Wednesday, 26 December 2012

The Homophobic Chairman Of The Zionist Orthodox Habayit Hayehudi Political Party

The chairman of the large right wing Zionist Orthodox Habayit Hayehudi political party Naftali Bennett said yesterday that he opposes same-sex marriage. But not only does he oppose it personally, he believes Israel must oppose it as a “Jewish state,” Ha’aretz reported.

Bennett was speaking to an audience of students and was asked a question about gay marriage.

"These are two clashing values. I am for 'live and let live,' but this clashes with the values of Israel as a Jewish state. It has a set of family values. The state cannot absorb or contain official recognition of same-sex marriage.… I had a soldier in the reserves who came out. We joked about him, but it was in good fun. It was fine,” Bennett, who is a major in the Israel Defense Forces reserves, reportedly replied.

Bennett is a ba’al teshuva who’s first exposure to Orthodox Judaism came from a Chabad summer camp.

Bennett's track record on the issue is disturbing.

Before Habayit Hayehudi held its primary, Bennett and other Habayit Hayehudi candidates were asked by Kamocha, a prominent organization of gay Orthodox men, about their attitudes toward the gay community.

Zevulun Orlev, Uri Orbach and Nissan Slomiansky all gave complete and well thought out answers.

Bennett at first tried to evade the question and, when that failed, he reportedly simply refused to respond.

Havruta, another group of gay Orthodox men, asked for a meeting with Bennett.

Bennett refused to meet with the group.

"We will not agree to meet with said group as a group. And in general, there are more important issues for the people of Israel at this time,” Bennett said.

Bennett’s only positive mention of homosexuality was in actuality a propaganda slap against Hamas.

During Operation Cast Lead, Israel’s air campaign against Hamas and islamic Jihad targets in Gaza last month, Bennett reportedly told CNN that the Palestinians made the choice to turn Gaza into a Taliban state with no rights for women and homosexuals after Israel left in 2005.

Habayit Hayehudi offered Ha’aretz a comical defense of its clearly homophobic leader – a defense that refuses to use the words “gay” or “homosexual.”

"Naftali Bennett is a people person and will not agree to stigmatize anyone, as indicated by the story he himself told about a member of the [gay] community who served alongside him in his unit, or by his opposition to discrimination against the [gay] community in Arab states.

"Bennett has stated his position clearly on the issue. But he has also stressed that the solution to controversial issues in Israeli society can only be through dialogue...There is no chance we will agree to a continued dialogue of hate in Israeli society, of one group against another. It's worth trying a different way."

Apparently that dialogue does not include uttering or writing the words “gay” or “homosexual,” or meeting with groups of gay men who are also Orthodox.
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