifically, he was asked whether it’s difficult to be a Jew in America today, an especially curious query coming from an Israeli media outlet on assignment in France, two places dealing heavily with the issue.

“No, I don’t think so. By the low standards of tolerance for Jews all over the world, America’s been a very tolerant country.”

He added:

“I do feel there are many people that disguise their negative feelings toward Jews, disguise it as anti-Israel criticism, political criticism, when in fact what they really mean is that they don’t like Jews.”

We’ve come a long way from Alvy Singer in Annie Hall.

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NOTE … My initial comments at the top are pure sarcasm and not to be taken seriously.

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