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February 22, 2017 / 26 Shevat, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘gay’

Mayer Herskovic Accused of Leading Beating of Brooklyn Black Gay Man [video]

28 Av 5776 – September 1, 2016

Mayer Herskovic, a Hasidic man who is on trial for his role in an assault on gay African-American Taj Patterson that left the latter blind in one eye, was accused on Wednesday by the victim of being the “ringleader,” the NY Daily News reported. Herskovic is looking at 25 years in prison for his role in the attack. His DNA was found on the heel of Patterson’s sneaker, which was found on the roof of a nearby building.

Police presented security camera footage showing a large group of Hasidic men converging on a street corner.

Patterson, 25, testified in Brooklyn Supreme Court that on Dec. 1, 2013, around 4:30 AM, following a birthday party, he was walking home to Fort Greene through Williamsburg, and was chased on Flushing Ave. by three Hasidic men who screamed “something negative” at him. Moments later, Patterson testified, as many as 17 more Hasidic men joined the attack.

“They threw me to the ground, dragged me on my knees, told me to ‘stay on the ground you [expletive].’ I was kicked in the face and saw a flash of white,” Patterson told the court.

He testified that he was pinned down against a chain-linked fence and was kicked and punched by his assailants. “That same individual who stood in the middle of the three men kicked me in the face, the ringleader,” said Patterson. But he was not able to identify Mayer Herskovic as one of the assailants to police or to Judge Danny Chun. He was, however, able to punch the alleged leader and break his glasses, the defense found out during cross-examination.

Patterson has undergone three surgeries to treat facial fractures and severe retinal damage that’s left him blind in one eye.

Charges were dropped against two Hasidic men who had been indicted in 2014, and two other men, Pinchas Braver and Abraham Winkler, pleaded guilty to unlawful imprisonment and were sentenced to 150 hours of community service and a $1,400 fine.

Syrian Refugee Kidnapped, Raped, Stabbed and Beheaded in Istanbul

1 Av 5776 – August 4, 2016

A young Syrian man who fled the certain dangers of his homeland to what he thought was the safety of a new life in Istanbul has been found tortured to death, so badly mutilated that his friends had to identify him by his pants.

According to the report in Pink News, Wisam Sankari was gay — a status not well tolerated in the increasingly conservative society developing in Turkey, led by the Islamist AK (Justice and Development) Party headed by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

There is also growing resentment among Turkish citizens against Syrian refugees, who are perceived to be a threat to employment and school opportunities for locals and other economic issues in the country.

Sankari arrived in Istanbul, the city once known as Constantinople, about a year ago after fleeing the civil war in Syria. The man was found dead during the last week in July, according to Cumhuriyet and other local news reports, which said his mutilated body was found in Yenikapi.

In fact, “They had cut Wisam violently… so violent that two knives had broken inside him. They had beheaded him. His upper body was beyond recognition, his internal organs were out. We could identify our friend from his pants,” said a friend, Rayan, who spoke with KaosGL.org.

This time they killed the young Syrian refugee, but it was not his first experience with abduction or torture at the hands of a band of men. His friends turned to alleged United Nations human rights advocates, who did nothing. Neither did local police.

“About five months ago a group kidnapped Wisam in Fatih. They took him to a forest, beat him and raped him,” Rayan said. “They were going to kill him but Wisam saved himself by jumping at the road. We complained to the police headquarters but nothing happened.”

Sankari and others had been threatened several times with rape, and more, several times by male groups armed with knives. They also had to leave a house in which they were living due to their obvious sexual orientation. “People around would constantly stare at us,” he said.

Another friend, Gorkem, told KaosGL.org that his friends had warned the victim not to leave the house due to recent threats, but he insisted on leaving “for 15-20 minutes.” When he didn’t return, the group panicked, and went to the Association for Solidarity with Asylum Seekers and Migrants (ASAM), which sent them to Fatih police headquarters.

“On Sunday police called us,” he said. They took the group of friends to Yenikapi to identify the body. Needless to say, they were horrified. Another friend, “Diya,” talked about also having been kidnapped twice before.

“They let me go in Cerkezkoy and I barely got home one time. I went to the United Nations for my identification but they did not even respond to that. No one cares about us. They just talk. I get threats over the phone.

“It does not matter if you are Syrian or Turkish — if you are gay you are everyone’s target.”

Turkey is currently under a three-month state of emergency after an attempted but failed coup to bring down the government.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told reporters last month that the move was aimed at effectively and swiftly taking steps to “eliminate the threat to democracy… the rule of law and the rights and freedom of our citizens.”

Any Syrian refugee will tell the reader, sadly, that such majestic concepts are not intended to cover the safety and well-being of those who fled to Turkey believing it a place in which to take shelter and begin a new life.

That, they discovered, was just another question mark at best.

Pride. Jewish and Gay

25 Tammuz 5776 – July 31, 2016

 {Originally posted to the author’s website, FirstOne Through}

Pride is a bit of a confusing word. It has different meanings and is understood and used by people in peculiar ways.

The Merriam Webster Dictionary, defines “pride” as: 1) “inordinate self-esteem : conceit” or maybe something more modest like 2) “a reasonable or justifiable self-respect” or yet a more refined 3) “delight or elation arising from some act, possession, or relationship.”

Consider these definitions in reviewing pride of being Jewish and/or gay.

Pride in Judaism

Judaism frowns upon pride when it means conceit or arrogance.

The greatest prophet in Judaism was Moses, who was described as humble in the bible: “Now Moses was a very humble man, more humble than anyone else on the face of the earth.” (Numbers 12:3).  It is a trait that rabbis preach for Jews to emulate to this day.

Humility is the opposite of pride. The rabbis take issue with pride that is associated with conceit and arrogance. However, they have no issues with pride that relates to reasonable self-respect or elation. Leaders in the Jewish community can often be found discussing their appreciation for the value system embedded in Judaism. It is not meant as boastful, as much as a sense of deep admiration.

Pride in the Gay Community

The gay community has used the word pride in its own way. The gay pride parades that happen in cities around the world are not meant as a show of conceit. They are expressions of a community that was shunned for years, that is now declaring publicly that they have no shame in their actions and will no longer hide. It is not an arrogance, but a public affirmation of themselves.

Israelis and American Jews have their own approaches to pride as it relates to being Jewish and/or gay.

Israeli Pride – Being Jewish; Being Gay

Israelis have not been shy about their accomplishments. They are boastful of their “Start-up Nation” that is a technological marvel, that turned a desert into a flowering democracy. One blogger actually listed 66 different companies which made her “proud to be an Israeli.” Is this conceit? Is it a justifiable self-respect? An elation arising from various acts? Probably all of the above.

The Jews in Israel also reflect on their being Jewish. In a March 2016 Pew Research poll, 93% of Israeli Jews said they were proud to be Jewish. The majority of Jews also stated that their being Jewish was a matter of ancestry- something in which they had no control. That implies that the majority of Israeli Jews – regardless of the level of religious observance – felt pride in something in which they had no active involvement.

Israelis also displayed support of gay pride, one of the only countries in the entire MENA (Middle East and North Africa) that holds a gay pride parade. (In contrast, it is a capital offense to commit a homosexual act in many countries in MENA, including Iran and Saudi Arabia.).  Beyond annual parades, the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that he was “proud” to welcome the first openly-gay Likud Member of Knesset.

