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November 26, 2015 / 14 Kislev, 5776
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘LGBT’

Labor MKs Complain of Aggressive Coercion from Gay Party Activists to Support LGBT Campaign

Friday, August 7th, 2015

(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.”

Radio Host: Rav Ovadia’s Daughter Resembles Stabber Schlissel

Thursday, August 6th, 2015

How long will it take Israel’s society to recover from the shock of the recent murderous attack on the homosexual parade in Jerusalem last Thursday?

If left to Israel’s media, there isn’t much of a chance for a quick healing. A case in point is a nastily provocative question posed by radio host and investigative reporter Ilana Dayan to Adina Bar Shalom, daughter of the late Rav Ovadia Yosef.

Bar Shalom, who serves as member of the Women’s Council of the Shas party, made a Shiva call on Wednesday to the family of the late Shira Banki, who was stabbed to death by Yishai Schlissel, a serial attacker from the Hareidi community. Her visit was one of numerous, similar gestures on the part of Hareidi public figures who have been acting swiftly and forcefully to disassociate themselves from the murder.

In fact, it has been almost amusing, save for the tragic circumstances, to watch Haredi dignitaries go before the cameras to speak gingerly and even respectfully about the LGBT community. It was a first for them, and for the public in general.

Adina Bar Shalom is far from being a right-wing Jew, despite her close association with the Sephardi, Ultra-Orthodox party. She is member of the public council supporting the Geneva Initiative, which was rejected by most Israelis.

In early April 2011, she signed a petition calling on Israel to withdraw from the Golan Heights, and to establish a Palestinian states according to the 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital.

She also came out publicly against the exclusion of women in the Hareidi community and attacked the “segregated bus lines” in public transportation serving Hareidi neighborhoods.

Adina Bar Shalom has far fewer friends on the right than she does on the left. And yet, on Thursday morning, Ilana Dayan decided to use her as a Hareidi straw-man in an interview on Army Radio.

Relating to Bar Shalom’s shiva call to the Banki family, Dayan noted:

Tell me, how can you live with the fact that … I’ll ask you a question that we are very careful with here, everything here being politically correct, how can you live with the fact that Yishai Schlissel looks more like you than he does me?

The evils of political correctness aside, this kind of question is anti-Semitic at its core. It is worse than guilt by association, it comes near to guilt by genetics.

Bar Shalom was dumbfounded, but, probably because she is not an aggressive person, replied: “No, I can’t live with that in peace. I don’t think so.”

“Doesn’t he look more like you than he does me?” Dayan pushed on, apparently unaware of the Aryan overtones of her assault.

“Absolutely not,” Bar Shalom insisted.

So Dayan added the guilt by attire attack:

Despite the fact that he wears a yarmulke and fringes?

Bar Shalom replied:

He broke one of the biggest prohibitions in the Ten Commandments – Thou shalt not murder – {so] how can I view him as a person from my own community?

It was a good answer, although a much better response would have been for Bar Shalom to file a complaint of anti-Semitic harassment with the nearest police station.

Ilana Dayan responded to an inquiry from Kikar HaShabbat that her “intention was obviously just regarding her belonging to the same sector, the Hareidi sector. If things were understood otherwise, of course, I’m sorry. There was no intention to generalize, just to ask and understand.”

She wants to sound as if it were a harmless inquiry, born by pure intellectual curiosity.

Rally against Violence Bars Religious MKs and Boos Right-Winger

Sunday, August 2nd, 2015

Those who blame others for the stabbings of homosexuals last week are tolerant – as long as you agree with them.

Organizers of last night’s Tel Aviv rally against violence and for support of the homosexual movement barred speakers who did not sign a pledge that they support the cause of homosexuals and lesbians.

They advised Bayit Yehudi (Jewish Home) Naftali Bennett, who asked to speak, that it would be wise for him to stay away.

The reason was clear when right-wing Likud Minister Yuval Steinitz spoke, or at least tried to speak. His call for non-violence was drowned by catcalls from the crowd.

One of the preachers for tolerance and non-violence was arrested by police when he surged toward the Steinitz as he was speaking.

