LGBTQ education and Israel’s illiberal Left - opinion

Feb 18, 22
LGBTQ education and Israel’s illiberal Left - opinion

Tal Gilboa comes under fire for challenging Orwellian doublethink

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Israeli animal-rights and vegan activist Tal Gilboa was treated to a social-media slaughter this week, and it wasn’t a kosher one.

Despite her dedication to typically liberal causes, Gilboa couldn’t possibly be considered one of “them” when she joined former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud Party prior to the 2019 Knesset elections and later became his adviser on animal rights.

Nor was this her only crime against the Hebrew version of Orwellian doublethink. Expressing opposition last December to a program launched on January 1 in 77 kindergartens across the country to “promote gender equality and inculcate gender thinking from an early age, when perceptions, beliefs and stereotypes begin to take shape” put her smack in the doghouse – pun intended.

Having a complex view of the joint Education/Social Equality Ministries’ plan, she was accused of “contradicting herself.” The real reason for the attack, however, was that she violated a key rule of political correctness: daring to suggest that “we women don’t want men who play with dolls; we want men who play soccer.”

It was thus that her subsequent clarification – that “girls and boys can play with whatever they wish; enough of this madness already” – became fodder for ridicule.

LGBTQ flag (credit: Wikimedia Commons)LGBTQ flag (credit: Wikimedia Commons)

THE ABOVE was a feminist storm in a teacup compared to the LGBTQ tsunami she unleashed this week by coming out against educational activities in schools to enlighten kids about the gay community.

The hysteria ensued after she participated in Channel 14’s The Patriotspanel on Tuesday and explained: “The science says that about 10% of animals are homosexual; it’s innate. But today we’re already talking about its being acquired, as well. My 13-year-old daughter came out of the closet. I phoned her teacher to tell her about it, and she told me that people from the entire LGBTQ spectrum, transgender people and others, regularly visit the school and spend whole days talking to the students and teaching them what they can and cannot be. I said to her, “Excuse me? What [gives you the right] to put such things in my daughter’s head?”

She also criticized the Health Ministry’s announcement on Monday that it was banning medical professionals from performing conversion therapy.

“It’s the right of every person not only to decide, but to decide if he wants to change it, because not everyone is comfortable with [living a gay] lifestyle,” she said.

The Twittersphere went wild, with users mocking Gilboa and calling her “dangerous.”

The LGBTQ organization Hoshen, whose name is the Hebrew acronym for “education and change,” retorted, “Yes, Tal [Gilboa], people from all walks of LGBTQ life will continue to enter schools to promote independent, accepting and tolerant thinking towards any person, whether trans or bisexual. We recommend that, along with a strong hug, you tell your daughter that every choice she makes is right… Tal, we invite you to observe the Hoshen workshop and see firsthand how [our] activities and activists promote tolerance in schools.”

Gilboa responded to the snide challenge in an interview on Wednesday.

“My daughter is a proud lesbian; I am a super proud mother because of her standing firm in her veganism and lesbianism. But, no, I don’t think that 13-year-olds need this exposure,” she told Channel 12 News, taking a dig at Hoshen’s suggestion that she take a workshop and embrace her child.

“My daughter doesn’t have to come out of the closet to get a hug,” she retorted. “Nor is it a reason for a hug. It’s natural, like being straight.”

She went on to dismiss the term and very concept of “conversion” therapy, which “in itself constitutes consciousness engineering.”

“Why is it cool to accept a sex change for an 8-year-old girl, and not cool the other way around?” she asked. “Where does this intolerance come from? Why don’t you accept that there are people for whom this isn’t suitable and who want to examine and alter it? Is pluralism for one side only? If homosexuality were purely genetic, this wouldn’t be debatable from my point of view. But because this isn’t the case, and the environment has an impact, everyone [should have] the right to receive any treatment.”

This was too much even for the Orthodox-Jewish organization Havruta. Berating Gilboa as “LGBTQ-phobic,” Havruta general-director Netanel Shaller, a fellow animal-rights activist, told Channel 12 that “she’s once again trying to promote herself in the press and political arena, [and] it’s very sad that this time it’s at her daughter’s expense... We invite both of them to our organization to learn what love and genuine acceptance are about; the main thing is for [her daughter] to be herself.”

 

THE CHUTZPAH of so-called “liberals” who take offense at the very whiff of dissent is nothing new. It’s a form of bullying that serves as the glue for “intersectionality” – a worrisome phenomenon involving the aspiration to achieve and remain in a state of victimhood. Naturally, then, it leaves no room for discourse, and certainly none for disagreement.

From an “intersectional” standpoint, a vegan animal-rights champion such as Gilboa shouldn’t be permitted to deviate from a single item on the Left’s list of mandatory positions. Her refusal to toe a line of thinking dictated by her peers is thus both brave and commendable.

It’s also understandable that she identifies with the true liberals: conservatives.

Omri Rosenkrantz, a prominent member of the LGBTQ faction of Likud, summed this up aptly in the wake of the carry-on over Gilboa’s remarks.

“Liberalism… is the belief that a person must receive maximum autonomy to lead his life as he sees fit, and make decisions (good or bad) that affect him and his relatives, as opposed to thinking that various representatives of the collective (mainly the state and its authorities) may and should do so for him,” he wrote in a Facebook post on Tuesday.

“Therefore, if an adult decides that he wants to alter his sexual orientation and undergo therapy… the state doesn’t have a mandate to prevent him from doing so. If such a person were to turn to me for advice, I would do everything in my power to… persuade him not to expose himself to a process that is liable to seriously damage his mental health and the wellbeing of those close to him. But the decision is his and his alone, and so it should remain… No to coercion, even if you think you’re right. Yes to the freedom of the individual, even if you’re certain he’s wrong.”

It’s this message, not one steering kids in a desired direction that needs to be conveyed. As long as the wolves in sheep’s clothing are ruling the flock, however, there’s little chance of that happening.

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