‘A Promiscuous Abomination’: Far-right Lawmaker Vows to Cancel Jerusalem Pride Parade
Prime minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu declared his support for the Jerusalem pride parade on Thursday after one of his far-right allies announced his intention to cancel the annual event, which he termed a “shame and disgrace.”
“The Pride Parade in Jerusalem will continue to march,” tweeted Netanyahu. “The government headed by me will not harm the LGBT community and the rights of every citizen in Israel. We will provide a mutual guarantee for all citizens of Israel and work to improve all of our lives – this is our mission.”
Noam party chief Avi Maoz, who is slated to become a new deputy minister in the Office of the Prime Minister in order to serve as an authority on “national-Jewish identity,” promised to work to cancel the event in an interview with the orthodox weekly “Olam Katan” published on Thursday.
“We will make sure to cancel” the event, he said, “it’s a disgrace that there is a parade” and that such “a promiscuous abomination” harms “Holy Jerusalem.”
This is not the first time that Netanyahu has been forced to walk back Maoz’s comments on the LGBTQ community.
Following the recent Knesset election, Maoz had told Army Radio that the parade was a “provocation” that he would “look into canceling,” leading Netanyahu to declare in private talks that “there will be no harm to pride parades nor to the status-quo on LGBTQ rights.”
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However, sources in Likud said at the time that the party intends to cancel measures by the outgoing government promoting LGBTQ rights, although it remains unclear what reforms could be targeted, but some rights groups have speculated the ban on conversion therapy and insurance coverage for gender-affirming healthcare could be threatened.
Maoz’s earlier comments were echoed by Yitzhak Wasserlauf, ranked fifth on the Religious Zionism ticket, who told Radio Jerusalem when asked whether he would act against the parade that “Insofar as I am called upon to do so, I will express my opinion, of course… I’m against people dancing in the streets in their underwear.”
The leader of the fringe, far-right Noam party has been touring Israeli media panels in recent weeks, attacking the Education Ministry’s new guidelines to help transgender youth and the ban on conversion therapy.
Noam sees itself as a champion of Jewish, national and religious values. It raises the banner of “Jewish identity,” “family values” and fights against what they call “post-modernism.” Noam’s representatives have emphasized time and again their opposition to LGBTQ and Reform Jews’ rights, as well as their will to reform the judiciary system.
The party suggests that “foreign powers and many countries” are behind a massive campaign to undermine and alter every value, norm or concept in Israel and has alluded to a “deep state” running the judiciary and the education system.
In his speeches, Maoz has long attempted to undermine the efforts to normalize LGBTQ families by calling their democratic legitimacy into question.
“When did we all get together and decide that it’s appropriate for the education system to teach our children that deviant relations between two men or two women are normative and constitute a desired family model,” he has asked.