Bayit Yehudi (Jewish Home) Knesset Member Yinon Magal, who strongly identifies with the national religious movement, also was scheduled to speak. However, when he arrived at the rally, he was told he had to sign a statement saying that he supports the homosexual movement. Magal said he does not speak “on condition,” refused to sign and was barred from addressing the crowd.

There were several religious leaders, such as Rabbi Benny Lau, who did speak, but the requirement for signing a pledge illustrates the rally organizer’s understanding of “tolerance.”

The rally originally was called in memory of the murder of a homosexual in Tel Aviv several years ago, but the stabbings of several people by a known psychopath at the parade for homosexuals in Jerusalem Friday, along with the arson-murder of a Palestinian Authority baby gave the organizers plenty of ammunition to preach non-violence and tolerance.

Preaching is one thing, Practice is another.

The organizers don’t want right-wingers and religious people to tolerate homosexuals. They demand acceptance and approval.

And if you don’t approve, you cannot be tolerated.

UK Jewish Schools Could Face Closure for Not Promoting Homosexuality

Monday, November 3rd, 2014

First posted at Jewish Business News.

UK schools that are found to be ‘indoctrinating pupils about gay people’ will face closing under new rules designed to promote ‘British values,’ the British Government confirmed Monday, according to the Daily Mail.

But the Department for Education said it was “nonsense” to suggest teachers in these schools would be forced to give lessons on gay rights.

That brought a response from Labor’s shadow education secretary Tristram Hunt, who said that Education Secretary Nicky Morgan “clearly does not believe that LGBT rights are British values.”

Hunt added: “Compulsory sex and relationship education, including LGBT rights, in all schools is common sense, not nonsense. Nicky Morgan should apologize for the offence that has been caused by claiming that it is nonsense for all schools to teach gay rights.”

There you go. So, presumably, under a Labor government (with a Jewish prime minister, no less), Ultra Orthodox schools would have to teach the value of homosexual marriage, or else…

Oy vey…

READ: UK School Inspectors Bully Orthodox Students with Sexual and Inappropriate Questions A spokesman for the Department for Education insisted that Ofsted, the official body for inspecting schools, was right to make sure religious schools were not promoting homophobia.

There goes a whole portion of Leviticus down the drain…

The spokesman said: “Ofsted are rightly ensuring that schools do not indoctrinate pupils about gay people – or any other people – being inferior.

“The same goes for schools that do things like make girls sit separately at the back of the class. Both are practices which go directly against the fundamental British values of tolerance and respect.

“We believe schools should prepare all pupils for life in modern Britain. A broad and balanced curriculum is vital for this.”

Education Secretary Nicky Morgan told the Sunday Times that schools must teach “pupils to respect other people even if they do not agree with them.”

Which makes perfect sense, as Morgan put it: “I should have thought this is a principle with which the vast majority of people would agree.”

See? Education turns out to be democracy after all…

Here comes the less fun part: according to the Mail, schools have been warned that those that fail to follow new rules on “British values” (that’s LGBT to you and me) will be judged inadequate and could face closure by Ofsted inspectors.

The decision, which makes it practically illegal to teach some aspects of Jewish Studies, follows snap inspections by Ofsted at 40 schools, including Christian and Jewish institutions.

The new rules give inspectors the power to downgrade schools where teachers are breaching the Equality Act, which encourages respect for lesbian, gay and transgender people as well as those of other religions and races.

READ: UK: Islamist School Plot Leads to Inspectors ‘Testing’ Jewish kids on Sex, Gay Issues

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

Friday, October 3rd, 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

Mordechai Levovitz
Director, JQY
JQYouth. com

Torah Values vs. “LGBT” Agenda

Thursday, October 2nd, 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.

Angry Mom Responds to Letter Writer

Thursday, May 15th, 2014

Letters to the Editor of the print version of The Jewish Press appear on the JewishPress.com site.  This week a letter from a reader appeared (see pages 2 and 3), in response to which the mother of a gay teenager wrote a letter in the form of an op-ed. That mother asked that her name be withheld. This is what she wrote:

Dear Mr. Goldstein,

First, I want to thank you for publicizing the wonderful organization that is JQY or Jewish Queer Youth. I am an Orthodox mother of a 15 year old gay son and JQY has been an invaluable resource to me and my son since he came out to our family about 6 months ago. Prior to connecting with JQY and Eshel (another fantastic organization for Orthodox LGBT people) our family felt so alone.

