(JNi.media) Has the LGBT community succeeded in doing to the Labor party what Moshe Feiglin wanted to do to Likud—take it over from the inside? Zionist Camp (Labor) MKs are claiming that they were required by the Party to mobilize in an unprecedented way in support of the LGBT community, NRG reported Friday.
“They told us to go to every LGBT event and to put the LGBT rainbow flag on our Facebook page,” revealed the MKs, who said they felt the pressure from party chairman Yitzhak Herzog’s office as well.
MKs who have been working for years to bring back to the party its right-wing voters, saw an event such as the Saturday night rally in Tel Aviv’s Gan Meir—a renowned homosexual hangout that was picked for that reason—as setting back their cause.
The event, in reaction to the fatal stabbing of a teenager during the gay pride parade in Jerusalem the previous Thursday, was declared an opportunity to promote tolerance and acceptance—but ended up rejecting Bayit Yehudi Chairman Naftali Bennett, who had agreed to an invite to speak at the rally but was later told to stay home.
But Labor MKs were less upset with Bennett’s orchestrated public humiliation than they have been, apparently, with their own. Several MKs told NRG that over this past week they were required, along with their followers, to mobilize on behalf of the gay community and to promote its agenda.
According to these MKs, the directives came from all over the party, including the “Labor Youth” and the party’s young guard; but also from the office of party chairman MK Yitzhak (Bujhi) Herzog, and the office of the Knesset Labor whip Merav Michaeli’s office.
Some Labor MKs described threats from party activists, who promised political damage to MKs who chose not to tow the party line on this issue.
“They urged the MKs to be present at any event that was somehow tied to the gay community,” one Labor MK told NRG, adding, “Since the terrible murder took place in the gay pride parade in Jerusalem, there has been demand for a total enlistment from all of us. They simply informed us that we were expected to upload Facebook statuses related to the LGBT community. They told us to change our profile picture and put the rainbow flag in it, and to participate in all sorts of gay community projects initiated by the party’s young guard and Labor Youth.”
Other sources in the party claimed that MKs were required to increase their media statements promoting legislation favoring the gay community and its agenda.
“There’s a feeling that the Meretz agenda has taken over the party this week,” one Labor MK told NRG.
One MK reported: “As early as last Saturday night, I have received four requests to upload all kinds of statuses—and they were stated as demands. These notes came from almost everyone — from Labor Youth, from the young guard, from the party spokesperson’s office, and from Herzog’s office, too.”
“People told me you’d better do it, or you’ll will pay a price in the primaries. Many party activists belong to the gay community, and the LGBT involvement in the party is very substantial,” the MK said.
The same MK said he hadn’t seen this level of demand for enlistment to a cause outside an actual election campaign.
Another MK said he was angry about the direction the party followed this week. “We are not Meretz, but a major, centrist party with a plethora of agendas,” he noted. “It cannot be that of all these agendas would bow down before just one. After all, we want to establish a future coalition with the Ultra-Orthodox. How exactly would we do that when [the gay agenda] becomes our flag? As soon as Herzog and Tzipi Livni become fully mobilized in support of an issue, it keeps away population groups we want to attract in the future. Those who do not agree with that agenda have no way to express their opinion. Even some of us who support gay organizations still think they crossed a line here.”