The parade in the Israeli capital of Jerusalem was attended by thousands in July 2016. The mayor of Jerusalem, Nir Barkat saidI hope, with all my heart, that we come together, on this day, against every manifestation of incitement, hatred, and violence, and that we unite around the right of every individual and community to exercise their freedom of expression, regardless of gender, race, or religion.”  This was not arrogance. It was affirmation.

US Pride – Being Gay; Being Jewish

Democratic leaders have for years championed the rights of the LGBT community. The cause of same-sex marriage was almost exclusively fought by left-wing activists and politicians for decades. When the courts ruled on the legality of same-sex marriages, Democratic President Barack Obama, and many Jewish Democrats celebrated.

The Jewish Democratic presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders claims to have always been a proud supporter of gay rights, even going back to the 1970s.

The head of the Democratic party, Deborah Wasserman Schultz (who is Jewish), also celebrated same-sex becoming recognized in Florida with a statementToday, we proudly turn the page on marriage discrimination and look toward a future that is more loving and closer to our ideals as a state.”

Are these Jewish Democratic leaders also proud about their own Judaism? Not so much.

In January 2016, Bernie Sanders effectively punted on his religion. Consider this exchange on the Jimmy Kimmel show:

“You say you’re culturally Jewish, you don’t feel religious,” Kimmel told Sanders. “Do you believe in God, and do you think that’s important to the people of the United States?”

Sanders didn’t skip a beat. In fact, he didn’t even let Kimmel finish the question before jumping in.

“Well, you know, I am who I am,” he replied. “And what I believe in and what my spirituality is about is that we’re all in this together. That I think it is not a good thing to believe that, as human beings, we can turn our backs on the suffering of other people,” he continued, as the crowd applauded and cheered so loudly he had to pause. 

“And you know, this is not Judaism. This is what Pope Francis is talking about, that we cannot worship just billionaires and the making of more and more money. Life is more than that.”

Members of the DNC knew that Sanders dodged the question, and in their effort to discredit him and boost Secretary Hillary Clinton in the Democratic primaries, they used his lack of positive Jewish affirmation against him.

In July 2016, several emails from the DNC came to the public light.  The DNC commented that Sanders seemed to skirt around his being Jewish and that he only associated with being Jewish as it related to the Holocaust.  Here is an exchange on that point:

One email from DNC chief financial officer Brad Marshall read: “It might may no difference, but for KY and WVA can we get someone to ask his belief. Does he believe in a God. He had skated on saying he has a Jewish heritage. I think I read he is an atheist. This could make several points difference with my peeps. My Southern Baptist peeps would draw a big difference between a Jew and an atheist.”

Marshall added in a later email: “It’s these Jesus thing.”

In response, CEO Amy Dacey said: “Amen.”

The head of the Democratic National Committee, a Jew, decided to trash another Jewish leader, over the extent of his affirmation and pride in being a Jew. On the national stage.  With the US presidency on the line.

Democratic leaders trip over themselves to show their affinity to the LGBT community that they aren’t even part of.  Yet they distance themselves from the very community to which they were born.

The New Liberal Definition of a Jew

The Pew Research showed an interesting divide between Israeli Jews and American Jews.  In particular, it found that 57% of American Jews found “working for justice and equality” as an essential part of being Jewish, while only 27% of Israeli Jews thought that it was “essential.”

That is why Bernie Sanders can talk about Pope Francis when asked about his own religion.  Sanders doesn’t feel pride in his ancestry or religion; he feels pride in fighting for social justice and equality.  He may have been born a Jew, but his religion is liberalism.

That is the mantra of the leading Jews in the Democratic party.  Their non-Jewish colleagues can only learn about Judaism from them.  Judaism is not so actually a religion with 613 commandments; it’s essence is social justice.  It is not a religion of 14 million members; it is a global mission in which everyone is part.  It is not tribal nor particular; it is open and universal.

That is absurd.

No liberal would say that there is no such thing as an LGBT community.  Then why do they feel no compunction at dismissing a religion as simply a set of liberal values.  Is that the only part of Judaism that makes them proud to be a Jew?  Or are they not proud of Judaism at all?

Perhaps the leading Jewish members of the Democratic party can seek some guidance from Lord Jonathan Sachs of Great Britain.  He made an easy to watch video available for all to see that doesn’t need to be hacked to unveil the truth. “Why I am Proud to be a Jew.


Related First.One.Through articles:

Israel, the Liberal Country of the Middle East

Liberals’ Biggest Enemies of 2015

The Color Coded Lexicon of Israel’s Bigotry: It’s not Just PinkWashing

Leading Gay Activists Hate Religious Children

Wearing Our Beliefs

Obama’s “Values” Red Herring

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New Ruling Requires Both Mothers Listed on Birth Certificate

21 Tammuz 5776 – July 26, 2016

Israel’s Family Court has ordered the Interior Ministry to list both mothers on the birth certificates of children of gay couples.

The ruling, to cover both the biological and adoptive mothers, came after a petition to the court by attorney Daniela Yaakovi, representing three couples of two “mothers.”

Each case was won by Yaakovi, who said Sunday, “These are precedent-setting rulings, in practice an expression of the existing situation and the parental connection that is established from the moment of birth.

“They will end the discriminatory practice of the Interior Ministry which refuses to issue birth certificates with the names of two parents of the same sex.”

The ruling did not address cases where the couples involved two men.

Religious Zionist Rabbi Offers Homosexuals Alternative Approaches

16 Tammuz 5776 – July 21, 2016

By Tzvi Lev/TPS

Jerusalem (TPS) – While controversy has been brewing over several prominent rabbis’ comments on homosexuality and the Jerusalem gay pride parade, a well known religious-Zionist rabbi has been quietly setting up Orthodox gay men with lesbian women to be married, an idea that is considered revolutionary in the religious-Zionist world.

The Anachnu (“we” in Hebrew) organization is an NGO founded in 2011 by Rabbi Areleh Harel and is associated with Kamoha, a support organization for religious homosexuals who wish to have a conventional marriage.

As a resident of Shiloh and a teacher at the Elon Moreh Yeshiva, which is commonly associated with the ultra-Orthodox stream of religious-Zionism, Rabbi Harel does not seem a likely candidate to run a matchmaking service for homosexuals yet he began taking interest in the matter 12 years ago.

“Women were coming to me and telling me that after 10 or 15 years of marriage, they realized that their husband was gay and was seeing other men,” he said. “I understood the tremendous pain felt by many religious homosexuals and I felt that I had to do something.”

“A religious homosexual is stuck,” he continued. “I don’t have any way to solve this problem. Perhaps one tried to change and failed, but the question is what do we do now? If a gay man and a lesbian woman can marry each other without expecting love and sexuality, they can still build a traditional family.”

After six years of independently setting up religious gays and lesbians, Rabbi Harel was approached by Kamoha with an offer to formally expand his activities.

“Our NGO received many requests from gay men asking to be set up with lesbian women,” said Amit, the spokesman for Kamoha, who preferred not to disclose his full name. “Since so many people have turned to us, we decided to set up an initiative to match gays with lesbians. All of the rabbis we spoke to sent us to Rabbi Harel who had already been doing it privately and we decided to turn it into something official as part of our NGO, which became Anachnu.”

