Long-time LGBTQ rights supporter Benjamin Netanyahu judges homophobes and racists in a bid to hold onto power – tech2.org

Long-time LGBTQ rights supporter Benjamin Netanyahu judges homophobes and racists in a bid to hold onto power


For the traditional Israeli supporter of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the electoral meal he offers now includes medieval dishes – bitter dishes from racism and homophobia.

But for the Likud, under Netanyahu, this appears to be a meal its members are willing to consume out of political desperation. In the past, the party and its leader have defended LGBTQ rights. Its members of the Knesset also left the chamber when racist far-right politicians took the floor.

It seems not anymore.

An Israeli TV Channel 13 poll this week shows that Netanyahu’s right-wing and religious bloc won a total of 47 seats out of 120 in the Knesset. Polls show that the opposing group “Anyone but Bibi” would win 58 seats, just three of that magical one-seat majority needed to end the reign of the longest-serving Israeli prime minister.

The potential king-makers party Yamina, led by Naftali Bennet, is also on the right. But Bennet’s personal rivalry with Netanyahu and ambition to take over the right wing, if Netanyahu is ever to be toppled, means that, for now, he doesn’t join a “pro-Bibi” electoral bloc for now anyway.

With Channel 13’s poll predicting 11 seats, his party could bring the Netanyahu alliance to 58. But for now, that’s not something Netanyahu’s Likud strategists can trust. So every vote from the right counts. To ensure this, Netanyahu has forged the creation of micro-blocks. Parties must exceed 3.5 percent of the vote threshold to count. Small parties may find it difficult to achieve this. By uniting them into groups that share a candidate list with each other, and allied to your coalition ticket, every vote counts.

Participants hold up posters and banners during the annual Gay Pride Parade in Jerusalem.

According to the Channel 13 poll, the Religious Zionism party bloc, which includes Jewish Power, will win five seats. That would result in a Knesset seat for Itamar Ben-Gvir, a longtime devotee of the Kach movement in Israel, which was banned in 1994 as a terrorist organization.

Ben-Gvir was shown on Israel’s Channel 11, speaking shortly before the 1995 assassination of Israeli Prime Minister Yizhak Rabin by a right-wing extremist, bragging about how his group had been able to get so close to Rabin that he had stolen the emblem. from your car.

At the time, he was a leader of the Kach youth movement.

“The badge is a symbol and shows that because we have been able to obtain this symbol, we can reach Rabin,” he said.

He is now the leader of Otzma Yehudit or the Jewish Power party, and a lawyer who eschews outright racist statements, but has followed an ideological tradition of extremist thinking that has advocated for the mass deportation of all Arabs west of the Jordan River. In 2007, he was convicted of inciting racism and supporting a terrorist organization.
Jewish power has been rejected by the influential American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), which called it a “racist and reprehensible party” when Netanyahu made an electoral pact with them in 2019.
Itamar Ben Gvir of the Jewish Power party argues with Israeli Arab candidate Ata Abu Medeghem of Raam-Balad after a hearing at Israel's Supreme Court in Jerusalem, on March 14, 2019.

Now the group has joined Noam, a religious party whose main raison d’être appears to be homophobia.

The party’s leader, Avi Maoz, who could also win a Knesset seat, according to Channel 13 and other polls, had campaigned against same-sex adoption and in vitro fertilization for same-sex couples.

“A country that has a healthy family that includes a strong father, mother and children is normal. A country in which two fathers or two mothers are recognized as a family is not normal,” he added.

Israel’s left, desperate to build a coalition to topple Netanyahu, is also made up of many small parties.

Meretz, a mainstream left-wing party that also hopes to draw votes from ethnic Arab Israelis, whose traditional parties often win 10-15 seats, has been unsurprisingly outraged by the latest pact from the right.

Nitzan Horowitz, the leader of Meretz, told CNN: “This party is homophobic, it is racist, it advocates for Jewish supremacy, the deportation of Arabs, this is medieval politics.”

“I am very sorry that this is happening in my country. I think it is a shame that Prime Minister Netanyahu is in an alliance with those kinds of people. He is neo-fascist. He does not belong here,” he said.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Naftali Bennett visit an army base in the Golan Heights, annexed by Israel, overlooking Syrian territory, on November 24, 2019.

But within the Likud party, even among LGBTQ activists, there are misunderstandings.

Netanyahu has a long history of supporting LGBTQ rights.

“Loving someone should never mean a life of fear or terror. For too long, the LGBT community around the world has faced violence and intimidation … in Israel, the LGBT community marches with pride. My unshakeable belief is that all people are created equal. … sadly, some elements of our society are not yet ready to accept the LGBT community. My solemn promise to you today is to continue fostering respect for all citizens of Israel without exception, “he said in a television broadcast before the gay event in Jerusalem. gay pride march in 2016, a year after a 16-year-old girl was stabbed and killed in the same event.

Eran Globus, a lawyer-in-training who used to preside over the Open House for Pride and Tolerance shelter for minorities in Jerusalem, told CNN that he was disgusted by the latest political pact reached by the Israeli prime minister.

But when asked if this meant that the Likud Party had lost its vote, he replied: “I think that, like many Israelis after three votes (in three general elections in the space of a year), it is not very clear so far. you get there. “

Likud spokesperson Eli Hazan summarized the Likud calculation.

“I need to be prepared to win in any condition. I don’t like this party. We don’t share anything with them except the will to win the elections against the left.”

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