In your letter you referred to JQY as an “openly immoral group.” I have to say, this concerned me. I have met several of the JQY leaders and they never struck me as “openly immoral.” But you said the organization marched in the parade with blatantly offensive banners last year. So I decided to look at JQY’s website to see how this organization promotes open immorality in a blatantly offensive way.

Here’s what I found when I went to JQY’s website. The first thing I noticed was a large printed, “Jewish? Orthodox? Gay? You are not alone! Welcome to JQY!” That doesn’t seem too blatantly offensive or immoral but I guessed that I probably had to look a little closer on the page. Based on what you said, the mission must promote an obviously immoral lifestyle. Here’s what the mission of JQY is:

Our mission is to address the unique needs of LGBT frum* and formerly frum Jews. JQY is dedicated to cultivating a Jewish community where no one feels alone, bullied or silenced because of their orientation or gender identity. Special attention is given to youth, young adults and their families; however we have programs for all ages.

Wait a minute. There is nothing immoral in that mission statement. It almost seems…helpful to people who are in the Orthodox Community and who are LGBT and need support. Now I was confused. I figured the pictures that make up the top and bottom banners of the page must be suggestive or immodest.  But all I saw in these pictures are smiling groups of people who look comfortable, proud and most importantly, not alone.

I searched some more and found links to support groups, crisis resources, holiday and shabbat meals, an open Beit Medrash, Mental Health outreach, and speaker training programs. I kept searching for the offensiveness you spoke of in your letter.

Luckily, right before I left the page in despair that I would never be made privy to what was so hurtful to you, I finally found the blatantly offensive propaganda that you think JQY is spewing. About three quarters of the way down the page in bold yellow typeface, there is a statement that says “We are in every Yeshiva!”

Wow. Imagine my feelings when I saw that. That an organization which says it is trying to help Orthodox (and formerly Orthodox) LGBT people could say such a thing. I mean, sure. Statistics tell us that there is likely at least one LGBT person in every extended Orthodox family. But to say that there is an LGBT person in every Yeshiva?

Mr. Goldstein, I applaud you for bringing this to my attention. Because now I can speak to my son honestly and openly and I can tell him, “You’re not alone.” I can assure him that even though he feels like life is an uphill battle and even though so many people in the Orthodox community in which he was raised won’t accept him for who he is and will only think of him in terms of what will or won’t go on in his bedroom when he is older, he is not alone. There are kids like him in every Yeshiva, every Day School, and even every Bais Yaakov across the country. He can rest assured that he has the power to make someone else who might be feeling lonely, depressed, isolated, or even – G-d forbid – suicidal, feel just a little better by telling them that they are not alone.

He can make them aware of the JQY teen support phone calls and email lists that he is part of. He can tell them about the Jewish, but not-orthodox shabbaton for LGBT kids that he went on that a JQY staff member attended just to give support to the Orthodox kids there. He can tell these kids that when they’re ready to

come out to their parents, JQY has a support group called Temicha for Orthodox Parents of LGBT kids.

Mr. Goldstein, I get it. Something about an organization that wants to make life better for Orthodox LGBT people makes you feel uncomfortable. I am not sure why, but it is obvious that their very presence threatens you in a way that you probably can’t even explain yourself. Therefore, you have rallied to exclude this group from supporting their homeland, using the Torah as an excuse. But please know that is all it is. An excuse to be at best exclusionary and at worst hateful and homophobic.

Schools that march in the parade that JQY marches in are not “legitimizing homosexual behavior.” They are supporting Israel and recognizing that there is a group amongst them that happens to offer incredible support and love to Jews who might not always feel support and love from the greater community. This group happens to support Israel as well. Nothing else.

I don’t assume that my letter will change your mind. It’s made up already. But maybe someone else will read it and realize that what you are proposing is not only hurtful but hateful as well. And maybe someone else will see this letter and reach out to JQY and life will be a little better for him or her in the future because of it.

-A Proud Mom

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/angry-mom-responds-to-letter-writer/2014/05/15/

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