Anachnu recommends using their services only after having already seen a therapist and having accepted that a change to one’s sexual orientation would be impossible. “Those suitable for this project are those who are not in the process of trying out a new sexual orientation, but rather for those who have accepted themselves as being gay or lesbian,” states their website.

Amit claims that Anachnu is not being used exclusively by religious Jews. “The majority are religious,” he admits. “However, there have also been traditional people and even secular people who have reached out to us. All of them are closeted.”

Kamoha’s efforts are not without controversy within the religious community. Chavruta is an organization that supports religious homosexuals and is often considered a more liberal alternative to Kamoha. Daniel Jonas, a Chavruta spokesperson, offered lukewarm praise for the initiative. “We think that everyone has a right to choose their own path,” he said. “It makes no difference whether that means to live in the closet while married to a woman and pretending everything is normal or to live as you are.”

He warned against using groups like Anachnu to further hurt the LGBT community. “We reject any initiative that tells us ‘this is how you need to be’. If a person chooses to marry a woman and build a house with her, that is fine and there is a place for them. However, we in no way, shape, or form accept someone saying that this is the only solution and that this is what everyone needs to do.”

Life + 31 Years to Jerusalem Gay Pride Parade Murderer

20 Sivan 5776 – June 26, 2016

The Jerusalem District Court on Sunday sentenced Yishai Schlissel, who murdered teenage girl Shira Banki and attempted to murder others at the Jerusalem Gay Pride parade last August, to life in prison with an additional 31 years. The court also fined Schlissel about $530,000 as reparations to the Banki family and to the rest of Schlissel’s victims.

Judges Nava Ben-Or, Arnon Darel and Rafi Yaakovi wrote in their sentence: “We are dealing with a man who does not recognize a human before him, a cruel, dangerous and heartless man. A man for whom the Judaism of darchey noam-pleasant paths and roads of peace, which teaches that man—every man—is beloved because he was created in the Image [of God], is foreign.” Instead, the judges wrote, the defendant views himself as “He who kills and gives life, in the name of principles he appointed himself to enforce.” The judges ruled that “this dangerous man may no longer roam the streets of Jerusalem or anywhere else.”

The judges also wrote that “in his few days of freedom between arrests, the defendant extinguished the life of a young woman who was so life loving, Shira Banki z”l who was about 16 when she dies… He did not see her as a human being at all, he did not care a hoot whose body would absorb his knife.”

Schlissel’s sentence is comprised of a life sentence for the premeditated murder, 30 year for his six convictions of attempted murder counts and inflicting injury under aggravated conditions, and one additional year which is the suspended sentence for his previous sentence.

The judges were severely critical of police for failing to learn the lesson from the 2005 Gay Pride parade in which Schlissel had been arrested for attempted murder. They blamed police for failing to stop him from carrying out the same crime only a month after his release from serving ten years for the attempted murders.

The judges also criticized the legislator for failing to provide police with the legal authority to follow and supervise dangerous criminals who have served out their sentence.

Meet the Activist Rabbi and his Gay Bodyguard: the Knesset’s Most Incredible Allies

9 Sivan 5776 – June 14, 2016

By Jesse Lempel/TPS

Jerusalem (TPS) – Looking at the two newest lawmakers for the Likud party, you would never guess they were close friends: Yehuda Glick is a Brooklyn-born Orthodox rabbi who built his career on pressing for Jewish prayer on Jerusalem’s Temple Mount; Amir Ohana is the first openly gay parliamentarian of the center-right Likud party and founder of its LGBT Caucus.

Yet the two men share an extraordinarily unique bond that began in earnest in 2014 when Glick was gunned down by an Arab would-be assassin, an attack he miraculously survived. After being released from the hospital, the death threats continued pouring in – yet the police declined to provide protection.

That’s when Amir Ohana, a relatively unknown LGBT activist from the southern city of Be’er Sheva and a former agent with the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency), stepped in: he volunteered to be Glick’s personal bodyguard.

“I’m not a religious person, but I believe in freedom – and it was my honor to defend freedom,” Ohana, 40, explained in a recent interview with Tazpit Press Service (TPS) that took place, together with Glick, 51, in Ohana’s office in the Knesset, Israel’s parliament. “I don’t hold religious views but I can respect our legacy and our history as a people. What I want is for everyone to be free to pray wherever they want, and the Temple Mount is the holiest place for Jews.”

The Temple Mount, however, also houses the Al-Aqsa Mosque and Dome of the Rock complex – the third holiest site in Islam. The shrine has been a frequent flashpoint of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and tensions surrounding the site – in particular Palestinian claims that Israelis, including Glick personally, are “invading” and “defiling” the complex by visiting – are widely seen as underlying the most recent wave of terror attacks against Israelis.

Because of that tension, for the last several months all members of the Israeli parliament – Jewish and Arab alike – have been banned from visiting the holy site by order of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, head of the Likud party. And in keeping with the “status quo” on the site: Jews may visit sections of the compound in small groups, and only during designated hours, but are evicted if they attempt to pray.

Both Glick and Ohana strongly protest this policy. Glick has been perhaps the most visible advocate of Jewish prayer on the Temple Mount and, with his striking red beard, has become something of an infamous figure in the Arabic-language media and social networking platforms, where he has been caricaturized as a serpentine villain.

Glick as snake

The hatred directed at Glick eventually led to his near-assassination and, later on, brought him together with Ohana – who is now, as chance would have it, his colleague in the Knesset.

The ‘Enemy of Al-Aqsa’

On the night of October 29, 2014, Glick was leaving an event at the Menachem Begin Heritage Center in Jerusalem. At 10:04 p.m. Mutaz Hijazi, a Palestinian from eastern Jerusalem, showed up on a motorbike.

“This guy stops right next to me on his motorcycle, wearing a white helmet and all black,” Glick recalled to TPS. “He says to me, in Hebrew, ‘I’m very sorry.’ I said, ‘What are you sorry about?’ I get close to him and he says to me, ‘You are an enemy of Al-Aqsa’ and he takes out a pistol and shoots four bullets into the center of my body.”

As Hijazi sped off, Glick staggered along with four bullets in his torso.

“My wife hid under the steering wheel. I saw that I was bleeding and – I have no explanation for this – I had no pain. I managed to walk maybe twenty yards, then I collapsed,” Glick said. “I heard Shai [Malka] say, ‘We just witnessed murder.’ He rips off my shirt and yells to me, ‘[Rabbi] Yehuda, don’t go! We need you!’ That was the last sentence I remember.”

Within a few hours, Israeli security agents – “Amir’s friends” in the Shin Bet, Glick says – discovered footage of Hijazi on the security camera from St. Andrew’s Scottish Church adjacent to the scene of the shooting. By 4 a.m. Israeli forces had tracked Hijazi to his family’s home in the Abu Tor neighborhood and, following a shootout on the roof, killed him.

Hijazi was a member of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror group, but a local official of the mainstream Fatah party also claimed responsibility for the “heroic act.”

“I knew there were threats, but I didn’t really believe that it could happen,” Glick said of his attitude before the shooting. “I also believed we have a democratic country and people don’t kill people because they have different views.”

“Now he’s dead and I’m alive,” Glick summed up.

