Letter to the Editor: Why the LGBT Community Must Embrace Israel

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Following a recent vote by the Presbyterian Church to divest in three U.S. companies supplying Israel with equipment used in the Israeli-controlled West Bank, Benjamin Netanyahu the Israeli Prime Minister shot back with an invitation to those Presbyterian organizations. He encouraged them to take a bus tour of Israel, the only democracy in the region, and then to continue on to Libya, Syria, and Iraq. In his remarks, he included two pieces of advice for the latter portion of the visit: an armor-plated bus and hiding the Christian identity of those onboard.

Greg Kabel

For those members of the LGBT community who sympathize with Hamas, I’d make a similar bus tour offer, and for the sake of Allah, leave behind “Priscilla,” drag and booze for this road trip.

In an April 2011 Hamas’s Al-Aksa TV interview, Syrian academic Muhammad Rateb al- Nabulsi described homosexuality as a filthy practice deserving of the death penalty.

Hamas cofounder Mahmoud Zahar has said, “You in the West do not live like human beings. You do not even live like animals. You accept homosexuality. And now you criticize us?”

By contrast, Israel has a proud history of support for the LGBT community. In 1994, the same year the U.S. instituted Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, the Israel Defense Forces specifically banned all discrimination against sexual minorities. Gay couples are allowed to jointly adopt. Same-sex marriages performed in other countries are recognized in Israel. Gays and lesbians serve openly in the military. A 2012 survey carried out by American Airlines and GayCities.com named Tel Aviv as the world’s best gay city.

I’m dumfounded by my LGBT brothers and sisters who lend their voices to the treacherous and horrific terrorist regime that is Hamas.

Cantor Mark Goldman is the Co-Spiritual Leader of Temple Kol Ami Emanu-El in Plantation, FL www.tkae.org and is the first openly gay president of the American Conference of Cantors www.accantors.org


Greg Kabel

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