Israeli lawmaker calls pride parade an ‘abomination march’

Marcy Oster

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israeli lawmaker Bezalel Smotrich of the Jewish Home party dug in his heels after calling the Jerusalem gay pride parade an “abomination march.”

“So here I say it again fearlessly: I object vehemently to violence, and promise to object no less vehemently to the recognition of same-sex couples in the Jewish State. I promise to fight violence, and no less than that, I will fight any attempt to besmirch traditional Jewish family values,” he wrote Sunday in a Facebook post.

Smotrich called the Saturday night anti-violence protests in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem “a left-wing witch hunt” and said they were “all incitement and silencing” against anyone who opposes the organizers’ views.

Smotrich said that demonstration organizers “saved (party chairman Naftali) Bennett from himself,” by withdrawing an invitation for him to speak at the Tel Aviv rally. Bennett’s invitation was rescinded after a hostile reaction from participants to his participation and after he refused to sign a pledge committing to advancing homosexual-themed legislation.


Bennett, who said he was on his way to the rally when he was called by organizers and told not to show up, on Sunday tried to repair the damage done by Smotrich, but said he would not support recognition of same-sex marriage.

“I am in favor of full rights for the gay community,” Bennett told Army Radio. “In terms of formal recognition by the State of Israel for marriage , I am not.”

In a Facebook post on Sunday, Bennett said: “Whoever wants to find me fighting against violence, I am next to him with all my strength. Whoever wants me to remain silent, I will stand up to him with all my heart.”

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