‘A Zealot for Human Rights’

For all the fury he attracts from extremists in the Arab world, as well as from his left wing colleagues (one of whom boycotted his swearing-in ceremony at the Knesset), Glick also faces a backlash from rightist Israelis who recoil from some of his more liberal ideas – including his acceptance of non-Orthodox Jews, his criticism of an Israeli soldier who shot an already-wounded Palestinian terrorist, and his extensive interfaith work (which, according to Glick, was sparked by hours spent in his Bedouin .

Ohana, too, finds himself in the odd position of fending off attacks from opposing sides of the aisle. As he attended the Tel Aviv Pride Parade nearly two weeks ago, despite remarks from some of his right-wing political allies who have crudely likened the to parade to a celebration of bestiality, Ohana also received threats from some in the largely liberal gay community who despise his nationalist politics – so much so that the police, in a twist of fate, decided to provide Ohana with a personal bodyguard for the march. (The interview with Glick and Ohana took place before massacre at the gay bar in Orlando this past weekend and before the terror attack at Tel Aviv’s Sarona Market last week, at which Ohana happened to be present.)

“In Israel it’s quite unique. When you talk about right and left, unlike everywhere else in the world, you primarily talk about the Arab-Israeli conflict,” Ohana explains. “So there is no reason why a person can’t be right wing – and even, as I’m sometimes called, a hawkish right winger – and yet support LGBT rights, women’s rights, freedom of speech, everything that is considered liberal. We are a liberal national party.”

Remarkably, despite all their drastically different backgrounds and religious beliefs, Glick and Ohana seem to share this view. Both men seem determined to fight for issues beyond their own sectarian interests – whether it’s Ohana, the LGBT activist, protecting Glick’s struggle for the Temple Mount, or Glick, the Orthodox rabbi, irritating his base by supporting non-Orthodox women’s prayer groups at the Western Wall, for example, and even gay rights.

“I’m a zealot when it comes to human rights and respecting every single human being,” Glick boasts. “I think that every single person deserves rights. I mean it’s obvious, you know, we’re living in a democratic country.”

Does he, then, support gay marriage, an impossibility under the current Israeli arrangement in which marriage is governed by the Orthodox rabbinate?

“I support that he should have every single right he deserves,” Glick says somewhat evasively, pointing to Ohana, and referring to Ohana’s partner: “I know that he has a wonderful mate.”

Yet when asked why he wouldn’t attend the Tel Aviv Pride Parade, Glick replied: “I don’t see a problem with [going to the parade], but I wouldn’t go because other people might see me as a problem,” adding that he went to visit Shira Banki, a teenage girl stabbed by a Jewish religious extremist at the Jerusalem Pride Parade in 2015, while she was in the hospital. Shortly afterward, Banki died of her wounds.

‘Jerusalem of Peace’

Glick was sworn in to his parliament post in late May, following the resignation of former Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon. As our interview ended, he decided to inaugurate his new office by placing the ritual mezuzah on the doorpost – a small box holding verses of the Torah which is thought to protect one’s home.

Ohana tags along to Glick’s new office, borrowing a kippa from an aide, and the two hang the mezuzah together.

“I protected you once, so I may as well finish the job,” Ohana quips.

Glick then declares that his office has a name.

“This isn’t Yehuda Glick’s office,” he says. “It’s called ‘Jerusalem of Peace.’”

Gay Activists Threaten Gay MK’s Life Ahead of Parade

26 Iyyar 5776 – June 3, 2016

MK Amir Ohana (Likud), the first openly gay rightwing legislator, was assigned a security detail after he had received threats of being attacked during the Tel Aviv Gay Pride parade Friday. Ohana received the information from senior members of the Knesset Guard.

A source in Ohana’s circle told Ynet that just as he has never capitulated to terrorism and threats in the past, he will not cower this time either. The source said: “The knight of the LGBT agenda, who pride themselves on their tolerance, openness and pluralism, should ask themselves how they’ve reached such a situation facing almost the only coalition MK who’s been acting on behalf of the community for so many years, even if he is rightwing.”

Back in February, MK Ohana raised the ire of many in the LGBT community, when he chose to stay out of the Knesset plenum when the coalition voted down pro-gay legislation. The bills that were killed, and that as coalition member Ohana was not permitted to support, included banning the sending of LGBT children to conversion treatment, recognizing single sex families, and same-sex spousal contracts. One Facebook user, Alon-Lee Green, wrote at the time that despite the coalition requirement, MK Ohana should be ashamed of himself for helping to kill a bill he himself had praised. The post received hundreds of shares.

Israel Gay Pride Police Arrest Nursery School Teacher to Protect Parade

26 Iyyar 5776 – June 3, 2016

After their abysmal failure to stop ultra-Orthodox murderer Yishai Schlissel, who in 2015 stabbed to death an Israeli teenage girl at the Jerusalem gay pride parade, police have gone several shades of crazy on the eve of the Tel Aviv Friday parade. According to the legal aid society Honenu, police have been raiding the homes of rightwing activists, warning them against attending and protesting the parade.

According to attorney Itamar Ben Gvir, despite the fact that an Israeli court refused to sign restraining orders without the shred of a proof against individuals, police nevertheless showed up in their homes and demanded that they sign an agreement to stay away from the parade.

“The police have forgotten that the right of free speech also includes the right to protest the gay pride parade,” Ben Gvir said, noting that “although the activist who was made to sign had no intention of going there, and certainly had not planned to, the very notion of knocking on people’s doors and asking them to sign such a prohibition is contrary to the laws of the State of Israel.”

At 2 AM Friday, police officers and detectives raided the home of a family in Samaria and detained for interrogation the mother, a nursery school teacher and mother of four. The forces came equipped with a search order signed by Tel Aviv Magistrate Court Judge Shlomit Ben-Itzhak, woke up the family and confiscated the woman’s smartphone and computer. Then they took the woman for an interrogation without any court order, with her husband and baby tagging along.

In her interrogation, the woman shared that she had no idea there was going to be a gay pride parade, and that she has no connection to any related activity.

It is obvious that police are terrified of a repeat of the Jerusalem parade murder, where they allowed near the parade a known violent attacker of gays, who had just been released from a long prison term for attacking marchers in the 2005 Jerusalem gay pride parade. It’s bewildering to think what the police might do in preparation for the Jerusalem gay pride parade in two months. Rightwing activists are encouraged to give interviews and publish blog entries in favor of acceptance, embracing the other, and respecting people’s right to experiment with their sexuality — or face jail.

Stabber of Gay Woman in Jerusalem Pride Parade Convicted of Murder

11 Nisan 5776 – April 19, 2016

by Michael Bachner

Yishai Schlissel, an ultra-Orthodox Jew from Modi’in Illit, was convicted on Tuesday of the murder of 16-year-old Shira Banki in a stabbing rampage during Jerusalem’s gay pride parade last year. Schlissel stabbed several marchers in the July parade, which he deemed “blasphemous,” killing Banki and wounding six others. He was also convicted of six counts of attempted murder.

Judge Nava Ben Or ruled that “it has been proven beyond reasonable doubt that the accused killed Shira premeditatively.”

This is the second time Schlissel is convicted of stabbing Jerusalem gay pride parade marchers. He was convicted in 2005 for stabbing and wounding several marchers in that year’s parade, and received ten years in prison. He was released just three weeks before attacking the parade yet again and murdered Banki.

The court blasted the Israeli police for allowing Schlissel to enter the parade with “intolerable ease,” despite his history and clear willingness to attack parade-goers. “The writing was on the wall,” the court said.

Schlissel repeatedly claimed in the past that the “blasphemous” parade desecrated Jerusalem’s sanctity and needed to be stopped at any cost. Schlissel refused to be represented by a lawyer throughout the trial, arguing that the court had no authority to judge him since it was not a religious court.

“He was very quiet while running between marchers and stabbing them, not hollering like you would imagine,” testified Eran Tzidkiyahu during the trial. He said he saw the knife being being pulled out of Banki’s back after the stabbing.

“The defendant was previously convicted of similar offenses for which he served a prison term,” commented the state prosecution after the ruling. “Nevertheless, he was not rehabilitated and has never expressed regret or sadness for his actions. He became even more radical and repeated his severe crimes.”

“This will not be the first time he goes to prison, which is a sign that prison doesn’t work,” commented Noam Eyal, who was wounded by Schlissel during the 2015 parade, after the conviction. “He is dangerous to the public and should not ever see the light of day.”

Another victim, Sheli Bar Lev, said she felt “relieved that he will not be coming to any parade ever again.”

Newest MK: When Soldiers Are Defamed, I Am a Soldier, When a Girl Is Murdered at the Gay Pride Parade, I’m a Gay Man

18 Tevet 5776 – December 29, 2015

(JNi.media) Likud MK Amir Ohana was sworn into the Knesset on Monday following the resignation of former Interior Minister Silvan Shalom. In his inaugural speech before the Knesset Plenum, Ohana said “I am here with all of who and what I am, what I’ve chosen and what I haven’t, and am proud of being Jewish, Israeli, Mizrahi (origins in an Arab country), gay, Likudnik, hawk, liberal and free-market man.”

“When people shout ‘Itbach al Yahud’ [Arabic for kill the Jews], I am a Jew. When they shoot, boycott, label and expel, I am a settler… When soldiers are defamed, I am a soldier.” MK Ohana said.

His line about the defamation of IDF soldiers was a reference to the recent controversy over the “Breaking the Silence NGO,” which turns alleged abuses by IDF soldiers into anti-Israel propaganda paid for by foreign interests.

Ohana also sided with the residents of south Tel Aviv, who have long complained about the influx of African migrants from Sudan and Eritrea. “When entire neighborhoods are not as they were, and the elderly are forced to live out the remainder of their lives in fear — I am a south Tel Aviv resident. And when the outside appearance of a man is considered a good reason to hate him, to distance him from neighborhoods and employment — I am an ultra-Orthodox Jew who is not afraid,” he said.

“When a baby is burned with his relatives, damn it, I’m with you, brothers,” Ohana said, finishing his sentence in Arabic. Ohana was referring to the fatal firebombing in the village of Duma, in which three members of the Palestinian Dawabsha family perished.

“When they stab to death a young woman in the parade of love and tolerance I’m gay, a gay person who does not just hope the day will come but gets up and brings it. A gay person who understands that the flag we carry, lesbians and gay men, trans and bi, is the rainbow flag.” The latter comment was a reference to the murder of Shira Banki in the Jerusalem Gay Pride Parade last summer.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attended the ceremony and gave his blessing from the Knesset podium. “I want to make a clear point that may not be clear. Amir is the first clear, candid representative of the gay community who was elected in an open primary when he was completely out [of the closet]. He was elected by thousands of voters in the Likud primary,” Netanyahu said. He voiced his confidence that “Amir represents very well our view of liberal nationalism. He believes in the rights of the Jewish people to their land, in protecting the country’s security, civil rights, capitalist economics and a free market.”

Netanyahu added: “I’ve had the chance to work with him. He is pleasant but firm in his opinions, steadfast in his principles, and I think he will be an excellent Knesset member and a bridge between different parts of the public. I receive him with respect and pride.”

Opposition leader Isaac Herzog (Zionist Camp) said he hoped MK Ohana and the rest of the coalition members would support the opposition’s attempts to improve the standing of Israel’s gay community through legislation.

A Response to: Torah Values vs. “LGBT” Agenda

9 Tishri 5775 – October 3, 2014

[Editor’s Note: We received numerous letters from the LGBT community protesting an op-ed which JewishPress.com recently published (Torah Values vs. “LGBT” Agenda). Nearly all of the letters demanded that the author’s voice be silenced and his article taken down – each with its own reason why. The letter below was nearly the only one that did not demand the article be completely removed and the author silenced for expressing a viewpoint they disagreed with.]

Dear Jewish Press,

Hiding safe behind his own “anonymity” the author of this article (Torah Values vs. “LGBT” Agenda) publicly trashes two other yiddin by name (one an Orthodox Rav). I am even more in shock that the paper allowed this a day before Yom Kippur. The negativity directed toward others in that anonymous piece is needless, pointless, and only serves to ruin hundreds of already vulnerable youths’ Yom Kippur.

As the director of JQY I am certainly an advocate of the “anonymous” author publicly sharing his feelings about himself, and his hopes, fears and dreams. We all are different. It is important for people to hear everyone’s story, and everyone should feel validated for their journey. However, there is neither a need or any purpose in including negative rhetoric, personal attacks or suggest malicious intent about others. You do not need to shame others in order to tell your story!

The only reason both Chaim and Rav Levine’s names were used in the article was to speak disparagingly about them and to embarrass them.

This was an obvious and direct attempt to apply stigma and pressure onto Rabbi Levine. The author is neither a reporter or someone who’s story can be verified. No context is even offered to explain Rabbi Levine’s shiur or decision. In fact the author remains anonymous and insists on protecting his own confidentiality as he names the names of other people to shame! This is simply despicable, and absolutely hallachically and hashkafically wrong…AND ON THE DAY BEFORE YOM KIPPUR!

In Yehadus to shame someone publicly is likened to murder. To shame a whole group of people by publishing Motzie Shem Ra about them is unforgivable. Why does the author insist on speaking negatively about the members of this group and community? Does someone else marching in a pride parade or identifying as gay hurt HIM? He never cites an incident where he was silenced or shamed for his feelings, because at JQY he never would be!

The truth is, at JQY (Temicha) there are many people who decide not to march in parades. They are never made to feel bad. In fact at JQY there are many people who do not identify as “gay” and may be in forms of therapy to explore living heterosexual lifestyles. Sexuality exists on a spectrum and sometimes has innate fluidity; how could we ever make someone feel bad for wanting to lead a hallachic life? Most of us wish for that! We would never shame anyone for trying. The author should be proud of his commitment to Hashem. In insisting on his own anonymity, it is he, not us, who seems to be insecure with his decisions and life choices.

We certainly would never silence him! In fact, on the contrary, we sometimes include celibate, heterosexually married and Jews in conversion therapy on our JQY panels and educational initiatives. At JQY our goal is health and well being. We would never make anyone feel bad about their choices. Our only rule is not to harm or attack others.

It is never my wish to silence anyone. So I actually do not think the article should be completely removed. I ask the “anonymous” author to re-write the article, and focus on himself and his wishes and desires, without bad-mouthing others in the process. Furthermore, if he chooses to keep his name confidential, than he should at least extend the same respect to other Jews.

Especially on Erev Yom Kippur, I think this is a reasonable request. May we all work to build each other up and not to tear each other down.

Gmar Chasima Tova

Sincerely,
Mordechai Levovitz
Director, JQY
JQYouth. com

Torah Values vs. “LGBT” Agenda

9 Tishri 5775 – October 2, 2014

I recently became aware that Rabbi Yosie Levine of the Jewish Center will be addressing a so-called “LGBT” group for Jewish youth. He will deliver a pre-Yom Kippur shiur. I’m sure Rabbi Levine means well but I want to share my story and maybe he will think twice about associating with this group (I am deliberately not mentioning the name of the group because I don’t wish to give them any publicity).

About a year or so ago, your paper published a letter from a young man who is struggling with homosexual desires. Ever since that time, I have felt compelled to write. I too am gay. But I have a different outlook than Chaim Levin. It seems like Chaim has given up. Unlike him I have not given up. I will never give up. I want to have a wife and children in the natural way. I believe that is Hashem’s plan. And no matter what the gay liberals tell me, they won’t change my mind. I think Chaim Levin is a good person and that he means well in what he wrote. I don’t mean to judge him. I just feel that he has been led astray. Similarly, I think Rabbi Levine means well but he might not be fully aware of what this group does.

This Jewish group for homosexual young people is supposedly orthodox—and I emphasize supposedly. It wouldn’t be fair to paint everyone with a broad brush but the fact is some of the members of that group are more interested in being gay than being Jewish. For some of them, their real agenda is to undermine the Torah’s view of homosexuality. They don’t just want to be accepted as Jews struggling with the tayvah of same-sex attraction. They want to be fully embraced when they act upon their desires and publicly lead that lifestyle—a lifestyle that blatantly contradicts the Torah. They want to destroy JONAH (a Jewish organization that tries to help those struggling with homosexual desires). They want gay marriage to be legalized in every state and they want gay couples raising kids. They march, with kipa and tzitzis, in the “gay pride” parade. This is a parade with the most vulgar, lewd, and disgusting displays you can possibly imagine going on and they create a chillul Hashem every year. I wish I had more of a support group among people that are struggling, but the truth is, these people do NOT represent me. Most of them have given up the struggle and have given into their desires. With G-d’s help, I have not given up and I hope that I never will.

This group, and the liberals in general, tell me to just “accept myself” and that this is “who I am.” But that’s just it! I’ve already accepted myself. I know I am more attracted to men than to women but I also know that is not the way G-d wants me to live my life. Even putting religion aside, I know it is not the way I want to live my life. I want a wife and children—and G-d willing someday grandchildren! And so instead of giving up and giving in to my desires I continue to fight and struggle every single day. No, it’s not easy. Sometimes my temptations have gotten the better of me, but then I remember that no matter how many times I may fall, a Jew never gives up! I remember the words of Rebbe Nachman who reminds us to “Never give up!”

I will admit that sometimes I get tired of this struggle. It’s not easy. I sometimes feel like I have no place to turn. I wish these “open-minded” liberal Jews were really as accepting and tolerant as they pretend to be. The truth is they are only tolerant if you go along with their “LGBT” agenda but if not they will attack you. Sometimes I feel like I’m alone in this struggle and sometimes I feel like I have nowhere to turn. But then I remember that I do have a place to turn: I turn to the One above and know that He will guide me and help me if I just put my trust in Him. So that is my message for other young guys ( and girls) who are struggling. Never give up! Never! G-d loves you very, very much. More than you can imagine. And no matter what you decide to do He will still love you anyway, no matter what. But He has given us free will. We can use that to follow Him or to follow after our “heart and our eyes which lead us astray. “ I have chosen to try my best to follow His will. I may succeed or I may fail but after 120 and least I will be able to say, “I tried!”

Disclosure: The author has requested that his article be published anonymously. The author is not associated with the JONAH organization mentioned in the article.

The Right to Buy Snake Oil

13 Tishri 5774 – September 17, 2013

I am the first in line to support the freedom to choose any treatment you wish for what ails you. In a free society, everyone should have that right. The only question is whether that right trumps the harm such treatment may cause.

That is what the dispute between the Agudah and Governor Chris Christie seems to be all about. The State of New Jersey has banned conversion therapy (sometimes called reparative therapy). It was signed into law a few weeks ago by Governor Chris Christie.

Conversion therapy is designed to turn people with same sex attractions into people with opposite sex attractions.

The Agudah has expressed righteous indignation about this law – saying that it denies people the right to seek the treatment they choose. There are people who desire to be changed that way, and are now being denied the opportunity to seek such change… calling it “a trampling of personal rights, including religious and free speech rights.”

But as Governor Christie has said in defense of signing this bill (quoted at VIN):

“efforts to change sexual orientation can pose critical health risks, including, but not limited to, depression, substance abuse, social withdrawal, decreased self-esteem and suicidal thoughts.”

Agudah believes that people can change their sexual orientation. Since the male homosexual act is biblically forbidden, it is in the best interest of a homosexual to change it. For Agudah conversion therapy is therefore seen as a must. Taking that option away from them is tantamount to taking away their ability to change and thus condemns them to a life sinful sexual desires – and the likelihood of acting on them. Conversion therapy advocates claim major successes at conversion. How can Agudah be silent when this highly successful option is made illegal?

I don’t blame them for having this approach. But I question the success rate claims made by conversion therapy advocates upon which Agudah no doubt relies…

Their claim of success is questionable at best. And in some cases this therapy has been shown to be very harmful. There is also no question about the high expense and the degrading way their therapy works.

What may be successful is their treatment of people who are confused about their sexuality but are in fact heterosexual. How does one get confused about his sexuality? Consider the following scenario. A Yeshiva high school is entirely male. Students – especially those who dorm – have no hope or any expectation of interaction with females. Although the vast majority of Yeshiva students never have any sexual encounters with either a male or a female – on rare occasion some do.Of those, some interaction is with females. But in some cases males may experiment sexually with each other. That may confuse them about who they are naturally attracted to.

My guess is that in most cases these people are not homosexual. They do not need conversion therapy at all. They probably just need conventional psychotherapy to help understand their true sexual orientation. I’m sure that conversion therapy works with them since they are not really homosexual to begin with. That is of course seen as a successful conversion and touted by these treatment centers.

But truly homosexual people will not have a high success rate (if any) at converting to heterosexuality. My guess is that it never happens. All claims of success by these programs are with people who are naturally heterosexual but confused.

That seems to be what expert opinion says. Conversion therapy has been discredited and condemned by the American Psychiatric Association as a pseudo science. Anecdotal testimony in Jerusalem Post by Chaim Levin who went through it  illustrates how humiliating and even harmful it can be.

I don’t know if it’s nature or nurture. Is there a ‘gay gene’ that determines one’s sexual orientation at birth? I don’t know. But it doesn’t matter. What matters is that once someone discovers what they are attracted to, it apparently does not change with even the best of therapies. Trying to change it can sometimes bring tragedy.

It’s kind of like buying snake oil. The people who sell it promise you all kinds of healing and have many anecdotes to tell you about how effective it is. One might ask, what’s the harm? Snake oil can’t hurt you. Besides – there is something called the placebo effect. Which means that believing something will help actually does make it helpful in some cases. But not every snake oil is harmless. And it will certainly hurt you at least in the pocket book.

Israeli Court Allows Country’s Most Celebrated Gay Couple to Divorce

19 Kislev 5773 – December 3, 2012

In a precedent decision, which will undoubtedly be considered good news for all Israeli same-sex couples, especially those who aren’t getting along so much any more, a family court in Ramat Gan allowed the couple Prof. Uzi Even and Dr. Amit Kama, both men, to divorce, Ynet reports.

In the ruling, first of its kind, the judge determined that the family court is “the natural forum, the proper forum in which to hear this kind of a divorce case, since the rabbinical court does not recognize same-sex marriages and views them as sinful.” The judge further ruled that the rabbinical court is too “foreign and artificial a forum” to discuss the issue of same-sex relations.

Prof. Even, 64, is a former Meretz MK, and head of the School of Chemistry at Tel Aviv University. Dr. Amit Kama, 44, is a professor of Communications at Emek Yizrael College. The two met 19 years ago, and since they live as a couple. Their struggles for the rights of same-sex couples received wide coverage in the local Media.

Even was the first openly gay man elected to the Knesset. The two have adopted Yossi, a 30-year-old man who had been living with them for almost 14 years. That adoption—although largely symbolic, given their son’s age—was also a ground breaking family cort case.

For the record, when Even and Kama met, almost two decades ago, homosexual relations were prohibited by law, and they could be subject to ten years in prison – although that was not very likely.

Now, having been the most celebrated Israeli gay couple, the two decided to go their separate ways (no idea which one of them broke the news to Yossi).

Professor Even said there was no legal way for him to turn from being married to being divorced. “This is an absurd situation and I fought it for three years,” he said. “I met someone else and I live with him. He is a foreign national and the Interior Ministry wants to deport him, which was hurting me, because I could not go on with my life without solving the problem of my divorce. They would not give him resident status, only a tourist visa, because I’m already married and there was no legal way for me to get a divorce.”

According to Even, when he approached the rabbinic court, which is in charge of marriages and divorces of Jewish residents, “it started a holy raucous. They refused to record our documents, receive the fee, schedule a meeting. They told us to wait. So we waited a few days. Finally I had enough and I took back the suit, and filed it instead with family court.”

Even suggests that the court’s decision could serve as a precedent not just for the gay community, but for the public at large. “Now we’ll wait and see if the Ministry of the Interior will endorse the decision. I’m doubtful that they will be enlightened about it.”

“Why are they having so much trouble changing my marital status? Why are they forcing me to remain married to someone I no longer live with?”

Even and Kama were married in Canada and their status was changed to married by the Israeli interior ministry. Their marriage hit the rocks back in 2009 and they’ve been living separately since. The two have signed a separation agreement which was accepted by family court in 2011. The couple then requested that the court recommend to the interior ministry to change their status from married to single.

The family court judge indeed recommended the status change, but the Ministry of the Interior refused to change the status based solely on the signed agreement, arguing they had to approach the rabbinical court. But the rabbinical court rejected their request for a ruling saying it did not have the legal framework within which to discuss it.

The family court judge who granted the couple the divorce wrote in his ruling that the various branches of the civil court are the natural forum for such a case, where there exists a long list of decisions determining the specific rights and obligations of same-sex couples.

Political Correctness Run Amok

18 Av 5772 – August 6, 2012

http://haemtza.blogspot.co.il/2012/08/political-correctness-run-amok.html

Until about a week ago, I never heard of Chick-fil-A. When I first heard the name, I thought it might be some sort of sleazy escort service.  Maybe that’s because I observe Jewish dietary laws. Keeping Kosher means not being able to eat at McDonalds or any other non kosher fast food restaurant chain. Which is what Chick-fil-A is.

Normally news about a non Kosher fast food chain of any kind is well below my radar. Why would I care after all about what its owner said? Well, in this case I do care.  The  president of Chick-fil-A who is a religious Baptist made what many have deemed to be a bigoted statement about gays. What was it he said? From USA Today:

Chick-fil-A President Dan Cathy said this week that his privately owned company is “guilty as charged” in support of what he called the biblical definition of the family unit… “We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives. We give God thanks for that…”

To say that this statement is bigoted is so ridiculous that I would have thought it was some sort of parody were it not reported as fact. But it wasn’t ridiculous to a Chicago Alderman who vowed to prevent Chick-fil-A from opening up a restaurant in his city. From the Washington Post:

Alderman Joe Moreno said Wednesday that unless the company comes up with a written anti-discrimination policy, Chick-fil-A will not open its first free-standing restaurant in the city as it plans to do.

Chicago’s Mayor Emanuel expressed similar sentiments.

I have expressed my own attitude about homosexuals many times. The short version is that it is all about Kavod HaBrios and treating all human beings with the dignity they deserve – regardless of what their sexual orientation is. The biblical injunction is against a specific homosexual act. Not against someone with the desire to commit it. Nor is it our job to find out what goes on in the privacy of anyone’s bedroom. That is only between an individual and his Maker. It is our obligation instead to judge all people favorably.

What seems to be happening here goes far beyond understanding and tolerance. It goes far beyond treating our fellow man with love and compassion – regardless of the human condition that causes man to sin against God. Is there alive a man today that has not sinned? But the agenda of some gay rights activists is not  about respecting human dignity. It is about celebrating homosexuality!

For those of us who believe in the bible that is completely unacceptable.

And yet the current climate of much of western culture is to look at it in exactly that way. It seems that almost all the reporting about Chick-fil-A  has been negative. As if to deny anyone the right to see marriage only in a heterosexual context.

This has nothing to do with the whether one agrees with that or not. It has to do with the right to express an opinion. One based on a religious viewpoint no less!

Chick fil-A does not deny anyone the right to eat in their restaurant. They have gay employees and gay patrons. I am sure that many gay people have eaten at Chick-fil-A without incident. And yet for publicly expressing a religious view that has become politically incorrect – there are people who want to harm Chick fil-A financially!

As if to put an exclamation point on this – from the Huffington Post:

(LGBT) has filed complaints against Chick-fil-A, alleging that the franchise violated the Illinois Human Rights Act when its chief operating officer, Dan Cathy, made statements against gay marriage.

This is wrong. It is political correctness run amok! And anyone with any sense of fairness should see that. The fact is that despite the current approach by media, entertainment industry, and some political figures, the American people are not in lockstep with their attempt to stifle opinions they don’t agree with.

Former Presidential candidate Mike Huckabee called for an “Appreciation Day for Chick fil-A” – asking people to show up to support for the restaurant chain by eating at one of their restaurants on August 1st. Needless to say they had a record  number of people showing up that day.

The Speed of Progressivism

17 Av 5772 – August 5, 2012

http://sultanknish.blogspot.co.il/2012/08/the-speed-of-progressivism.html

The transformation of Chick-Fil-A from a fast food place that most liberals had never even heard of into the “Enemy of the People” is a reminder of the speed at which progressivism travels forward and backward in time. A few months ago the CEO of Chick-Fil-A would have done nothing worse than echo a consensus so mainstream that it was adopted as a campaign position by the leftiest Democrat to sit in the White House. A few months later that same position is so outrageous that it leads to mass boycotts, threats of violence and mayors of dysfunctional urban centers threatening to drive the reactionary chicken franchise out of their cities.

One of the wonderful things about progressivism is that it defies the laws of physics and history. When the Democratic Party, a once notable national party that has been turned into a red shill for the sort of people who used to hang out in cafes and plot to blow things up in between free verse recitals, adopts a progressive position, that position instantly travels backward in time to alter history and create an entirely new past.

For example when the Democratic Party decided that its future lay not with racist white gerrymandered districts but racist black gerrymandered districts, its adoption of civil rights, formerly a Republican position that good Democrats had fought tooth and nail, actually traveled back in time transforming our nation’s history.

When the Democrats belatedly decided that black people were human beings, or at least a better bet for votes than Southern white men who were in danger of deciding that they didn’t have much in common with a party of corrupt Northern elites being painted by a corrupt Northern media as saints, the energy from this decision transformed Lincoln into a Democrat, segregation into an idea that Ike and Dick came up with in between dropping the atomic bomb on Hiroshima and the Trail of Tears, and turned the Community Organizers who had been busy torching black orphanages and Republican newspapers in New York City and Boston as part of an organized wartime campaign to defeat the Union, into a lost page of history.

Governor George Wallace, three-time Democratic candidate for the Presidency of the United States, said, “Segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever.” The real quote though it turns out is, “Progressivism now, progressivism tomorrow, progressivism forever.” History works and is revised so that the past agrees with the present.

The Democratic Party has always been at war with racism, in favor of gay marriage, illegal aliens and killing everyone over 50 to save on health care costs. The latter position hasn’t been articulated yet, but when it is, it will travel backward through time and since what will take place in the future has already occurred, it has already traveled backward in time to alter our history so that we now know that the Democratic Party has always supported killing people over 50 to save on health care costs.

This however is only a projection. History is notoriously unstable. What was the progressive pose yesterday may be an unacceptably reactionary position tomorrow. The French Revolution and the Communist Revolution and the Cultural Revolution spent a lot of time purging comrades who had failed to recognize that the new progressive position had been adopted tomorrow and had become reality yesterday and was subject to a loyalty oath today. Like Chick-A-Fil, many of them ended up being enemies of the people where they were subjected to worse things than the mayors of bankrupt cities declaring that anti-gay chicken was an unacceptable addition to the parts of their fair cities that aren’t on fire.

The Democrats borrowed their interest in black civil rights from the left, which was only working with urban minorities because it was hoping to include them in its revolutionary coalition of coal miners and lettuce pickers who would help overthrow the reactionary capitalist American Dream and replace it with a bunch of people shouting slogans and shooting each other. These days the NAACP does not look like a good bet for overthrowing America and the favorite progressive minority du jour actually keeps black slaves and hangs homosexuals.

Muslims have currently trumped blacks and gays, not to mention every other group, on the crush list of the left. And the Muslim world is one of the few places that still has slaves and kills black people in large numbers, whether it’s in the Sudan or the newly liberated Muslim utopia of Libya. The day may come when the Democratic Party and its leftist hag riders decide that slavery was progressive after all and that all men should have the right to own slaves. And then this new policy position will immediately travel backward in time and loyal comrades will turn to the little red books of DailyKos, Think Progress, the Center for American Progress and ProgressProgressProgress to learn the new official position they are obligated to learn and abide by.

Barney Frank Weds Lover in Massachusetts

18 Tammuz 5772 – July 8, 2012

Jewish Democratic Congressman from Massachusetts Barney Frank, 72, wed his male partner of five years, carpenter James Ready, 42, in a private ceremony on Saturday, marking the first same-sex marriage conducted by a sitting US congressman.

Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick officiated at the ceremony at the Boston Marriortt Newton in suburban Boston.  The grooms vowed to love each other through Democratic and Republican administrations alike, as well as through appearances on Fox News, according to a report by Reuters.

Democratic congressman from Texas Al Green described Frank as “beaming”, and said he cried during the ceremony.  News media were not invited.

Frank has been openly gay since the late 1980s.  He has said he will retire at the end of his current term.  He has been a vocal advocate for legalizing same-sex marriage.

Eight of the 50 states and the District of Columbia currently permit gay marriage. Massachusetts was the first.

State Senator Storobin on Gay Marriage and Simcha Felder as an Opponent

16 Tammuz 5772 – July 5, 2012

In the first of a series of Jewish Press Forum videos, the newspaper recently sat down with Republican State Senator David Storobin in its Brooklyn offices. In the interview, conducted by Jewish Press editorial staffer Eli Chomsky, Storobin spoke about overturning gay marriage, the “Christine Quinn agenda,” and why it might be more difficult to face the little-known Abraham Tischler, 20, than the establishment candidate Simcha Felder (Democratic Party opponents) in this November’s general election for a seat in the State Senate’s new “Super Jewish” district. The interview and video have been picked up by several websites, including City & State and New York Observer’s Politicker blog.

Before jumping into politics, Storobin spoke about several issues that are pressing to many in New York City’s Jewish community. Although courts in New York have ruled that banning gay marriage would be unconstitutional, Storobin expressed confidence that overturning the bill in the state legislature is possible. “Almost every idea, when first presented, is thrown out and seen as impossible,” he said, “including my own candidacy.”

Gay marriage began as civil unions, then became marriage, and now it is being taught to schoolchildren, he said, and he believes it is time to take a stand. “Even if the only thing that we do is stop it at gay marriage, that already is a significant achievement.”

Asked by Chomsky about school vouchers, the state senator responded that he is very hopeful about implementing the school voucher program in New York, and that he wants to be in line with the needs of the people of his district. He said that 70-80 percent of liberals who vote Democrat support school vouchers. “Most politicians are trying to suppress this issue because it would force them to decide whether they stand with their labor union or with their voters.”

Storobin said that he chose to run for the State Senate instead of the Assembly because in the latter, he would be in the minority. “In the Senate it pays to be a Republican and my district leans more towards the Republican Party,” he said, based on the number of votes garnered by GOP presidential nominee John McCain, who won a little over 60 percent of the district in 2008. And, as Storobin pointed out, in the race for New York governor in November 2010, Carl Paladino – whose campaign featured his heavy opposition to gay marriage – lost Brooklyn by a 6-1 margin to Andrew Cuomo, but won handily in the 48th Assembly district, which includes most of Boro Park.

According to Storobin, his opponent in March’s State Senate special election, Councilman Lew Fidler, is a liberal Democrat who supports President Obama and “the Christine Quinn agenda.” Storobin noted that Felder also supports both. “People tend to assume that all frum Jews are conservative,” remarked Storobin, as if political views were all based on religious standing, “but that is not the case.” Through his past voting record, Felder has clearly demonsrated that he is no conservative, Storobin added.

Storobin said that he believes Felder is “too out of touch with the needs of the people in his district….Do the people of this district want to support Democrats so that Nancy Pelosi can become speaker? And are they going to support Barack Obama?” Storobin mentioned that Felder brought New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn to a Bais Yaakov girls school and pointed to her as a role model for the students. “I bet none of the parents would agree with him,” Storobin said. “Christine Quinn’s lifestyle is not what they would choose for their girls.”

Many believe that as an Orthodox Jew, Felder may presume that he has the Orthodox vote wrapped up. But Democrat David Weprin’s loss last fall against Bob Turner for an open New York congressional seat may be instructive, political observers warn. Many Orthodox voters turned away from the Orthodox Weprin due to his strong support of gay marriage.

As to whom he’d rather square off against in November, Felder or Tischler, Storobin said, “Tischler has more conservative values, so he might be more difficult to fight with on ideological issues. I don’t disagree with Tischler nearly as much as I disagree with Simcha Felder.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/interviews-and-profiles/state-senator-storobin-on-gay-marriage-and-simcha-felder-as-an-opponent/2012/07/05/

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